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How to Become a Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS)

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It’s an exciting time to become a medical laboratory scientist. The healthcare industry is thriving, with job opportunities opening left, right, and center. Specifically, there’s a big demand for MLS professionals. 

As an MLS, you can expect:

  • A good salary
  • High work satisfaction
  • Plenty of professional opportunities

Your main role would be to test patient samples and then provide the results to the doctors. For example, after testing one specific sample, you might find detect a disease, which then enables the doctor to act fast and create the right treatment plan for the patient. 

So, how exactly do you become a medical laboratory scientist? Here’s what you need to do… 

Complete an MLT to MLS 

If you’ve already earnt a Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) degree and are currently a lab technician, then the best option for you is to complete an online mlt to mls degree. The degree is entirely online, which means you can continue in your current job without having to sacrifice all of your time. If you’re searching for options for the most affordable tuition, consider enrolling in a program at one of the cheapest colleges in Ohio.

Whilst studying the MLT to MLS program online, you’ll learn about: 

  • Clinical chemistry 
  • Clinical practice
  • Microbiology 
  • Genetics 
  • And more… 

All of this will prepare you for a fulfilling (and exciting) future career as a medical laboratory scientist. Additionally, you could also choose to start a career as a microbiologist, forensic analyst, or even a senior medical technologist. The choice is yours and will be entirely dependent on your location and professional goals. 

Start Gaining Experience 

Next, you need to start gaining more experience. This is something you can potentially do whilst completing your MLT to MLS degree. 

Sometimes, degrees will offer work placements for students to go on. If not, you will have to actively search for experience options yourself, such as internships. 

In a typical MLS internship, you’ll work closely with fellow MLS professionals in a lab; gaining hands-on experience and learning exactly what the role requires on a day-to-day basis. If you already have experience as a technician, then you have a slight advantage, as these roles do overlap in a sense (although they are distinct from each other). 

No internships or placements available to you? Try volunteering at local labs or hospitals. Volunteer opportunities are always around – no matter which state or city you live in. 

Get Your MLS Certification 

After completing your MLS degree, you’ll then be ready to get MLS certified via the MLS exam. The most popular certification to get is the American Society for Clinical Pathology MLS certification, which has been successfully completed by over 600,000 individuals. Once you’re certified, the opportunities for you are endless. However, you’ll need to do lots of preparation for your exam, which consists of 100 multiple-choice questions. Good luck. 

Boost Your Knowledge 

There are various educational books on the market for MLS students and professionals. A good example of this is Clinical Laboratory Chemistry by Robert L. Sunheimer, which has been read by thousands of people in the industry worldwide. The more reading you do, the better. 

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