As medical technology advances, medical laboratory scientists must stay up to date on the latest techniques and technologies. Continuing education (CE) courses offer laboratory scientists an opportunity to remain current in their field, learn new skills, and earn credentials that can lead to career advancement. Keep reading to learn more about the importance of continuing education in the medical laboratory science field.
What level of education is required to work in a medical laboratory?
Medical laboratory science is a vital and growing field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the number of jobs in this field will grow by 16 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Certain laboratory positions may require a graduate degree, such as a masters of medical laboratory science, or even a Ph.D. in a scientific field.
Many medical science laboratory positions require at least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant scientific field, such as biology, chemistry, or laboratory science. Additionally, many medical science laboratory positions require certification from a professional organization such as the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) or the American Medical Technologists (AMT).
To keep up with the latest advances in medical technology, medical laboratory professionals must continue their education after completing their degree programs.
How do medical laboratory scientists benefit from continuing education?
Laboratory scientists play a vital role in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. To provide the best patient care, laboratory professionals need to keep up with advances in technology and new methods of diagnosis. This can be done through continuing education courses offered by professional organizations such as the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) and the American Medical Technologists (AMT).
ASCP requires medical laboratory scientists to earn 36 hours of CE credit every three years to ensure they are current on the latest laboratory techniques and procedures, which can help them improve their work performance. It also helps them maintain their certification, which is required in most states. In addition, continuing education can help laboratory professionals build their network and learn about new opportunities in the field.
How can medical laboratory professionals obtain continuing education credits?
Many colleges and universities offer continuing education courses for medical laboratory professionals. These courses cover a wide range of topics, including molecular diagnostics, genomics, proteomics, and point-of-care testing. They also provide updates on changes to CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) regulations and best practices for managing a medical laboratory.
In addition to taking classes, many laboratory professionals stay current by reading journals and attending conferences sponsored by professional organizations such as ASCLS (American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science) or NACB (National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Biochemistry). Medical laboratory scientists can also earn continuing education credits by publishing articles or lecturing at professional meetings.
What are the challenges of continuing education?
Medical laboratory science graduates face many challenges when it comes to continuing their education. One of the main challenges is that most laboratory professionals work full-time and some have families, which makes it difficult to find time to attend classes or workshops. In addition, some medical laboratories are located in rural areas, making it difficult for laboratory professionals to travel to attend classes.
Another challenge is that the cost of continuing education can be prohibitive for some medical laboratory scientists. Many professional organizations offer scholarships and grants, but these are not always available or accessible to everyone. Additionally, the cost of textbooks and other course materials can add up quickly.
Overall, the importance of continuing education for medical laboratory scientists is evident in the quality of care that patients receive. By staying up to date on the latest techniques and procedures, medical laboratory scientists can ensure that patients receive accurate and timely results.