Medical Laboratory Science
MEDICAL LABORATORY SCIENCE (formerly Medical Technology) is the profession devoted to the diagnosis and management of illness by analysis of blood, body fluids, and tissues. Medical laboratory scientists perform hundreds of laboratory tests that are used by physicians to determine the cause of illness and the extent of injury. Such tests can identify the most appropriate medication, dosage, and response to treatment. For example, a medical laboratory scientist may isolate disease-causing bacteria and determine from tests which antibiotics will be effective. Another medical laboratory scientist will measure the concentration of the antibiotic in the patient's blood in order to insure that the dosage is optimal but not toxic. The medical laboratory sciences are composed of blood banking, chemistry, hematology, immunology, and microbiology. The scientist who works in the blood bank performs tests that determine if blood is compatible for transfusion. In chemistry, tests are performed that measure proteins, enzymes, hormones, electrolytes and other important metabolites in the blood plasma. The immunology lab evaluates the patient's ability to respond to disease and measures antibodies that can indicate infection or immunity. Medical laboratory scientists in the microbiology lab isolate and identify disease causing bacteria, fungi, and parasites. Medical laboratory scientists working in hematology count and evaluate blood cells, and perform tests that are essential for the management of anemia, leukemia and coagulation disorders.
The BGSU program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS), 8410 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue, Suite 670, Chicago, Illinois 60631-3415. Phone: (773) 714-8880. Students who complete the program receive a Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science and are eligible to sit for the national certification examination of the American Society of Clinical Pathology (MLS ASCP). Courses in the basic sciences, math, humanities and social science comprise most of the first three years of study. The senior year is devoted to professional training and consists of two phases. Phase I consists of lecture and laboratory courses in blood banking, clinical chemistry, clinical immunology, hematology, and microbiology. Phase II is a six-month clinical practicum at one of 12 affiliated medical centers. Phase II is given at the Blanchard Valley Regional Health Center, Findlay, Ohio; Defiance Regional Hospital, Defiance, Ohio; Fremont Memorial Hospital, Fremont, Ohio; Flower Hospital, Sylvania, Ohio; Fulton County Health Center, Wauseon, Ohio; Mercy-Integrated Laboratories (at St. Vincent's Medical Center), Toledo, Ohio; St. Luke's Hospital, Maumee, Ohio; St. Rita's New Vision Laboratories, Lima, Ohio; The Toledo Hospital, Toledo, Ohio; University Hospitals of Cleveland, Cleveland, OH; University Medical Center (University of Toledo Health Sciences Campus), Toledo, Ohio; Wood County Hospital, Bowling Green, Ohio . Students who complete the first three years may apply for acceptance to professional training during the Fall term. Selection of applicants is made in early March. The program has a capacity of 16 students.
Career Opportunities for Medical Laboratory Scientists
MEDICAL LABORATORY SCIENCE has grown exponentially over the past two decades. In 1968 there were approximately 50,000 medical technologists certified by the American Society of Clinical pathologists. Today, the number of medical laboratory scientists has reached over 300,000. Advances in technology have created the ability to measure trace substances that were unknown less than a generation ago. New diagnostic techniques utilizing DNA technology, image analysis, and computer processing are on the frontier and are expected to improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, heart disease, and infection. Better techniques are being developed to monitor medications used to control transplant rejection, heart disease, psychiatric disorders, and many other illnesses. Medical laboratory scientists play important roles in laboratory management. Many universities offer programs of graduate study in clinical microbiology and chemistry, and post baccalaureate training for specialist certifications in each laboratory science is available at several health care institutions and universities. Students who enjoy their high school biology and chemistry labs will find Medical Laboratory Science an attractive profession. The beginning salary in Northwest Ohio is approximately $55,000. Demand for certified medical laboratory scientists is expected to increase through the next decade.