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Celebrating Medical Laboratory Professionals Week

Brad Willis

This week is National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week! We got in touch with a recent graduate to find dive deeper in the field of medical laboratory science.

Tiffany Colvin is a 2006 graduate of the School of Health Professions at Mizzou in the Clinical Laboratory Science Program. This was the first graduating class contracted with the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Since graduation, she has been able to serve the Columbia, MO community through positions at Boyce and Bynum Pathology Laboratories and the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital. She has recently completed a Masters in Healthcare Administration, and is currently a faculty member of the University of Nebraska Medical Center Clinical Laboratory Science Program as the Clinical Program Coordinator. She said, “The collaborative program at Mizzou continues to grow every year, graduating ethical, competent, professional clinical laboratory scientists.”

The clinical laboratory scientist (CLS) functions as member of a laboratory team, within an integrated healthcare team, to provide the key elements in preventative care, diagnosis, monitoring, improving, and saving patient lives. A CLS performs complex medical laboratory tests quickly and accurately to generate information about what is occurring inside the patient’s body. A CLS is very good at solving problems, detail-oriented, and possesses keen analytical judgment. Most importantly, a CLS is dedicated to quality patient care.

Medical research continues developing new and more efficient laboratory testing and equipment to accelerate test results. With a median annual wage of $57,000 and an expected 52,000 job openings in the next few years, it’s a career in high demand.  Graduates have the option of working in a hospital, physician’s office, reference laboratory, crime laboratory, clinical diagnostics representation for large companies, traveling, management opportunities, and building their education.  Currently, a clinical doctorate is in the works that will put a clinical laboratory scientist at the bedside with the physicians and nurses to educate, interpret, and recommend specific laboratory tests to increase quality patient care and outcomes.

“I love being a CLS!  It’s an exciting, rewarding career full of endless opportunity. We are dedicated to quality, competence, and professional accountability.”

With new legislation and public awareness, quality assurance in healthcare has become a hot topic.  Clinical laboratory scientists are already ahead of the game, as they have always been accountable for quality control, and reliable results. The dedicated efforts of the laboratory professionals working behind-the-scenes are nationally recognized during National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week. It is a great time to increase the general awareness of how critical clinical laboratory scientists are to the mission and vision of every healthcare organization in providing the best patient care.