The vast healthcare industry encompasses talented professionals dedicated to serving humanity. But it is often thought that the healthcare job role is limited to physicians, nurses, Medical Laboratory Scientists, etc. The job role of a Medical Laboratory Technician is often overlooked, although they play a vital role in the healthcare industry.
Medical Laboratory scientists work behind the scenes in laboratory settings. They perform a significant role in examining bodily samples and performing the prescribed tests.
Want to know more about Medical Laboratory Scientists? Read this blog till the end, as it will guide you from inception to completion of an MLS career pathway.
Who is a Medical Laboratory Scientist?
A Medical Laboratory Scientist is also known as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist or Medical Technologist. They are healthcare professionals who perform laboratory tests and analyze patient samples to aid diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases. They work in medical laboratories and are responsible for conducting a wide range of tests, including blood tests, urine analyses, tissue samples, and microbiological cultures.
MLS are trained professionals who are specialized in operating and maintaining lab equipment, interpreting test results, and ensuring the accuracy of the obtained data. They follow standard protocols and procedures to collect samples, perform tests and communicate the results to the physician. The process seems easy but requires responsibility and care to ensure the correct prognosis.
Are Medical Laboratory Scientists and Medical Laboratory Technicians the Same Thing?
People often confuse the job roles of a Medical Laboratory Technician with a Medical Laboratory Scientist. They have similar job roles and shared workspaces. The job description and the standard protocols are almost similar.
Then where’s the difference?
The answer to this lies in the degree of specialization. Medical Laboratory Scientists are more educated and have more command of laboratory equipment and testing. They perform more involved lab work.
Moreover, an MLS has a bachelor’s degree in medical laboratory science or related fields. They are extensively trained in laboratory techniques, theory, and scientific principles. They often perform tasks that require a higher level of expertise. Furthermore, they may also be involved in research and management roles.
On the other hand, an MLT holds an associate degree or certification in Medical Laboratory Technology. They receive training in basic laboratory techniques and procedures. MLT professionals perform routine laboratory tests and procedures under the supervision of Medical Laboratory Scientists.
In short, an MLT has a primary role in the laboratory, while an MLS has a more specialized role.
What are the Job Roles of a Medical Laboratory Scientist?
Medical Laboratory Scientists play a vital role in the healthcare system by performing a wide range of laboratory tests and analysis of patient samples.
They have a range of duties to perform:
- MLS conducts prescribed medical diagnostic tests on collected samples.
- They accurately analyze the samples and interpret the results.
- They have a deep knowledge of normal ranges and reference values to be applied to the test findings.
- They perform in-depth test analysis that an MLT is not specialized to perform.
- Their in-depth knowledge and expertise enable them to make accurate interpretations.
- They communicate the results to the physicians to better understand the disease and start the treatment regime.
- In addition to performing routine tests, Medical Laboratory Scientists may also conduct specialized tests and experiments. They do so as part of research projects or to investigate specific medical conditions.
Why is Medical Laboratory Scientist a Rewarding Career?
As the need for diagnostic tests continues to increase, there is a significant demand for clinical laboratory scientists and other professionals in the laboratory field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a higher-than-average growth rate in employment opportunities for medical laboratory scientists and other lab professionals from 2010 to 2020.
Based on data from State Bank, the average salary for a Medical Laboratory Scientist in the United States is $30,792. It shows a positive career outlook for MLS.
Apart from career progression, MLS has a satisfactory impact on serving humanity. They impact patients’ lives positively by determining the abnormalities in their bodies and guiding the correct prognosis. So, If you pursue a career as a Medical Laboratory scientist, you won’t be disappointed.
Advancements in Medical Laboratory Science
The field of Medical Laboratory Science is continually evolving. As technology evolves, so are the advancements in lab devices and techniques. Laboratory equipment and procedures have become more sophisticated, allowing faster and more precise analysis. New areas of medical science are marking their presence in the world daily. Therefore, an MLS must stay updated with the changing prospects and learn new techniques timely.
Are Medical Laboratory Scientists Happy with their Profession?
Medical Laboratory Scientists seem satisfied with their job role. In a study, MLS showed satisfaction with their work environment with a score of 33%.
Furthermore, the above-average salary and career advancement options make this profession satisfying. However, there are many challenges on the way as well. MLS has to work under strict protocols and strict deadlines even, sometimes with long working hours. Their role is highly responsible as a mistake may prove fatal for the patient. However, these problems can be overcome with a slight effort and the profession yields satisfying outcomes.
Being a medical laboratory scientist is a more rewarding career. It requires more expertise and advanced knowledge than a medical laboratory technician. The salary ranges, work environment, advancement options, career flexibility, career progression, etc., make this job role a perfect fit if seeking a rewarding career option. So, visit a high-profile Healthcare Jobs Platform and get started with this rewarding career option. The best thing is you get a chance to serve humanity and play a significant role in disease detection and control.