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A medical laboratory scientist (MLS) (also referred to as a medical technologist, a clinical scientist, or clinical laboratory technologist) is a healthcare professional who performs chemical, hematological, immunologic, microscopic, and bacteriological diagnostic analyses on body fluids such as blood, urine, sputum, stool, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), peritoneal fluid, pericardial fluid, and synovial fluid, as well as other specimens. Medical laboratory scientists work in clinical laboratories as well as hospitals, physician’s offices, reference labs, biotechnology labs and non-clinical industrial labs.

In the United States, a medical laboratory scientist (MLS), medical technologist (MT) or clinical laboratory scientist (CLS, California only) typically earns a bachelor’s degree in clinical laboratory science, biomedical science, medical technology or in a life / biological science (biology, biochemistry, microbiology, etc.), in which case certification from an accredited training program is also required. Medical technologists who are certified and in good standing by a number of certification bodies, including the National Medical Laboratory Science Council or the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) are entitled to use the credential “MLS” after their names.

Subspecialties also requiring a four-year degree include cytotechnologists, who study cells and cellular anomalies, and histotechnologists, who work on the detection of tissue abnormalities and the treatment for the diseases causing the abnormalities.

In addition, there are also medical laboratory technicians (MLTs) who earn two-year degrees plus certification.

In the United States, the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA ’88) define the level of qualification required to perform tests of various complexity. Clinical laboratory scientists, medical technologists and medical laboratory scientists are the highest level of qualification, and are generally qualified to perform the most complex clinical testing including HLA testing (also known as tissue typing) and blood type reference testing.

Most medical technologists are generalists, skilled in all areas of the clinical laboratory. However some are specialists, qualified by unique undergraduate education or additional training to perform more complex analyses than usual within a specific field. Specialties include clinical biochemistry, hematology, coagulation, microbiology, bacteriology, toxicology, virology, parasitology, mycology, immunology, immunohematology (blood bank), histopathology, histocompatibility, cytopathology, genetics, cytogenetics, electron microscopy, and IVF labs.

Medical technologists with such a specialty may use additional credentials, such as “SBB” (Specialist in Blood Banking) from the American Association of Blood Banks, or “SH” (Specialist in Hematology) from the ASCP.

In the United States, Medical Laboratory Scientists can be certified and employed in infection control. These professionals monitor and report infectious disease findings to help limit iatrogenic and nosocomial infections. They may also educate other healthcare workers about such problems and ways to minimize them.

October 17, 2016 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News

Intelligence Late & Latent News

Quebec’s provincial health authority is moving forward with what may be one of the largest consolidations of clinical laboratory testing undertaken in North America during the past 30 years. The goal is to bring the lab testing currently done in as many as 500 locations throughout the province into 11 “high-volume processing centers.” The project, called

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