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How a Master’s Degree Can Improve Your Clinical Lab Skills

Thursday, March 16, 2017 | 12:00 AM

A Master of Science in Health Sciences (MSHS) in Clinical Laboratory Sciences degree prepares lab managers to tackle the rigors and responsibilities of managing a team of clinical lab technicians. From pathophysiology to the clinical applications of molecular diagnostics, an MSHS gives students the necessary clinical lab skills to become effective lab managers capable of performing virtually any lab test.

Gaining a Foundation With Pathophysiology

Understanding the pathophysiology of disease is the first in a series of steps leading to an effective treatment. Students in an MSHS program learn about the pathophysiology of disease to explore the factors that produce changes in normal cellular and tissue functions. They also learn about related physiological changes associated with normal human aging and exposure to disease conditions. Lab managers use their knowledge to train their technicians, giving them a framework to understand how each protocol works and why the results are significant.

Advanced Practice in Clinical Diagnostics of Infectious Disease

Many lab tests are more than a simple breakdown of numbers. Results can be a specific chemical reaction or the growth of a bacterial colony in a medium. It takes many years of study to interpret a reaction. For some clinical diagnostic tools, the tests have become so ubiquitous in modern medicine that researchers have been able to simplify the tests enough to delegate certain tasks to technicians. An MSHS program will instead emphasize differential diagnosis and how to correlate initial microbiology results with other laboratory tests to narrow down the list of possible infectious agents. This is a crucial task, especially if a patient is allergic to certain antibiotics, is already on a treatment plan that will put a strain on the body, or has a known adverse reaction to certain cocktail treatment regimens.

Staying Abreast of Cutting-Edge Research

Finally, an MSHS teaches clinical lab managers how to use the latest research to make adjustments and improvements in the lab. MSHS courses will explain why there is more to research than publishing results. A paper’s results may be significant within the scope of their own study but may not have a similar impact in a different setting. A shrewd reader will study the methods closely to identify confounding factors for their own use. If, after careful examination, the research holds firm, then the lab manager can begin planning the implementation of the research’s findings into their own lab.

An MSHS degree program prepares lab managers with many practical and theoretical skills necessary to run an effective lab that performs well today and is capable of evolving into a better lab as new research is published. A master’s degree also prepares lab managers with more in-depth knowledge of the underlying chemistry and biology associated with each test and protocol, arming them with the tools they need to train their staff.

Learn about University of Texas Rio Grande Valley MSHS in Health Sciences in Clinical Laboratory Sciences online program.


MedlinePlus: Laboratory Tests

U.S. Food & Drug Administration: In Vitro Diagnostics

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