Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Allied Health Professions

Allied Health Professions

For those of you who majored in biological or chemical sciences and for some reasons did not want to pursue a degree in medicine or dentistry, I do think that you will enjoy this post.  Allied health professions offer some great alternatives. You should therefore not limit yourself. 

What are allied health professions?

Allied health professions are health care professions. Without them, health care delivery would be quite dysfunctional. Allied health professionals are the ones who analyze the specimens that doctors send to the laboratory. They are also involved in direct patient care (respiratory therapist/perfusionist)

Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) is the focus of this post.

Clinical Laboratory also known as Medical Technology (MT) or Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) is a promising allied health profession.   Many students don’t think much or simply don’t know about these allied health professions.

Who is a Clinical Laboratory Scientist?

A clinical laboratory scientist is a health care professional who performs microscopic, immunologic, chemical, hematological analysis on body fluids and other types of specimens. 

Where do they work?

They are employed in hospitals (the majority), doctor’s offices and biotechnology laboratories.


According to the United States bureau of labor and statistics, CLS/MT/MLS who work in hospitals earn an average annual salary of $ 59,000. The top 10% can earn more than $68,000 annually.  

Degree Duration

Students are graduated with a bachelor’s degree (4 years).  Students spend the first 3 years mostly in the classroom.  The 4th year is spent in a hospital laboratory setting where students acquire the skills that will make them marketable to employers.  Once students complete their four-year degree, they become eligible to sit for licensure.  What is great about MT/CLS/MLS Bachelor’s degree is that students do take almost the same pre-requisites that are required for medical school admission.  As you can see, the opportunities are quite immeasurable for those students who later might decide to pursue a graduate study in medicine or dentistry.

For those of you who already have a degree in the biological or chemical sciences, please do not sweat.  If you wish to become a licensed CLS/MT/MLS, the American Society of Clinical Pathology  (ASCP) has put together a track that will prepare you to become eligible to sit for the licensing exam. What is most fascinating is that this certificate program lasts just one year.  You will spend most of that year in the laboratory.  For more information, you can visit the ASCP at the following link: ASCP. 

Things You Should Consider When Choosing a Program:

Make sure the program is approved by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).  For more info, please visit the NAACLS at the following link: NAACLS.
For those of you with a master’s degree in a health related field, you need to pay careful attention to the requirements established by the ASCP for licensure.

I hope you enjoy this post.
Please share it with your friends.

Wedlin Sainval, M.S.M.S.

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