How to Be Clinical Laboratory Scientist - Job Description, Skills, and Interview Questions

Clinical Laboratory Scientists (CLSs) play an important role in the healthcare field. By performing accurate and precise laboratory testing, they enable physicians to diagnose and treat diseases. CLSs are responsible for collecting, analyzing and interpreting patient samples, such as blood, tissue and other bodily fluids.

The results of their tests provide vital information for the diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of medical conditions. As a result, CLSs help save lives by providing timely and accurate laboratory results. Technology advancements have improved the speed and accuracy of laboratory testing, allowing CLSs to provide more precise results in a shorter amount of time.

This has allowed for faster diagnosis and treatment of diseases, leading to improved patient outcomes.

Steps How to Become

  1. Earn a Bachelor's Degree. In order to become a clinical laboratory scientist, you will need to earn a bachelor's degree in medical laboratory science, laboratory science, clinical laboratory science or a related field.
  2. Obtain Certification. After earning your bachelor's degree, you will need to obtain certification as a clinical laboratory scientist. To be eligible for certification, you must have completed an accredited medical laboratory science program and have taken an exam administered by the Board of Certification of the American Society for Clinical Pathology.
  3. Acquire Professional Experience. After you have obtained your certification, you will need to gain professional experience in the field. This experience can be gained through internships or clinical rotations at a medical laboratory.
  4. Obtain a License. Depending on the state you live in, you may also need to obtain a license in order to practice as a clinical laboratory scientist. Requirements for licensure vary by state, so it is important to check with your local government for specific licensure requirements.
  5. Pursue Continuing Education. Clinical laboratory scientists are expected to stay up to date on the latest advances in the field. Therefore, it is important to pursue continuing education in order to stay abreast of new developments. You can pursue continuing education through courses or workshops offered by professional organizations or universities.

The advancement of medical technology and clinical laboratory practices is an ongoing process. In order to stay up-to-date and remain competent in the field of clinical laboratory science, it is important to stay abreast of the latest developments through continuing education courses, attending conferences, and reading up on industry news. Continuing education courses allow clinical laboratory scientists to expand their knowledge base and become more proficient in their field, while attending conferences provides an opportunity to network and learn from experts in the field.

reading industry news can provide insights into the most recent trends and advances in clinical laboratory science. In order to remain competent, it is essential for clinical laboratory scientists to stay up to date with the latest developments in their field.

You may want to check Laboratory Instructor, Forensic Laboratory Technician, and Quality Assurance Laboratory Technician for alternative.

Job Description

  1. Operate, maintain and troubleshoot laboratory instrumentation and equipment.
  2. Perform laboratory tests to detect, diagnose and monitor diseases.
  3. Monitor quality assurance programs and procedures to ensure accurate laboratory results.
  4. Develop, validate and implement new laboratory tests and procedures.
  5. Evaluate laboratory results and ensure accuracy of results.
  6. Provide consultation services to physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals.
  7. Perform research activities to improve laboratory performance, accuracy and reliability.
  8. Maintain accurate records of test results and other pertinent data.
  9. Comply with safety regulations and standards in the laboratory.
  10. Participate in continuing education activities to remain current in the field.

Skills and Competencies to Have

  1. Knowledge of laboratory equipment, methodology, and safety procedures.
  2. Ability to accurately interpret results and make decisions based on scientific findings.
  3. Ability to follow laboratory protocols and maintain quality control measures.
  4. Understanding of laboratory information systems and how to enter data into them.
  5. Knowledge of regulatory standards and guidelines for clinical laboratories.
  6. Understanding of the principles of laboratory management.
  7. Ability to troubleshoot and resolve technical problems.
  8. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  9. Ability to work effectively in a team environment.
  10. Sound judgment and decision-making skills.

A Clinical Laboratory Scientist (CLS) is an important healthcare professional who is responsible for performing and assessing lab tests. To be successful in this role, a CLS must possess a wide range of skills, including strong analytical skills, excellent attention to detail, and the ability to effectively collaborate with other healthcare professionals. With these skills, the CLS can accurately perform laboratory testing to help diagnose, monitor, and treat various medical conditions.

Furthermore, their accurate results can help prevent and detect diseases, as well as assist in creating effective treatment plans. Thus, the skill set of a CLS is essential to providing quality healthcare services to patients.

Laboratory Assistant, Veterinary Laboratory Technician, and Laboratory Technician II are related jobs you may like.

Frequent Interview Questions

  • What experience do you have working in a clinical laboratory setting?
  • Describe a successful laboratory experiment you have completed.
  • How do you ensure accuracy of laboratory results?
  • Tell me about your experience with laboratory safety and quality control procedures.
  • What techniques do you use to analyze samples in the laboratory?
  • What methods do you use to troubleshoot instrumentation issues?
  • How do you stay up to date on the latest clinical laboratory technology?
  • What challenges have you experienced while working in a clinical laboratory?
  • Describe a time when you had to manage multiple projects within a given timeline.
  • What do you consider to be the most important qualities of a successful Clinical Laboratory Scientist?

Common Tools in Industry

  1. Analytical Instruments. These are machines and tools used to measure the concentration of chemical substances or particles in a sample. Examples include spectrophotometers, chromatographs, and mass spectrometers.
  2. Microscopes. These tools are used to magnify small objects or cells in a sample. Examples include optical microscopes, electron microscopes, and scanning probe microscopes.
  3. Centrifuges. These are machines used to separate substances based on their density or size. Examples include benchtop centrifuges and ultracentrifuges.
  4. Sample Preparation Tools. These tools are used to prepare samples for analysis. Examples include liquid handling systems, homogenizers, and cell lysis systems.
  5. DNA Sequencers. These are machines used to analyze the sequence of a sample's DNA. Examples include capillary electrophoresis systems and next-generation sequencing systems.

Professional Organizations to Know

  1. American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS)
  2. American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP)
  3. American Association of Bioanalysts (AAB)
  4. National Credentialing Agency for Laboratory Personnel (NCA)
  5. Clinical Laboratory Management Association (CLMA)
  6. American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA)
  7. Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL)
  8. International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC)
  9. American Medical Technologists (AMT)
  10. National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS)

We also have Laboratory Technician, Laboratory Scientist, and Laboratory Chemist jobs reports.

Common Important Terms

  1. Hematology. The branch of medicine that deals with the study of blood, its components, and related processes.
  2. Microbiology. The branch of biology that studies microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa.
  3. Immunology. The branch of biology that studies the immune system and its response to foreign substances.
  4. Cytology. The branch of biology that studies cells, their structure, and their functions.
  5. Clinical Chemistry. The branch of medicine that focuses on the measurement and analysis of chemical substances in the body.
  6. Molecular Diagnostics. The use of molecular biology techniques to diagnose disease.
  7. Histology. The branch of medicine that studies tissues and their microscopic structure.
  8. Urinalysis. The examination of urine for the diagnosis and treatment of various diseases and conditions.
  9. Virology. The branch of medicine that studies viruses and their effects on human health.
  10. Clinical Pathology. The branch of medicine that studies diseases and their causes at the cellular level.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of degree do I need to become a Clinical Laboratory Scientist?

To become a Clinical Laboratory Scientist, you will need to obtain a Bachelor's degree in Medical Laboratory Science or a related field.

What kind of skills do Clinical Laboratory Scientists need?

Clinical Laboratory Scientists must have strong analytical skills, be detail-oriented, possess good problem-solving and critical thinking abilities, and possess excellent communication and organizational skills.

How long does it take to become a Clinical Laboratory Scientist?

It typically takes 4 years to complete the educational requirements to become a Clinical Laboratory Scientist.

What kind of salary can I expect as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a Clinical Laboratory Scientist is $52,330 per year.

What are the job duties of a Clinical Laboratory Scientist?

The job duties of a Clinical Laboratory Scientist include performing and overseeing laboratory tests, analyzing test results, maintaining laboratory equipment, reporting accurate test results, and adhering to safety protocols.

Web Resources

Author Photo
Reviewed & Published by Albert
Submitted by our contributor
Laboratory Category