What is Clinical Laboratory Science?

The Profession of Clinical Laboratory Science

Clinical Laboratory Science, also called Medical Technology, is the health profession that provides laboratory information and services needed for the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Clinical Laboratory Scientists perform a variety of laboratory tests, ensure the quality of the test results, explain the significance of laboratory tests, evaluate new methods and study the effectiveness of laboratory tests. Examples of laboratory tests performed by Clinical Laboratory Scientists include:

  • the detection of the abnormal cells that cause leukemia

  • the analysis of cardiac enzyme activity released during a heart attack

  • the identification of the type of bacteria causing an infection

  • the detection of DNA markers for genetic diseases

Careers in CLS

A Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science opens a window of exciting career opportunities. CLS graduates can be found working as:

  • Clinical laboratory generalists in hospitals, clinics or commercial laboratories.

  • Clinical laboratory specialists working in areas such as microbiology, hematology, blood bank, chemistry, molecular biology/DNA, histocompatiblity, virology, immunology/serology, stem cell/bone marrow labs and flow cytometry.

  • Clinical laboratory supervisors, managers, administrators and directors.

  • Quality assurance/quality management specialists in hospitals or industry (e.g. pharmaceutical quality operations).

  • Technical representatives, sales representatives or research and development specialists in laboratory industries.

  • Clinical Research Associates (CRA) in clinical trials organizations.

  • Research technologists or research supervisors/coordinators in academic medical centers.

  • Laboratory information systems specialists.

  • Infection control officers in hospitals or clinics.

  • Educators for employee training programs or formal academic programs.

  • Consultants for Physician Office Laboratories.

  • Forensic scientists in governmental or commercial laboratories.

  • Clinical laboratory scientists in veterinary laboratories.

 

Vignettes of the Profession of Clinical Laboratory Science [pdf file]
by Barbara Thornton, CLS(NCA), MT(ASCP), M.Ed.

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