Wanna answer a question for me?

This post I wanted to take a poll.  This poll – the first in the blog so I hope there are not any technical glitches – is about your current thoughts on the DCLS.  I imagine that if you have gotten this far in following my blog, then you’ve read the posts up until now.  [And it you haven’t, please read them before answering the poll.]

I still get many messages and comments displaying negativity towards this degree and they are entirely from within my own profession.  In my experience at multiple facilities, I have only had one physician … just one cranky really old man … tell me he didn’t need my help.  All of the other physicians I have had the pleasure of working with, across multiple states, are most appreciative of this new available laboratory consultation.  The clinical pharmacists I have worked with are very anxious to have us on each of their teams.  So why the excessive push back from my own profession?

All of my thoughts about the push back from my own profession are merely anecdotal based on my own experiences … and the contents of my email/Facebook/messenger messages.  And while this is not a clearly scientific poll with a validated methodology and planned precision statistical analysis, it would be interesting see if the majority of at least this readership are against it … or do they just bark the loudest.

So here is the question: What do you think of the DCLS?

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5 thoughts on “Wanna answer a question for me?

  1. I absolutely love the idea of the DCLS and see its necessity.
    My thing with the degree is the lack of pathways in the education track. This is understandable since this education track is in its infancy. Working in consultation, infectioys disease, or management are important as well as being in the front lines with the physicians. But i wonder if there will be an education track to perform hard science research in assay or method development.
    In the hard sciences such as chemistry, biology, engineering, and physics, most have no clue of the gravity of our work and the mecessity for properly designed assays and instrumentation to provide the necessary precision and accuracy.
    So my main question is, would there ever be a possibility that a research intensive track will be implemented in the near future?
    Or will it just simply be, management, consultation, infectious disease, and cost analysis?
    This is mainly the reason I wont pursue the DCLS.

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    1. Ed – thank you for your comment! Currently you must have at least a minimum BS degree in clinical laboratory science, medical laboratory science, or medical technology and have generalist certification. At least in the beginning, all of the DCLS will need to be generalists and be able to consult in all areas of the laboratory. Perhaps in the future, once the DCLS is fully established, we will be able to specialize in the different areas. At that time there may be changes to allow those in the hard sciences to go straight into the program without having to get a degree in laboratory science first.

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      1. Thanks for your reply! I think there may have been a slight misunderstanding (I wrote that comment during my night shift and i recently switched to the night). Ive seen most programs accomodate for those who are in hard sciences to obtain an MLS degree and ASCP certification by two routes. Route 1: A postbaccalaureate bachelors or certificate program in CLS/MLS. And Route 2: a masters degree in MLS/CLS for both hard science and CLS degree holders in which hard science degree holders take an extra year to obtain the educational requirements to become competent in the theory and practice of medical laboratory sciences. Now my point was that im not sure that the DCLS offers a research intensive track for those who want to go into the nitty gritty biomedical research sector. So in a way its MLS going into hard science research. After asking a few contacts about the options to do research and seemed very slim to me. Now, for those in the hard sciences it is not too difficult to become an MLS by following tradtional education routes but for us, in MLS/CLS, it is very difficult to obtain an “up front” research position, even with a graduate degree in CLS, and is mostly due to a lack of a research track and almost no experience in research. Us on the other hand have to take almost 2 years of extra course work to be eligible for a hard science graduate program, go through 3-5 years of graduate education (depending on masters or PhD) followed by a post doc, should we choose to do a PhD, in order to even touch an area in hands on research positions. As i have done my search for graduate programs in CLS/MLS, very very few offer intensive research track options in which the student writes and defends a thesis on a research project developed by the student.
        Again, this is my thoughts on it as someone who wants to go into research and develop new methodologies and optimize existing assays with patients safety in mind.

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      2. Ed – The DCLS, at least the program that I am in, does require the completion and defense of research. My research is currently in the documenting of patient outcomes (changes in morbidity and mortality indicators) with the addition of the DCLS to the healthcare team. You are correct that there are very few research intensive MLS/CLS programs available. I think that there is a possibility of a research intensive track that could be developed, however that is likely to be a true PhD and not an advanced practice clinical doctorate like the DCLS. You may be able to get more answers from the program directors at the different universities that offer the DCLS and those that offer a true PhD.

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  2. Hi Brandy!
    It amazes me to hear that you receive most negative feedback from people of our own profession. Most of us don’t like change perhaps that’s why the negativity is from our own people.
    All I hear about, from older techs especially, is the lack of upward mobility, no respect, poor pay …. I think DCLS is an opportunity to change that. To open the eyes of the other healthcare professionals to what we are. To alter how our role is played to an active, participating one. The doctors want it! The patients need it! Don’t let the nay Sayers get you down! Go girl!

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