Your barber, realtor, electrician and massage therapist are all licensed, but only 12 states in the US license medical laboratorians By Rodney E. Rohde, PhD, David M. Falleur, MEd, and Joanna R. Ellis, MS | Posted on 10 March 2015
Here, they write about the issue and why they think licensure should be mandatory.
When your doctor orders lab tests, are they performed and analyzed by licensed medical laboratorians? If you live in the United States, chances are the answer is no. Medical laboratory scientists (MLS) and medical laboratory technicians (MLT) are licensed in just 12 states.
Just 12 states in the US license medical laboratorians: California, Hawaii, Florida, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Louisiana, Nevada, West Virginia, Montana and Georgia). Puerto Rico also has licensure. (Source: American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science – ASCLS; image by Joanna Ellis)State governments grant licenses in hundreds of other professions. In 2003, the Council of State Governments estimated that more than 800 occupations were licensed in one or more states. Among the healthcare occupations and professions licensed by states are physicians, physician assistants, dentists, nurses, midwives, respiratory care professionals, radiologic technicians, chiropractors, physical therapists, and pharmacists. Among the non-healthcare related occupations licensed by the states are plumbers, painters, general contractors, school bus drivers, barbers, bartenders, dogcatchers, cosmetologists, septic system installers and insurance agents.MLS and MLT professionals provide up to 70 percent of objective patient information to physicians so they can provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan, according to a 2002 study in Clinical Leadership and Management Review titled "The Value of the Laboratory Professional in the Continuum of Care."
Patient history along with physical signs and symptoms are vital, but most diagnoses need confirmation that only laboratory tests can provide. The laboratory professionals also contribute to wellness testing, guiding treatment and monitoring patient progress. It is not an overstatement to say that our professionals provide critical lifesaving information many times over the course of a work day: for example, complex testing to cross-match your blood for emergency surgery, to identify a genetic abnormality of a newborn, or to assist in the diagnosis of cystic fibrosis and cancers like Hodgkin’s disease.
Most people believe that there doctor perform these tests like we see on TV shows like House or Grey’s Anatomy. In fact, you would probably not want your personal physician to do your lab tests because the specialized skills required are not an integral part of the medical school curriculum. Formal coursework training in medical laboratory testing comprises a small portion of the curriculum for most health care professionals. However, for MLS and MLT students, medical laboratory theory for all 1,000+ available lab tests, sources of interference, and connections between test results and diagnoses is the main focus of their studies.
And yet, our profession is not licensed in most states!
For the full article, please click the following link: The Case for Licensure