Article written by CEMP's team
Do you know what the areas of specialization in medical laboratory science are? If you’re interested in this field of work, it’s important that you are familiarized with its main specializations, so that you can get the training you need.
If you have focused on studying sciences and are curious about this topic, but aren’t sure what it entails exactly, in this article you’ll be able to find a detailed explanation of it.
The context of a clinical laboratory is truly varied and presents a multidisciplinary approach. As such, it must generate a structure divided in multiple specialized fields.
All in all, and before we go right into the matter, it might be interesting to first provide a basic definition of what it means when we talk about clinical laboratories.
Clinical laboratories are centers dedicated to the analysis of biological samples. At these centers, professionals coming from different scientific fields (laboratory technicians, auxiliaries, analysis, chemists, doctors, pathologists, biologists, biochemists, biotechnologists…).
Their functions include the study, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human illnesses.
As such, laboratories represent a fundamental tool for collective health today. We might find them both as part of the public sector (for instance, within public hospitals) and private initiatives (in private hospitals or different entities or companies).
Besides, the importance of clinical analysis hasn’t stopped growing in recent years and continues increasing globally, so that it represents a promising field of study where job opportunities abound.
As we mentioned above, there are numerous areas of specialization in medical laboratory science and clinical analysis.
Some laboratories offer an integral service, which encompasses a wide range of activities from ordinary analysis to the most sophisticated tests. Others, on the contrary, are specialized in particular areas.
As such, whether they follow a single management or they act as independent services, the main areas of specialization in medical laboratory science include the following:
This area of specialization in medical laboratory science involves the study of blood and its related tissues (for instance, the bone marrow), as well as the prevention and treatment of illnesses linked to its production.
This area mainly involves tests of blood compatibility, morphology and coagulation, the hemogram being one of the most demanded ones.
The following areas can be found within this specialization:
This area of specialization uses different processes for the measurement of chemical components, both as liquid blood fractions as well as urine, and applies testing techniques for their analysis.
As such, it mainly focuses on ordinary blood chemistry and general urine analysis. Let’s go through its main areas:
Within the various areas of specialization in medical laboratory science, microbiology is useful for detecting infectious illnesses, mainly through the study of prokaryotic organisms (bacteria…) and eukaryotes (fungi…).
Typically, this specialization is divided in the following areas:
This area of specialization in medical laboratory science focuses on the analysis and diagnosis of pathologies related to the immunological system, in order to quantify those antibodies related to certain illnesses.
The most common tests in immunology include HIV, COVID-19, chickenpox, herpes, hepatitis, rubella, celiac disease, etc.
It’s then divided into three main areas:
This specialization offers the needed support for the diagnosis, forecasting and treatment of diverse pathologies that are hereditary or present a genetics basis.
Let’s see the two main areas within this field:
Now that we’ve seen the main areas of specialization in medical laboratory science, you might be interested to know what are the needed studies to become a professional in this field. Keep reading to find out.
If you are looking for the right training to develop your professional career in one of the areas of specialization in medical laboratory science mentioned above, there are many different educational itineraries that can help you achieve it.
As such, most of the people working in the technical or facultative areas within a clinical laboratory have been originally trained in the field of medical sciences. Then, they have typically undertaken a postgraduate course or a Master’s degree.
When it comes to the medical doctors involved, we can find people who pursued high education in medicine, pharmacy, chemistry, biology, biochemistry… Normally, they’re the ones in charge of managing and organizing the laboratory or one specific section of it.
On the other hand, the technical and auxiliary staff is in charge of undertaking the specific tests according to each area of specialization, managing materials, writing reports and communicating the results.
All of the universitary profiles cited above may work as a laboratory scientist, if he or she has completed their specialized training in the field.
However, there’s also a specific option within the National Diploma programs in the UK, such as the BTEC Level 1 Diploma in Applied Science, which may lead to Level 2 Certificate or Level 3 Diploma, which trains students to work in this field.
If you have a university degree related with the medical sciences, there are different ways you can become a specialist in clinical analysis.
Thus, you can do this through different courses, Master’s degrees or postgraduate programs taught at diverse universities, schools and study centers, both through on-site and online programs
Today, e-learning allows you to combine study and work or any other educational sources. This way, you’ll be able to go through the study program at your own pace, free to organize your time for the maximum comfort.
As such, at CEMP we offer our Master’s degree in laboratory science that facilitates online learning and the following additional characteristics:
Now that you know what the areas of specialization in medical laboratory science are, it’s surely easier for you to choose a field of study and complete your education and training.
All in all, the field of clinical analysis remains an area with a high labor demand, so that it will be an extraordinary option to develop a long, productive and fascinating career.
If you want to learn more about our Master’s degree and its study program, don’t hesitate to ask us for more information without any compromises. We’ll be happy to help you!
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