What is a Medical Laboratory Scientist?
A Medical Laboratory Scientist is a health care professional who works with physicians in investigating, determining, and interpreting the physiological data status of patients. He or she uses sophisticated analytical instruments to test blood and body fluids. MLS requires quick, accurate work to detect physiological changes. Often, the MLS is the first to detect the changes that signal a disease or change in a patient’s condition. Although MLS professionals have limited direct patient contact, they are essential and central figures in investigation, monitoring, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of patients’ health conditions.
What do MLS majors study?
MLS is a four-year degree program. MLS majors concentrate on sciences such as biology, chemistry, microbiology, hematology, immunology, and immunohematology. The MLS disciplines (or areas of interest) include:
- Hematology and Hemostasis
- Immunohematology/Transfusion medicine
- Body Fluids
- Clinical Microbiology
- Clinical Chemistry
What personal qualifications should I have?
Many types of people and personalities enter the MLS profession. However, there are certain character traits and qualities that aid in greater academic and professional success. An individual considering a career in MLS should have:
- Mature judgment
- Personal integrity
- Manual dexterity
- Visual acuity
- Orientation to accuracy
- Scientific curiosity
- Attention to detail
- Effective communication skills
Preparation for MLS
To prepare for undergraduate study in MLS, you should develop good study habits, take college prep math and science courses in high school, and develop good computer skills.