Medical Laboratory Science

Medical Laboratory Science

The Profession

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 ensure 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 Program

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 FOR 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; Firelands Regional Medical Center, Sandusky, 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 of their junior year. 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 chemistry, blood banking, and laboratory science 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.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the baccalaureate degree, students in Medical Laboratory Science (formerly Medical Technology) are expected to:

  • Perform routine and complex laboratory procedures (blood banking, clinical chemistry, immunology, hematology, and microbiology) accurately;
  • Correlate results of laboratory tests to their clinical significance and make appropriate recommendations;
  • Perform quality control and assurance procedures, implementing and documenting corrective action as appropriate;
  • Recognize unsafe conditions, correct them, and encourage others to improve laboratory safety techniques;
  • Communicate effectively with physicians, patients, and other members of the health care team;
  • Meet professional expectations with respect to the code of ethics for medical technologists;
  • Critically evaluate new instrumentation and methods, and develop new procedures;
  • Read and understand medical literature, and critically evaluate research findings.

Accreditation and/or Program/Cluster Review

Bowling Green State University [BGSU] is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  BGSU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 01/01/1916. The most recent reaffirmation of accreditation was received in 2012 - 2013. Questions should be directed to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

The Medical Laboratory Science program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) and is in good standing. For more information, click here.

Professional Licensure (If applicable)

Bowling Green State University programs leading to licensure, certification and/or endorsement, whether delivered online, face-to-face or in a blended format, satisfy the academic requirements for those credentials set forth by the State of Ohio.

Requirements for licensure, certification and/or endorsement eligibility vary greatly from one profession to another and from state to state. The Medical Laboratory Science program leads to professional licensure. For more information, click here.

Gainful Employment (If applicable)

Under the Higher Education Act Title IV disclosure requirements, an institution must provide current and prospective students with information about each of its programs that prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.

The Medical Laboratory Science program is not a recognized occupation that requires a Gainful Employment disclosure.