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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: [email protected].
    • 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

1. Aud S, Fox MA, KewalRamani A 2010 Status and trends in the education of racial and ethnic groups National Center for Education Statistics http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2010/2010015.pdf [accessed 26 October 2011].
2. Barfield JP, Folio MR, Lam ETC, Zhang JJ 2011 Factors associated with enrollment in allied health education programs: development of a predictive scale J. Allied Health 40 82 89 21695368
3. Beigel D 2011 Sept 20 The interview: Douglas Beigel, CEO of COLA trying to sell the lab tech jobs Baltimore Sun http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/bs-bz-interview-douglas-beigel-20110909,0,1131481.story [accessed 31 October 2011].
4. Carnevale AP, Rose SJ, Cheah B 2011 The college payoff: education, occupation and lifetime earnings Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce http://cew.georgetown.edu/collegepayoff [accessed 26 October 2011].
5. Hacker A, Dreifus C 2011 Higher education? How colleges are wasting our money and failing our kids — and what we can do about it St. Martins Griffin New York
6. Kaplan RL, Burgess TE 2010 The Impending Crisis J. Microbiol. and Biol. Educ 11 140 143
7. Kochhar R 2010 After the great recession: foreign born gain jobs; native born lose jobs Pew Hispanic Center http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1784/great-recession-foreign-born-gain-jobs-native-born-lose-jobs [accessed 29 October 2011]. 3069526
8. Landro L 2009 May 13 Staff shortages in labs may put patients at risk Wall St. J. D1
9. Leuty R 2011 Lab worker shortage threatens hot industry San Francisco Bus. Times http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/print-edition/2011/08/26/lab-worker-shortage-threatens-hot.html [accessed 31 October 2011].
11. Linder R 2011 Coping with laboratory workforce shortages [letter] Microbe Wash DC 6 209
12. Malone B 2010 Healthcare reform arrives: how will labs fare in the new era? Clinical Lab. News 36 6 1 4
13. Malone B 2011 Trends in recruitment and retention: how can labs thrive despite the staffing shortage? Clinical Lab. News 37 5 1 4
14. Medical Laboratory Observer 2012 Annual 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.
15. Menand L 2011 Live and learn: why we have college The New Yorker June 6 73 79
16. Miller W 2007 Credentials: what do they really mean? Comparing CLT/MLSs and CLS/MTs Med Lab Observer
17. Rogoski RR 2010 Training tomorrow’s lab techs challenge today’s shrinking faculty Med Lab Observer 42 30 31
18. Rollins G 2012 New paradigms for Hepatitis C virus treatment: will HCV nucleic acid testing be a must for all clinical labs? Clinical Lab. News 38 2 1 7
19. Shinkle K 2010 Best careers 2011 US News and World Report http://money.usnews.com/money/careers/articles/2010/12/06/best-careers-2011-laboratory-technician [accessed 26 October 26 2011].
20. Turgeon ML 2012 Chapter 1: Fundamentals of the clinical laboratory 3 24 Linné and Ringsrud’s clinical laboratory science: the basics and routine techniques 6th ed Elsevier Mosby Maryland Heights, MO

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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v13i2.416
2012-12-03
2019-10-17

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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