A medical laboratory scientist (MLS) is a healthcare professional who performs analyses of different types of fluids and is involved in the preparation and provision of test results.
The different types of analyses include chemical, hematological, immunologic, histopathological, cytopathological, microscopic, and bacteriological diagnostic. The fluids that are worked on may range from blood, urine, sputum, stool, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), peritoneal fluid, pericardial fluid, and synovial fluid to other biological specimens.
A medical laboratory scientist may be required to work in a range of working environments ranging from hospitals, reference labs, and biotechnology labs to non-clinical industrial labs.
The areas where a medical laboratory scientist might be required to work in also vary from the blood bank to the immunology, chemistry, microbiology, histology and hematology labs. The main job of the MLS is to carry out a variety of tests that deal with different diseases and conditions ranging from diabetes and AIDS to even cancer.
The Medical Laboratory Scientist is also responsible for making sure that all tests are carried out accurately and the laboratory findings are compiled properly and reported to pathologists and other physicians. The MLS deals with complex laboratory equipment, machines, and accuracy instruments that cost a fortune. Therefore, the MLS is required to be extra careful and take excessive precautions in their work.
It is estimated that almost 70 percent of all decisions regarding a patient’s diagnosis is determined by laboratory test results. Therefore, the medical laboratory scientist is not only required to provide quick test results but is also required to assure the legitimacy of these results since the information that is provided to the doctor highly influences the type of treatment that the patient receives.
Many students today are wanting to study medical laboratory science. This can be attributed to a number of factors. The demand for medical laboratory scientists is always growing. This is an industry that is often ignored in the medical world, therefore there is a real shortage of high caliber and competent medical laboratory scientists. Students are directing their efforts to this sector to fill that void. Another reason why many students are attracted to this field is that this field is the ideal place for people who want to work in the Sciences but, for a number of possible reasons, are not able to become doctors or practicing medical practitioners. If you like doing lab work, are interested in medical research and want to work in a highly evolving and in-demand industry, then you should seriously consider pursuing a career in the medical laboratory science industry.
You need to remember that the work you do should not only be determined by salary and other such career factors, you should also have a genuine interest in the subject. That is the only way you will be able to make it in your line of work.