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Clinical/Medical Laboratory Technician


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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 weeks.

"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 technology.

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.