May 12, 2017
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Hello,

Please excuse me for it is my first time posting on these forums but for as long as I've been in college I've known I wanted a lab position in the sciences. Im currently enrolled in a great public 4 year university that offers a medical technology program that is highly competitive. I have not applied for the major considering I am just now finishing up my pre-reqs, but I spoke with the academic advisor of the program over the phone and she said C letter grades won't cut it. Looking back at my pre-req science courses so far I have

Gen Bio I B
Gen Chem I B-
Gen Chem II B-
Cell Bio A
Evolutionary Bio C+
Human Physio C
Orgo I / II (not taken yet)
Biomed Microbiology (not taken yet)

While they certainly aren't the best grades, I have the option to retake courses but that does eat up some time. Ideally I'd like to work as a medical lab technician and complete a bachelors degree, ending up being in a specialized field. From the looks of it I am a little discouraged and am wondering if it is wise to consider going to a community college and get an associates in two years in their clinical lab technician program. I would be able to get right into the core classes (since I have a good amount of science classes taken) and get experience in hospitals and labs, and get certification in phlebotomy and take the national MLT exam.

On the other hand if I do stay at my university, fall semester I would complete more science pre-reqs, and apply to the program and see if I got accepted or not for the upcoming spring semester. From the sound of it the chances do not seem to be in my favor, and only a handful of students get into the program. I will not make any decisions until I directly speak with the academic advisor in person, but I really would like to know if anyone has any advice on what would options I should consider or what would be a smart route to take. I am fully prepared to dedicate myself to academia and don't envision a career in anything other than working in a medical laboratory.

Logically I think It would have been ideal to start off at community college and have gotten my associates and an entry level position at a local hospital (and further my education to a bachelors later on), but life does not always work as smoothly as planned. If anyone out there is in a similar situation or has any experience in the medical laboratory field that can offer any advice- I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you!
 

wholeheartedly

Epi Geek
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Yeah, those grades won't cut it for the four year Medical Lab Science program. Just a note on the terminology "technician" always refers to the two year cert. while "technologist" and "scientist" refers to the 4 year, with scientist being the newer more preferred term to keep us from getting confused with non lab medical assistant type medical technicians. I don't know what the reqs and gpa criteria are for the two year MLT.

It's a good field though. Lots of cool things going on now.

I would talk to your local advisors and see if having some work experience as an MLT would allow you the option to go back for the four year degree even if your grades aren't stellar. The problem with the two year is it really limits your options for career growth and specialization. I had some rock star former colleagues that only had the two year and despite being experts on their areas, they didn't qualify for promotions even though they taught all of our technical specialists.
 
Last edited:

Futurecareerinmedicine

2+ Year Member
Apr 23, 2017
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Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hello,

Please excuse me for it is my first time posting on these forums but for as long as I've been in college I've known I wanted a lab position in the sciences. Im currently enrolled in a great public 4 year university that offers a medical technology program that is highly competitive. I have not applied for the major considering I am just now finishing up my pre-reqs, but I spoke with the academic advisor of the program over the phone and she said C letter grades won't cut it. Looking back at my pre-req science courses so far I have

Gen Bio I B
Gen Chem I B-
Gen Chem II B-
Cell Bio A
Evolutionary Bio C+
Human Physio C
Orgo I / II (not taken yet)
Biomed Microbiology (not taken yet)

While they certainly aren't the best grades, I have the option to retake courses but that does eat up some time. Ideally I'd like to work as a medical lab technician and complete a bachelors degree, ending up being in a specialized field. From the looks of it I am a little discouraged and am wondering if it is wise to consider going to a community college and get an associates in two years in their clinical lab technician program. I would be able to get right into the core classes (since I have a good amount of science classes taken) and get experience in hospitals and labs, and get certification in phlebotomy and take the national MLT exam.

On the other hand if I do stay at my university, fall semester I would complete more science pre-reqs, and apply to the program and see if I got accepted or not for the upcoming spring semester. From the sound of it the chances do not seem to be in my favor, and only a handful of students get into the program. I will not make any decisions until I directly speak with the academic advisor in person, but I really would like to know if anyone has any advice on what would options I should consider or what would be a smart route to take. I am fully prepared to dedicate myself to academia and don't envision a career in anything other than working in a medical laboratory.

Logically I think It would have been ideal to start off at community college and have gotten my associates and an entry level position at a local hospital (and further my education to a bachelors later on), but life does not always work as smoothly as planned. If anyone out there is in a similar situation or has any experience in the medical laboratory field that can offer any advice- I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you!

So I have worked as a Medical Technologist before. It is a great field that with a lot of job openings if you have your ASCP Certification. Most employers prefer you to have certification. So the thing is , I was in the same position as you a few years ago and I did not think I would get accepted to these highly competitive Medical technologist programs. Instead, I majored in Biology, graduated and got really lucky to find a job as a Med tech trainee. So you can be lucky enough to find a job without any ASCP but its extremely hard. So you could just major in Biology and graduate and then try to find a job as a Med tech orrr, go to community college and do the clinical lab tech program. The good thing bout this program is that you can be eligible to take your ASCP certification which is what you need to get a job as a Med technician anywhere. I think it would be very wise of you to go with this plan. If you can get in to the clinical lab tech program , you should do it and that way you could get your ASCP certification.

Note that once you are an MLT or medical lab technician, you are eligible to apply for the Medical technologist generalist ascp certification with two years of experience and completion of a bachelors degree in science.

Refer to this below for ascp certification website:

ROUTE 2: MLT(ASCP) certification, AND a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college/university, including 16 semester hours (24 quarter hours) of biological science (with one semester in microbiology), 16 semester hours (24 quarter hours) of chemistry (with one semester in organic or biochemistry), one semester (one quarter) of mathematics, AND two years of full time acceptable clinical laboratory experience in blood banking, chemistry, hematology, microbiology, immunology, and urinalysis/body fluids in the U.S., Canada or an accredited laboratory* within the last four years.


Once you get your ASCP certification, you can always go back to school to get your Bachelors in Biology or science while you are getting your required two years of experience . After you complete a bachelors in any science you can become an MT with ASCP certification!! I hope this helps :)

Just FYI: Without certification in MLT , If you had just gotten your bachelors in biology, you would need five years of full time acceptable clinical laboratory experience in blood banking, chemistry, hematology, microbiology, immunology, and urinalysis/body fluids in the U.S., Canada or an accredited laboratory* within the last ten years. Its much easier to find a job with the certification. So the other option would be much safer and wiser option.
 
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