Medical Laboratory Professionals Week on April, 2024: Is there a difference between an mlt and an mls?

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Is there a difference between an mlt and an mls?

Medical laboratory technician (MLT) and medical laboratory scientist (MLS) are two certifications offered to laboratory professionals through the American Society for Clinical Pathologists (ASCP). The MLS certification is formerly known as the medical technologist (MT) certification. The ASCP board of certification establishes the qualifications for certifications.


To qualify for the MLT certification, candidates must possess an associate's degree from a National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) program, six college credit hours of chemistry and six college credit hours of biology. Fifty weeks as an U.S. military laboratory trainee may also be counted. Candidates for the MLS certification must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally and NAACLS-accredited MLS program with 16 credit hours of biology, 16 credit hours of chemistry and one semester of math. The ASCP board of certification considers full-time employment in a laboratory setting and an acceptable score on the Collegiate Learning Exam (CLE) in the selection process for both programs. Once the candidate's eligibility is determined, a candidate can schedule an exam with Pearson Professional Center


There is a demand for both programs. It all depends on you. If you are looking for more money, then CLS or MT is the way to go. You also have better chance of landing a job with the MT degree. If you can not afford to take the MT 3+1 course, then the MLT program is a great beginning.

I have been in this field for 10 years, and still love my job. You will see a lot of posts bashing that MLT are nothing more than glorified Lab Assistants due to location, but some of the most knowledgeable people I met were MLT. You can learn a lot from the MLT course.

One difference I do see is that MT positions are generally the supervisor positions.

I have a bachelor's of Biology and went straight into an MT program at UTSW. MLT's do almost the same things as MT's accept MT's have a bit more opportunity for advancement. Some hospitals won't even hire MLT's or they just put them in the same lot as client services.

I think in some situations MTs are more capable and qualified. And I think it is fair they get paid more too. They've had twice the schooling

MLT or MT people are people and deserve to be treated with equal respect. However, there is a difference in education and knowledge between the two certifications.

MLT's always think that they are every bit as knowledgeable and capable as someone with a bachelors degree. Yes, They can do the exact same job and probably perform it just as proficiently most of the time. However, what they don't understand is that when you earn a bachelors degree and pass 400 level Immunology classes where you need to describe step by step the entire complement cascade... Or sit through 400 level Microbiology lectures where you must understand every detail of petidoglycan biosynthesis that you not only have more knowledge of WHY you are running the tests instead of just HOW to run the test, but you also catch more mistakes, more results that don't look right, and have been formally trained how to think and reason through problems in a more sophisticated way.

Any high school drop out or medical assistant can be taught to aspirate a CBC and give the print out to the doctor. However, you need to be educated and trained to understand the importance of QC, and to know that a 60K white count means that you should probably run that CBC a second time.

It is not that an MLT with an associated degree cannot do these things, they can and do, It is just that someone with a bachelors degree can do this better, and has been taught to think and problem solve in a more sophisticated way which has been proven by their ability to get through the exact same very challenging upper division college coursework that dentists, and doctors have taken.

MLT and MT both have their place, and both deserve respect. However MLT's who believe there is no difference between the two, and that the extra 2 years of Biology and Chemistry classes, and the ability to think in a certain way that came from that experience makes no difference are very naive.

How confident are you in the medical professionals that call themselves doctors?

How confident are you in the medical professionals that call themselves doctors?

That's awful. lol

But, I'm not very confident with medical professionals. For instance, when my dad was 19, he had a terrible car accident which left him paralyzed from the waist down with many broken bones and internal malfunctions. Many so-called doctors told my dad that he would never be able to walk again--------about 7 months later, he proved them wrong with just walking with a limp. They also told him that he would never be able to have children either-----he now has 6 children, and they're all his and my moms. That just taught my parents that you can't trust everything that doctors tell you!

Nursing/ Medical Professionals help!!!!?

Nursing/ Medical Professionals help!!!!?

It would depend on why your professor suggested that. Did (s)he suggest that you would be an awesome tutor? That you are so good at teaching that you should make that your career? Or do you think that (s)he was not too impressed with your lab work quality? If you think that you are doing a great job in lab, than I would probably keep on doing that. Depending on the type of work you do there, that will look very good in your resume.

Having said that, you can always do tutoring on the side, if your schedule is not too busy. If you could e.g. do one evening a week tutoring a high school student for 6 months per year, that might fit in your schedule (and earn you some money/resume entries). That way you can work in the lab AND be a tutor.

Otherwise, it is hard to answer without knowing you and your specific situations. It sounds as if you have a sound plan, so for now you should stick to that - but always remain open for some side projects!

Good luck.

Also on this date Monday, April 1, 2024...