Is working in a medical laboratory a good fit for you? Alverno Laboratories offers insight into the incredible world of Medical Laboratory Scientists and Technicians.
Alverno Laboratories currently manages 26 hospital laboratories and provides laboratory services to two free standing emergency departments as well as thousands of physician offices and other clients in the Midwest.
There are more than 350 laboratory professionals at the facility in Hammond, Indiana, and over 1,600 system wide. The need for Medical Laboratory Technicians (MLT) and Medical Laboratory Scientists (MLS) is ongoing.
“Due to the many hospital sites and the core laboratory that are a part of Alverno Laboratories, there are several opportunities for MLS and MLT graduates,” explained Lori Harty, HR Director. “As more employees leave the workforce than enter, the demand for trained MLS and MLTs will only continue to grow.”
A typical day at Alverno will depend on the area in which someone chooses to work. “For example, if you choose to work as a generalist at a hospital site, your day may include performing work in the blood bank area and the chemistry and hematology area,” Harty said. “If you work in a more specialized area, such as Microbiology or Molecular Biology, your day may consist of identifying pathogens and their patterns of susceptibility to certain drugs or the identification of certain types of cancers based on cell markers.”
High school students and those looking for a more satisfying career can determine if working in a lab is a good choice for them. “If science is a field you are interested in and you enjoy lab work or hands on work, this field may be for you,” she said. “Medical laboratory scientists are the “behind the scenes” people in health care. 70 percent of all diagnoses made come directly from the work of an MLS or MLT. So, this is critical work.”
Harty suggests that anyone interested in this career field start with a college advisor or counselor to discuss education options. There are many websites and videos that help explain the field. “Those still in high school might check into career days,” she said. Alverno frequently sends representatives to speak at local high school and college fairs.
An MLS is a bachelor degreed technologist, while an MLT is an associate degreed technician. Depending on where you work, job responsibilities between the two may or may not differ. Some larger hospitals may require that scientists work in more complex areas such as molecular biology and blood bank.
Many entry level employees at Alverno move up the corporate ladder to become coordinators, supervisors or clinical instructors. Many employees have advanced in their careers and hold positions such as Medical Technology Coordinators, Microbiology Supervisor, General Lab supervisors, Research and development coordinators, clinical instructors, and Laboratory Directors.
Lab technicians and scientists provide great value to the community where they work and live. “Without trained and experienced scientists and technicians, the healthcare community could not exist,” Harty said. “Anemias and leukemias would not be diagnosed or treated, infections would go undiagnosed, and life-saving blood transfusions could not take place.”
If you’re interested in a career that has such a profound effect on the health of your community, start your research today. No matter your age or previous work history, the need for educated and trained technicians and scientists grows every day. Alverno Laboratories hires and trains the best to be the best, providing the highest quality testing to those in need.