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Clinical Laboratory Science

Wade Redman, Program DirectorClinical laboratory science, the study and practice of diagnostic laboratory medicine, is a dynamic health care profession. 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. http://www.ascls.org/

Clinical laboratory scientists (CLS), also called medical laboratory scientists (MLS) or medical technologists (MT), work primarily in hospitals, physician's offices and reference laboratories. They perform many routine and complex tests that help the physician diagnose and treat the patient. Clinical laboratory professionals seldom have contact with patients because they work more closely with physicians, researchers and other health care professionals in disease investigation, consultation, and interpretation of laboratory results. If you like science, particularly the laboratory, and you want to be a part of the health care team then the clinical laboratory profession may be for you. We welcome you to come and visit our facility and gain some first-hand knowledge of the type of work done in the clinical laboratory.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a rapid growth in the job market for clinical laboratory professionals with excellent employment opportunities. The growth rate for these jobs is projected to be 14% from 2012-2022, with 23,000 new jobs due to increased demand for clinical laboratory testing. This is in addition to positions that will be available due to retirement, change of profession, etc. Due to the shortage of clinical laboratory professionals, graduates from our program have no problems finding jobs. Most have positions before they graduate. The class of 2013 had a 100% employment rate.  The entry level median annual earnings in 2012 were reported to be $47,820. Pay varies widely depending on geographical area, experience level and place of employment. http://www.labsarevital.com/; http://laboratorian.advanceweb.com/

 A student admitted into the Clinical Laboratory Science program must meet basic and essential requirements that are necessary to be able to obtain employment in the field of clinical laboratory medicine.

Essential Functions for this program include:

1.    Mobility:

  1. The student must have adequate gross mobility in order to maneuver in a timely and safe fashion throughout the department.
  2. The student must be able to lift his or her arms above shoulder height in order to place or remove items of ten pound or less from shelves.
  3. The student must be able to bend over at the waist or squat (waist and knees) in order to place and remove items of ten pounds or less from drawers and cabinets.

2.    Manual Dexterity: The student must have adequate fine motor skills to be able to manipulate small objects in a safe and precise manner. Examples would include (but are not limited to) being able to operate a computer keyboard; dial a telephone; handle cuvettes, sample cups, pipette tips, and reagent vials; pick up glass slides from table top, manipulate tools and instruments used in the clinical laboratory (including a microscope); collect specimens, and use a pen or pencil to write the English language legibly.

3.    Auditory Acuity: The student must be able to hear well enough to respond to significant sounds in a clinical lab. Examples would include (but are not limited to) being able to hear the telephone ring; hearing a fire alarm or other warning system; being able to hear signals generated from instrumentation that may indicate normal operating status, critical sample value, or equipment malfunction, and being able to hear and follow verbal instruction from a coworker or supervisor.

4.    Verbal Communication Skills: The student must be able to speak the English language in a manner that is understandable (this being both clear distinct words and adequate volume) to persons on the telephone or other health care workers listening specifically to the student in person.

5.    Visual Acuity to read, write, discern colors, and use a microscope: The student must have adequate eyesight such that he/she can recognize and distinguish gradients of color (such as on a urine reagent strip and special stains), read numbers and English words either on a video display screen, computer printout, or legible handwriting, and interpret lines and points on graphs and charts.

6.    Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative, and Quality Skills: The student must possess the ability to develop and exhibit organizational problem solving skills. Specifically, the student must have the ability to measure, calculate, analyze, interpret, synthesize and evaluate data; have the ability to learn to perform duties and assignments in a timely manner while under stress and in a variety of settings; exhibit the maturity to accept feedback and demonstrate professional conduct in the classroom, laboratory, and at the preceptorship site.

The TTUHSC Clinical Laboratory Science program is a 2+2 university-based program which culminates in the Bachelor of Science degree in Clinical Laboratory Science within one of the three optional areas of special emphasis.

  • Standard Option prepares a student for a career primarily in a clinical setting such as a hospital, physician's office, laboratory, or a reference laboratory.
  • Pre-med Option is for students pursuing a graduate medical education through medical school, osteopathic school, veterinary school, or research graduate programs.
  • Pre-Physician Assistant Option is for students pursuing a graduate education in physician assistant studies.

Another offering of the Department of Laboratory Sciences and Primary Care is a Master of Science in Molecular Pathology. In addition, the program has a partnership with the Master of Science in Clinical Practice Management Program.

Our students consistently score above the national average on the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification examination.  The 2013 first time pass rate was 84% (National average for all examinees was 78%).

Students are required to own or have access to a laptop computer for use in the classroom. Laptops are suggested to have a minimum of 1 GB Shared DDR2 SDRAM, 60 GB hard drive and have wireless capabilities.

The Clinical Laboratory Science Program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), 5700 N. River Road, Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018  (773) 714-8880

The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, masters, doctoral, and professional degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097,or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. The commission should be contacted only if there is evident that appears to support the institution's significant non- compliance with a requirement standard. A member of the Texas Tech University System, TTUHSC has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges as a separate institution from Texas Tech University since 2004. TTUHSC received its reaffirmation of accreditation from SACSCOC in 2009. The next reaffirmation is scheduled for 2019.

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