The curriculum is designed to provide the student with the theoretical and practical knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary for competence at career-entry as a graduate medical laboratory scientist. Although job responsibilities vary, graduates will be able to:
- Perform clinical laboratory tests commonly encountered in a mid-size hospital laboratory in the areas of Chemistry, Hematology/Hemostasis, Immunohematology, Immunology/Serology, Microbiology and Molecular Diagnostics; discern the acceptability of patient samples for testing, assure the accuracy and precision of test results; perform and assess quality control results and verify test results; identify and resolve commonly encountered equipment problems, perform preventive maintenance measures; comply with acceptable safety procedures; evaluate procedures, equipment and laboratory products as to practicality, usefulness and feasibility based on the availability of specific resources;
- Assist with the development and evaluation of test systems and interpretive algorithms; correlate test results with patient data recognizing the need for additional (reflex) and/or more specific testing; create and/or interpret algorithms, flowcharts, etc. which aid in differential diagnosis;
- Have responsibilities in analysis and clinical decision-making such as recognizing and resolving issues related to pre-analytical, analytical and post-analytical steps of the testing process; apply strategies to impact proper test utilization; promote the use of cost effective laboratory tests;
- Recognize applicable regulations (CLIA, HIPAA, FDA, state of PA) and participate in laboratory compliance efforts; acknowledge accreditation standards (Joint Commission, CAP, AABB) and the laboratory's role in meeting these standards;
- Demonstrate knowledge of educational methodologies by selecting appropriate strategies depending upon the learners (patients, health care providers, laboratory staff, classmates and/or faculty);
- Identify quality assurance measures and participate in performance improvement activities in the clinical laboratory;
- Demonstrate communication skills in order to consult with other members of the health care team, to educate the general public and to assist patients via acceptable customer service interactions;
- Use basic knowledge of laboratory financial, operational, marketing and human resource management to understand the need for cost-effective, high-quality, value-added laboratory services in today's health care systems;
- Utilize a laboratory information system and recognize the significance of information technology in providing timely and accurate laboratory services; and
- Evaluate published research studies in regard to acceptable research design as an informed consumer and review refereed journals pertinent to medical laboratory science.
Upon successful completion of the program, each graduate is presented with a certificate of completion. The graduate's college will award a baccalaureate degree, if appropriate. The graduate is then eligible for certification as a medical laboratory scientist by passing a national certification examination. Information on the ASCP Board of Certification Exam is supplied during the clinical year. The student will decide whether to become certified. Certification is a means of verifying career-entry competence; it is desirable in many job circumstances and in pursuing post-graduate education.
The certification agency for laboratory professionals is the ASCP-Board of Certification (ASCP-BOC). From 2011-2014, 100 percent of our graduates have passed the certification exam on their first attempt. Typical scores have been well above the national average.
The program cannot guarantee job placement at WellSpan York Hospital. However, program graduates are given preference for employment with the Department of Laboratory Services if positions are available. Other employers may contact the program when they have employment opportunities available. The program will assist with job placement whenever possible.
Graduates of the program have found employment in various laboratory settings:
- 76% hospital labs
- 9% reference labs
- 7% pharmaceutical/industrial labs
- 1% physician office labs
- 7% other