The medical laboratory science (MLS) field requires knowledge in the physical and biological sciences. Having the proper skill set is also important.
Our program will give you the knowledge and experience to develop these skills.
Having good research and analysis skills will help you gather information, analyze data from multiple perspectives, and effectively communicate conclusions.
MLS professionals help run the lab. This includes managing people and administrative aspects.
To ensure a successful lab, MLS professionals manage and improve laboratory practices, quality control, and safety. They also teach students and other health care personnel proper laboratory practices.
Attention to Detail
MLS professionals conduct, confirm, and verify laboratory test results. These tests often have complex steps and variables. Paying close attention to detail is essential to ensure test results are accurate. This skill also helps you recognize and identify problems so you can help find a solution for a patient's health.
The MLS field relies a lot on technology. You'll need to know how to operate, maintain and troubleshoot a number of clinical instruments.
Computer skills are also beneficial. Operating systems are used to input and retrieve data, and to analyze information.
Career Industry Liaison
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Meridee Van Draska
Being Successful in the Field
Medical Laboratory Scientists work in hospital laboratories and many other settings, including:
- Research labs
- Blood Banks
- Public health (state and community) departments
- Environmental testing labs
- Veterinary and zoo labs
- Forensics (state and municipal crime labs)
- Infection Control labs
Medical Laboratory Science majors at Illinois State have found success in the field.
RoDina Williams, 2010, has a professional role in Infection Prevention. She says the MLS program at Illinois State taught her valuable skills.
In addition to the development of critical thinking abilities, I learned invaluable skills from the MLS program including interpreting laboratory results and deciphering complex antibiotic profiles that determine resistance mechanisms. These skills are essential when monitoring patients for hospital associated infections. I am forever grateful for all that I learned as a student in the MLS program. With this knowledge, I am able to use laboratory data to implement Infection Prevention strategies.
Kimberly Nicklas, 2017, is the Lead Clinical Laboratory Scientist in the Mycology and Mycobacteriology lab at Mayo Clinic. Her time in the program taught her how to be a leader.
The Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) Program at Illinois State University challenged me with rigorous coursework while enabling me to gain hands-on experience in the medical field. This program equipped me with the skills to develop into a leader within the Mycology and Mycobacteriology Laboratory at Mayo Clinic.
Victoria Gustafson, 2018, was a Medical Laboratory Scientist at OSF Medical Center before starting medical school. She says our program helped her prepare for an incredible journey.
Being in the MLS program at ISU has helped prepare me for where I am now in more ways than I can count! I learned tons of important clinical information and had clinical experiences that prepared me well for medical school. I wouldn't be where I am now without the MLS program at ISU.