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Educating Medical Laboratory Technologists: Revisiting Our Assumptions in the Current Economic and Health-Care Environment

    Author: Regina Linder1
    VIEW AFFILIATIONS HIDE AFFILIATIONS
    Affiliations: 1: Medical Laboratory Sciences Program, Hunter College of CUNY, New York, NY 10010
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 03 December 2012
    • Corresponding author. Mailing address: Medical Laboratory Sciences Program, Hunter College of the City University of New York, 425 East 25 St., Box 619, New York, N.Y. 10010. Phone: 212-481-5114. Fax: 212-481-4506. E-mail: rlinder@hunter.cuny.edu.
    • Copyright © 2012 American Society for Microbiology
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2012 vol. 13 no. 2 150-154. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v13i2.416
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    Abstract:

    Health care occupies a distinct niche in an economy struggling to recover from recession. Professions related to the care of patients are thought to be relatively resistant to downturns, and thus become attractive to students typically drawn to more lucrative pursuits. Currently, a higher profile for clinical laboratory technology among college students and those considering career change results in larger and better prepared applicant pools. However, after decades of contraction marked by closing of programs, prospective students encounter an educational system without the capacity or vigor to meet their needs. Here discussed are some principles and proposals to allow universities, partnering with health-care providers, government agencies, and other stake-holders to develop new programs, or reenergize existing ones to serve our students and patients. Principles include academic rigor in biomedical and clinical science, multiple points of entry for students, flexibility in format, cost effectiveness, career ladders and robust partnerships.

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Hepatitis C
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Hepatitis A
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References & Citations

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3. Beigel D2011Sept 20 The interview: Douglas Beigel, CEO of COLA trying to sell the lab tech jobsBaltimore Sunhttp://www.baltimoresun.com/business/bs-bz-interview-douglas-beigel-20110909,0,1131481.story [accessed 31 October 2011].
4. Carnevale AP, Rose SJ, Cheah B2011The college payoff: education, occupation and lifetime earningsGeorgetown Center on Education and the Workforcehttp://cew.georgetown.edu/collegepayoff [accessed 26 October 2011].
5. Hacker A, Dreifus C2011Higher education? How colleges are wasting our money and failing our kids — and what we can do about itSt. Martins GriffinNew York
6. Kaplan RL, Burgess TE2010The Impending CrisisJ. Microbiol. and Biol. Educ11140143
7. Kochhar R2010After the great recession: foreign born gain jobs; native born lose jobsPew Hispanic Centerhttp://pewresearch.org/pubs/1784/great-recession-foreign-born-gain-jobs-native-born-lose-jobs [accessed 29 October 2011].3069526
8. Landro L2009May13Staff shortages in labs may put patients at riskWall St. J. D1
9. Leuty R2011Lab worker shortage threatens hot industrySan Francisco Bus. Timeshttp://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/print-edition/2011/08/26/lab-worker-shortage-threatens-hot.html [accessed 31 October 2011].
11. Linder R2011Coping with laboratory workforce shortages [letter]Microbe Wash DC6209
12. Malone B2010Healthcare reform arrives: how will labs fare in the new era?Clinical Lab. News36614
13. Malone B2011Trends in recruitment and retention: how can labs thrive despite the staffing shortage?Clinical Lab. News37514
14. Medical Laboratory Observer2012Annual salary survey. How does your salary measure up?http://www2.mlo-online.com/features/201203/lab-management/annual-salary-survey-for-2012-how-does-your-salary-measure-up.aspx.
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16. Miller W2007Credentials: what do they really mean? Comparing CLT/MLSs and CLS/MTsMed Lab Observer
17. Rogoski RR2010Training tomorrow’s lab techs challenge today’s shrinking facultyMed Lab Observer423031
18. Rollins G2012New paradigms for Hepatitis C virus treatment: will HCV nucleic acid testing be a must for all clinical labs?Clinical Lab. News38217
19. Shinkle K2010Best careers 2011US News and World Reporthttp://money.usnews.com/money/careers/articles/2010/12/06/best-careers-2011-laboratory-technician [accessed 26 October 26 2011].
20. Turgeon ML2012Chapter 1: Fundamentals of the clinical laboratory324Linné and Ringsrud’s clinical laboratory science: the basics and routine techniques6th edElsevier MosbyMaryland Heights, MO
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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v13i2.416
2012-12-03
2017-09-26

Abstract:

Health care occupies a distinct niche in an economy struggling to recover from recession. Professions related to the care of patients are thought to be relatively resistant to downturns, and thus become attractive to students typically drawn to more lucrative pursuits. Currently, a higher profile for clinical laboratory technology among college students and those considering career change results in larger and better prepared applicant pools. However, after decades of contraction marked by closing of programs, prospective students encounter an educational system without the capacity or vigor to meet their needs. Here discussed are some principles and proposals to allow universities, partnering with health-care providers, government agencies, and other stake-holders to develop new programs, or reenergize existing ones to serve our students and patients. Principles include academic rigor in biomedical and clinical science, multiple points of entry for students, flexibility in format, cost effectiveness, career ladders and robust partnerships.

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