Clinical laboratory science, the study and practice of diagnostic laboratory medicine, is a dynamic health care profession. The profession encompasses a variety of laboratory professionals including clinical laboratory scientists, cytogeneticists, cytologists, and histologists. Clinical laboratory professionals provide 70% of the critical objective information for diagnosis, treatment and preventative health care. These individuals analyze body tissues and fluids using complex instrumentation, sophisticated techniques and specialized knowledge.
Clinical laboratory scientists (CLS), also called medical laboratory scientists (MLS) work primarily in hospital, physician office and reference laboratories. They perform many routine and complex tests that help the physician diagnose and treat the patient. For example, they identify infectious agents and interpret antibody susceptibility tests so that physicians know which antimicrobial agent is effective. They perform testing prior to transfusion of a patient and also perform viral cultures and molecular testing.
Here is a link to a 12 minute video entitled “A Life Saved: Laboratory Professionals Make a Difference”. This poignant and moving story about a child with leukemia helps to demonstrate the active and vital role that clinical laboratory scientists and other laboratory personnel play in every lab in the country on a daily basis. View the video.
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