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Could I be a health lab technician without attending a college, Can I do an Apprenticeship to still be successful in my career ?

Could I be a health lab technician without attending a college, Can I do an Apprenticeship to still be successful in my career ?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Gage’s Answer

I would highly suggest taking courses available online, edx and coursera come to mind. Coursera especially. They don't take long, and may get you in the door at a very low level job at a facility.
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Aimee’s Answer

Some hospitals and clinics will offer benefits like tuition reimbursement or grants to help students pay for their schooling.

My suggestion would be to start as a phlebotomist at a hospital or clinic near you. Phlebotomists are individuals who draw blood and may collect other samples that are then processed and tested in the laboratory. For phlebotomy you just need a high school diploma. This can get you in the door and you can see how you like the laboratory.

Then if the facility offers some sort of aid you can go to school that way. To be able to test samples you will need some form of formal degree. Either a 2 year medical laboratory technician (MLT) or a medical laboratory scientist (MLS).

There is also cytology and histology which works more with tissue samples and pathologists directly. These also require 2 or 4 year degrees but there may be processing roles that do not require a degree.
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Kathleen’s Answer

Hi, Steven. Laboratory medicine is a
fantastic career. CLIA regulations to qualify for different levels of testing are based on education. Waived waived testing and sample collection require only on the job training and routine competency evaluation. The next step, moderately complex testing is the bulk of routine testing and requires a high school diploma, on the job training and routine competency evaluation. Beyond that, an AA degree in a biological or lab science will give a better grasp of the technical aspects and requirements and higher compensation. If you get started and find that it is indeed your calling, I would highly recommend getting a BS in clinical lab science or a related field. Many facilities will help staff with educational costs as it serves to increase employee satisfaction and retention. As a long time CLS, lab manager and regulatory inspector, one of the most common citations is for staff performing testing for which they are not qualified by virtue of education. So just be sure that you understand and meet the educational requirements for any job that you seek to perform and meet.
Best to you.
Kathie
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