Medical Laboratory Technology

 

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Professional Information

The Profession
A Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT), also referred to as a Clinical Laboratory Technician (CLT), is an Associate Degree graduate. Graduates holding a baccalaureate degree are Medical Technologists (MT), also referred to as Clinical Laboratory Scientists (CLS). The technician performs diagnostic laboratory testing which may include tests in the following areas: hematology, microbiology, clinical chemistry, serology and immunohematology. MLT's work in a variety of laboratory settings (see "career opportunities" below) with lab aides, other technicians, and technologists who may be their supervisors.Back to Top

Career Opportunities
Although many MLTs work in the traditional setting of a hospital laboratory, opportunities exist in other areas including: physician's office laboratories, out-patient laboratories, health department laboratories, medical and industrial research laboratories, cosmetic and pharmaceutical laboratories, environmental laboratories. Graduates may also pursue careers outside of laboratory settings, including sales and technical representatives for laboratory equipment supply companies, computer technology, and careers in the areas of epidemiology and quality assurance.

With further education, MLTs may become educators in MLT/MT programs or administrators of laboratory operations. The MLT-AD also serves as a good foundation for transferal into related science programs leading to the baccalaureate degree such as: Medical Technology, Cytotechnology, Respiratory Therapy, Bioscience, Physician Assistant, Nursing. MLT-AD graduates may also prepare for entrance into Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, and Veterinary Science through completion of a baccalaureate degree.

NAACLS Educational Standards
The MLT program at Farmingdale, as a National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) www.naacls.org accredited program, is committed to preparing graduates that meet the entry-level competencies as revised by NAACLS in 2001. These competencies are published in the Essentials and Guidelines of Accredited Educational Programs for the Medical Laboratory Technician as follows:

The clinical laboratory professional is qualified by academic and applied science education to provide service and research in clinical laboratory science and related areas in rapidly changing and dynamic healthcare delivery systems. Clinical laboratory professionals perform, develop, evaluate, correlate and assure accuracy and validity of laboratory information; direct and supervise clinical laboratory resources and operations; and collaborate in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. The clinical laboratory professional has diverse and multi-level functions in the areas of analysis and clinical decision-making, information management, regulatory compliance, education, and quality assurance/performance improvement wherever laboratory testing is researched, developed or performed. Clinical laboratory professionals possess skills for financial, operations, marketing, and human resource management of the clinical laboratory. Clinical laboratory professionals practice independently and collaboratively, being responsible for their own actions, as defined by the profession. They have the requisite knowledge and skills to educate laboratory professionals, other health care professionals, and others in laboratory practice as well as the public.

The ability to relate to people, a capacity for calm and reasoned judgment and a demonstration to commitment to the patient are essential qualities. Communications skills extend to consultative interactions with members of the healthcare team, external relations, customer service and patient education. Laboratory professionals demonstrate ethical and moral attitudes and principles that are necessary for gaining and maintaining the confidence of patients, professional associates, and the community.

DESCRIPTION OF CAREER ENTRY OF THE CLINICAL LABORATORY TECHNICIAN/MEDICAL LABORATORY TECHNICIAN

At career entry, the clinical laboratory technician/medical laboratory technician will be able to perform routine clinical laboratory tests (such as hematology, clinical chemistry, immunohematology, microbiology, serology/immunology, coagulation, molecular, and other emerging diagnostics) as the primary analyst making specimen oriented decisions on predetermined criteria, including a working knowledge of critical values. Communications skills will extend to frequent interactions with members of the healthcare team, external relations, customer service and patient education. The level of analysis ranges from waived and point of care testing to complex testing encompassing all major areas of the clinical laboratory. The clinical laboratory technician/medical laboratory technician will have diverse functions in areas of pre-analytical, analytical, post-analytical process. The clinical laboratory technician/medical laboratory technician will have responsibilities for information processing, training, and quality control monitoring wherever clinical laboratory testing is performed.

American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science
The Medical Laboratory Technology faculty and staff are committed to upholding the professional standards of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) www.ascls.org as such we adhere to the organizations mission statement, purposes and code of ethics and expect all students to demonstrate the same professional standards.

Mission Statement
The mission of the ASCLS is to promote the profession of clinical laboratory science and provide beneficial services to those who practice it. To enable its members to provide quality services for all consumers, the society is committed to the continuous quest for excellence in all its activities, and:

  • Promotes high standard of practice in workplace
  • Advocates professional autonomy
  • Ensures professional competence
  • Supports worthy educational efforts at all levels
  • Encourages laboratories in their pursuit of expanded roles and responsibilities
  • Enhances the public's understanding and respect for the profession and its practitioners

Purpose
The purposes for which the Society is formed are:

  • To promote standards in clinical laboratory methods and research, and in affiliated fields;
  • To enhance the professional status and image of its members;
  • To create mutual understanding and cooperation among the Society and its members and all other who engaged in the interests of individual and public health;
  • To be responsible for providing educational programs in the clinical laboratory and related sciences and defining standards of competence at all levels;
  • To be responsible for determining entry level requirements and providing for appropriate credentialing;
  • To represent the interests of the clinical laboratory and affiliated professions and the members of the Society;
  • In all government and other forums that affect those interests;
  • To establish and promote ethical standards for the professions represented; and
  • To provide aid and benefit to all members of said professions.

Code of Ethics
As a clinical laboratory professional, I strive to:

  • Maintain and promote standards of excellence in performing and advancing the art and science of my profession;
  • Preserve the dignity and privacy of others;
  • Contribute to the general well-being of the community;
  • Uphold and maintain the dignity and respect of our profession;
  • Seek to establish cooperative and respectful working relationships with other health professionals;
  • I will actively demonstrate my commitment to these responsibilities throughout my professional life.

American Society for Clinical Pathology
The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) www.ascp.org is a not-for-profit medical society organized exclusively for educational, scientific, and charitable purposes. Its mission is to promote the public health and safety by the appropriate application of pathology and laboratory medicine and to serve as the national resource to enhance the quality of pathology and laboratory medicine, primarily by developing comprehensive educational programs and materials.

Board of Registry Certification
The American Society for Clinical Pathology is widely accepted as the most influential leader in the certification of laboratory personnel through its Board of Registry (BOR) www.bor.org/bor/, an administratively independent certification agency. Initiated in 1928, the BOR prepares relevant standards and develops procedures to assure the competence of laboratory personnel. It certifies individuals who meet given academic and clinical prerequisites and who achieve acceptable performance levels on examinations. More than 340,000 certificates have been issued to date. BOR certificants comprise the bulk of the American medical laboratory work force.

Because the MLT program is NAACLS accredited, graduates are eligible to take the national certification examination offered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Registry (ASCP-BOR) directly upon completion of the degree. Passing of this examination designates the graduate as MLT(ASCP), a certification status that is often required for employment in a medical setting. The ASCP-BOR examination pass rate for Farmingdale State graduates has met or exceeded the national pass rate for the past several years.

Go to Certification Examination Application Procedures

Professional Associations - Student Memberships
Both the ASCP (American Society for Clinical Pathology) and ASCLS (American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science) offer student membership at reduced yearly rates. These memberships offer the following benefits to students:

  • subscription to Society journals
  • society newsletters
  • discounts: Society conference fees & publications

Applications for membership in either society may be obtained from the MLT office, or at either of the Society's web sites.