Profile on Medical Laboratory Scientists, A High-Demand, High-Wage Meaningful Career

Greetings from the College of Southern Nevada!

CSN MLS students get plenty of practice in the lab.

I have some great news today about one of the newer programs at CSN, the Bachelor of Applied Science in Medical Laboratory Science. It’s one of two four-year degrees offered at CSN.

The 120-credit MLS degree program includes 16 weeks of clinical work at local hospitals and labs, high-level philosophy, English and statistics courses in addition to clinical laboratory science coursework. CSN expanded and remodeled laboratory space on the Charleston campus to add the program.

The first cohort of students to start the program in 2012 has just finished. They’re ready for the job market.

Martiza Camacho, 52, is one of seven CSN students who finished the program in December. Two more students are scheduled to finish in the spring.

It’s an incredibly popular program at CSN and elsewhere. When UNLV ended a similar program due to budget cuts several years ago, the Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education approved the new program at CSN.

Camacho has been attending classes at CSN for almost 20 years. She said the B.A.S. in Medical Laboratory Science will be her fifth degree.

She said she chose the program because she had recently finished the college’s program in Medical Laboratory Technology, a two-year program, and wanted to continue in the field.

CSN Medical Laboratory students work with the latest equipment.

Both medical laboratory scientists and medical laboratory technicians conduct lab testing, but only those with a bachelor’s degree qualify for supervisory positions. The pay is also considerably higher, with MLTs earning from $13 an hour to $28 an hour and MLSs earning from $20 an hour to $43 an hour. Medical Laboratory Scientists perform and interpret diagnostic laboratory procedures that help detect, diagnose and treat disease.

Heidi Schneiter, the director of CSN’s program, said the demand for medical lab scientists remains high locally, as well. A new group of students begins the program each fall semester.

The program is a limited entry program. For more information, visit www.csn.edu.

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