What to Expect
Medical laboratory science programs allow students to get involved in the
behind-the-scenes happenings of the health-care world.
Carl Tan took a bachelor of science (BS) in medical laboratory science.
He says first-year MLS students typically go to school from 8 to 5, Monday
to Friday. "There are lectures in the morning and early afternoon and a
lab session in the afternoon," he says.
Eventually, students spend up to eight hours a day in the lab. At Tan's
school, students focus on a certain lab subject -- like hematology or chemistry
-- for 10 weeks at a time. Then they move on to the next one for another 10
"The material and theory that you've learned really come together to form
a more overall picture," says Tan.
Tammy Morgan graduated from Navarro College with a degree in medical laboratory
During the program, says Morgan, the time and energy required to attend
labs and lectures every day of the week can "get pretty hectic."
Homework, she adds, consists of going over the handouts and reading material
from the day's lectures. However, some students are able to take in enough
information during the day to avoid having to read at night.
Morgan is one of the lucky ones. "Personally, I didn't require a lot of
studying," she says. "But some people will be home every night studying. It
depends on what type of learner they are."
How to Prepare
Tan says that high school students should "definitely stress the science
options -- biology and chemistry."
Outside of school, says Tan, medical lab science hopefuls can volunteer
with blood banks. This will prepare them for the hematology portion of the
program and expose them to a lab environment.