This article has information about how to choose a medical lab technician bachelor’s degree. It also has information about where you can attend a good quality degree program in the field. Also detailed is information about accreditation for medical lab technician bachelor’s program; this is a very important factor that indicates if the degree meets high quality industry standards.
What Is a Medical Lab Technician Bachelor’s Degree?
A medical lab technician bachelor’s degree is a four year degree specializing in teaching a student many different tests and procedures that doctors, surgeons, nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants order.
This program will prepare you to be a vital part of a health care team who provides healthcare professionals with important clinical information to prevent disease, and to help provide medical diagnoses and patient. This is accomplished by processing human specimens and performing different lab tests.
This degree program also will provide you with skills so that you can handle responsibilities involving processing information, quality control monitoring and training.
Specific outcomes of a bachelor’s degree program as a medical lab technician are:
- Collecting and processing different biological samples for tests
- Monitoring and evaluating QC in the laboratory to ensure accurate results
- Applying modern clinical methodologies, which may include solving problems and troubleshooting
- Correlating lab results to the diagnosis of clinical conditions and diseases
- Doing processing of information at a clinical laboratory
As a student in this bachelor’s program, you will need to complete many projects that are concerned with the daily administrative aspects of working in a lab. These projects will teach you very important job skills in the areas of CLIA and CAP compliance; selection of new instruments; procedure and policy writing; managing a heavy lab workload; comparing test method results; validation; QA practices; and various principles relating to teaching and supervising in the lab.
Typical programs in this field will also provide you with clinical classes in microbiology, blood bank, hematology, and chemistry. In each class, you will focus on vital laboratory competencies that you will either complete in a field location or in your own work environment.
Why Earn a Medical Lab Technician Bachelor’s Degree?
The healthcare field is expanding very rapidly, so much so that the jobs in the entire field will surge by 19% by 2024. This will result in more than three million new jobs being created in the US in that period of time.
More healthcare services are needed because people are living longer, technology is much more advanced, and patients want to live a higher quality life. They are demanding more medical procedures, which requires more healthcare professionals, such as doctors, nurses, and medical lab technicians to perform hundreds of tests that healthcare professionals order.
The field of medical lab technology consequently is experiencing rapid growth as well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS reports that employment for medical laboratory technicians will climb by a robust 14% by 2024. This is much faster than average, and is reflective of the rapid employment growth in healthcare as a whole.
Another great reason to earn this degree is the median pay, which is a very healthy $61,070, with some people with a bachelor’s degree earning more than $80,000 per year.
This also could be an excellent career for those who have the following traits:
- You have a strong attraction to science. Most in this field have a passion for chemistry, biology and physiology.
- You have strong attention to detail. Lab techs have to carefully compile, categorize, code and calculate findings to help doctors reach a diagnosis.
- You like repetition. A medical lab tech’s daily job is repetitive, but this is incredibly important to ensuring lab test results are accurate.
- You like to work in the background. Not every worker wants to be the center of attention, and that is just fine in this field. You can play an important healthcare role and not interact with patients.
- You want a stable career. This career path, as mentioned earlier, is seeing steady job growth, and this should only increase in the future.
Online Degree Options
For those who think they want to work in the medical lab technician field, we recommend that you consider the online Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science offered at Louisiana State University-Alexandria.
This four year, online bachelor’s will prepare you for a very exciting and dynamic career working in such health care environments as hospital clinics and labs, forensic labs, industrial research labs, and biotechnology labs.
This program will provide you with the technical skills that are in such high demand to give critical laboratory results data to doctors to help to diagnose, treat and monitor various health conditions and diseases. Many students can earn their degree in as few as 20 months.
This NAACLS accredited program will teach you the following:
- To demonstrate the necessary affective, cognitive, and psychomotor skills that are needed to fulfill roles and responsibilities as a medical lab scientist.
- To demonstrate the skills to deliver accurate and reliable test results to healthcare professionals
- To demonstrate top tier communication skills, ethics and attitudes that are required of medical lab scientists.
After you complete this program, you should be eligible to sit for an examination to be nationally certified as a medical laboratory technician. To qualify, you also need to have at least two years of related lab work experience.
Your required courses include:
- Advanced Hematology
- Advanced Immunohematology
- Advanced Clinical Chemistry
- Advanced Pathogenic Microbiology
- Molecular Diagnostics
- Professional Practices Seminar II
- Professional Practices Seminar
- Clinical Project: Hematology
- Hematology Practicum
- Clinical Project: Clinical Chemistry
- Clinical Chemistry Practicum
- Clinical Microscopy Practicum
- Clncl Project: Immunohematology Serology
- Immunohematology Serology Practicum
- Clinical Project: Microbiology
When considering a medical lab technician bachelor’s program, it is advised that you ensure that the program has been accredited by a respected accreditation agency.
For the clinical or medical laboratory field, this organization is the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences or NAACLS. This organization is strongly committed to being the top international agency for the approval and accreditation of clinical lab sciences educational programs.
Becoming a medical laboratory technician with a bachelor’s degree is a strong career decision for professionals who have a strong passion for science and working behind the scenes in healthcare. You will enjoy strong job demand and a good salary, and the satisfaction of assisting people to have their medical conditions better understood.
- Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians. (2015, Dec. 17). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Medical-and-clinical-laboratory-technologists-and-technicians.htm
- Weber University. Online Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Technology. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.weber.edu/mls/degrees/online/BS.html
- Rasmussen University. Is a Medical Laboratory Technician Career Right for You? (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/health-sciences/blog/medical-laboratory-technician-career-is-right-for-you/
- Louisiana State University of Alexandria. Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://online.lsua.edu/programs/bachelor-of-science-in-medical-laboratory-science.aspx