Hailey Jacobs smiles and holds a beaker
BGSU alumna Haley Jacobs '20 credits the rigorous education and supportive environment at BGSU for her success in medical laboratory science. (Photo credit: Martin Leyva)

BGSU alumna fills crucial need in healthcare as a traveling medical laboratory scientist

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Haley Jacobs ‘20 has worked in rural and urban communities across seven states

By Laren Kowalczyk ‘07

Since graduating from Bowling Green State University in 2020, Haley Jacobs has traveled across the U.S., working in a crucial healthcare field called medical laboratory science.

She’s practiced in rural and urban communities in seven states, including Ohio, Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois and Texas, and credits her success in the field to the rigorous education and supportive environment in the BGSU medical laboratory science program.

“My professors were some of the most encouraging, selfless, intelligent and hard-working individuals,” said Jacobs, who is currently working in Odessa, Texas, as a traveling medical laboratory scientist. “I was highly supported throughout the program and incredibly well-prepared for this career.”

As a medical laboratory scientist, Jacobs, originally from near Denver, performs hundreds of laboratory tests used by physicians to determine the causes of illness and the extent of injuries. 

Jacobs said a day in the lab could include everything from determining blood type compatibility between a mother and her unborn baby to monitoring a patient’s therapeutic drug levels or determining their bacterial or viral infections.

Addressing healthcare needs

Although the testing and specimens vary, Jacobs said the need for extreme precision and accuracy was ingrained in her as a BGSU student.

“The lab is such a vast world, and everything we do impacts our patients,” Jacobs said. “That’s why the training we received at BGSU was so important. Our work can have life and death consequences.”

Jessica Bankey, BGSU MLS program coordinator and an associate clinical professor, said that an average of 70% of diagnoses are based on laboratory results, highlighting the crucial role of medical laboratory scientists in patient care.

“Through our program, students develop a robust understanding of the scientific methods involved in testing and analyzing specimens,” Bankey said. “We’re considered experts in the laboratory field, and it’s a role we take very seriously.”

In addition to the on-campus program, the University recently developed its BGSU Online medical laboratory science (MLT to MLS) program to provide medical laboratory technicians with a flexible, convenient option to advance their careers while addressing a critical need in healthcare.

“BGSU recognizes the integral role of medical laboratory scientists in healthcare and is committed to growing the workforce by providing a flexible and convenient option for technicians to advance their careers,” Bankey said.

An ode to BGSU

To honor the University where her passion for medical laboratory science began, Jacobs recently launched a newly designed orange scrub top through her company, Spurrin’ Scrubs

Jacobs designs and sells Western-inspired scrubs and launched the company in 2022 after an unsuccessful search for stylish and comfortable scrubs during her personal work travels.

“I couldn’t find anything that matched my design style, so I decided to create it myself,” Jacobs said. “I’ve built this business from the ground up. I have invested so much of myself and my energy into it, and it has been so fun being able to connect back to the communities that my passion lies within.

“BGSU encouraged my self-confidence to succeed not only in this profession but in everything else that I set my mind to.”

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Media Contact | Michael Bratton | mbratto@bgsu.edu | 419-372-6349

Updated: 02/27/2024 10:28AM