What is Medical Laboratory Science?
Medical Laboratory Scientists are important health care providers that perform laboratory analyses used in the diagnosis and treatment of disease and maintenance of health. Because of the demands of this career, Medical Laboratory Scientists receive extensive education and training using biomedical analyses and complex instrumentation. Medical Laboratory Scientists typically receive their degrees in Microbiology or Biology.
Bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi are isolated from patient specimens and identified.
Blood Banking (Immunohematology)
Compatible blood products are identified for patients needing blood, platelets, or plasma.
Blood serum, plasma and body fluids are analyzed for metabolites such as cholesterol, glucose, and electrolytes.
Whole blood and body fluids are analyzed electronically and examined microscopically for abnormal cells and diseases of the blood.
What is the Montana Medical Lab Science Program?
The Montana Medical Laboratory Science (MMLS) Training program was developed in 2008 as the result of Workforce Development funds becoming available through the Montana State Legislature. In addition to the grant from the state, many hospitals also contributed money, equipment, and time to help make the program possible. The program has helped to alleviate the critical need for medical laboratory scientists in the state of Montana, especially in rural communities. The program accepts students from MSU, University of Montana, and Montana State University-Billings. The program is also accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS).
Key Aspects of the MMLS Program:
- The program trains 15 students each year.
- Students train during the summer at MSU and then move to one of eight hospitals for two semesters of clinical laboratory training.
- The program requires tuition and lab fees and students receive 37 credits over three semesters.
- Students participate in a two week rural rotation near the end of their clinical training.
- Students can complete their training in four years and become certified Medical Laboratory Scientists and work in clinical laboratories throughout Montana.
- The fully accredited program has already helped to alleviate a critical healthcare workforce need in Montana.
- From the inception of the program we have had a 100% Graduation Rate, B.O.C Pass Rate and also Employment Rate.
- Our students score 30-40 points above the average for University Based Programs for the B.O.C Certification Exam.
- Is this the career for me?
Is “science” considered one of your strengths? Have you thought about going into the medical field, but didn’t think nursing or medical school was for you? Are you looking for a career that is exciting, rewarding, and always evolving? Medical Laboratory Science is a multi-dimensional field that requires a sharp mind, willingness to help others, and continuous learning. While most Medical Laboratory Scientists work in hospital laboratories, many are employed in clinics, physician offices, commercial laboratories, research facilities, veterinary clinics, public health facilities, criminology/forensic laboratories, the armed forces, clinical research labs and the Peace Corps.
How long does this program take?
MMLS trainees can be career ready in 4 years. Students from MSU can enroll in the Medical Laboratory Science option in Microbiology. Their fourth year consists of a year-long clinical training program which includes a summer semester at MSU-Bozeman and two semesters in a Montana hospital. At the satisfactory conclusion of their clinical year, students will receive their diploma as well as a certificate of completion of training. Students can also obtain training after they have received a degree as long as prerequisite preparatory course have been obtained (see link below). Students with degrees also have the option of attending clinical training in other licensed locations. At the end of their training, they are eligible to take a national registry exam to become a board certified Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) which qualifies them to work in Montana laboratories or other clinical laboratories in the nation. There is a very high demand for new Medical Laboratory Scientists in Montana and elsewhere so this career provides many employment opportunities in a large range of settings.
How do I apply
Application materials and additional information for the Montana Medical Laboratory Science Training Program:
- Preparatory Courses (Word .doc)
- About the Program - Cover letter & Application Guidelines from the director (Word .doc)
- Application Form (Word .doc)
- Applicant Evaluation Form (Word .doc)
- Essential Functions (Word .doc)
- Background and Drug Testing Policy
Please also refer to our curriculum requirements for Plan A and Plan B under the Medical Laboratory Sciences Option.
You can find additional information about all of our programs by contacting MMLS Director, Barbara Hudson at (406) 994-5664 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or by visiting the following links: MSU and UM.,