Standardizing the Professional Title of Medical Laboratory Professionals
What’s in a name? Everything important to our profession—our professional identity, as well as recognition from the healthcare team, administration, government agencies, and the public. In addition, it affects recruitment to, and retention in, our profession. However, our professional credentials, how we refer to ourselves, how others refer to us, and the job/position titles for similarly educated individuals are not consistent. We refer to ourselves as Medical Technologists or Clinical Laboratory Scientists or Medical Laboratory Scientists, depending on degree program, certification, or job title. It is time we move to one name—Medical Laboratory Scientist.
ASCLS and the ASCP Board of Certification (BOC) recently approved a new position paper, Standardizing the Title of Medical Laboratory Professionals. Read about the impact of multiple professional titles and the Society's official position on moving to a standard name.
Then join us next week for a free webinar to discuss the importance of calling ourselves Medical Laboratory Scientists.
November 18, 8 pm Eastern
The ASCLS House of Delegates adopted a position paper in June 2020, supporting the designation of Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) as the preferred credential title for baccalaureate-level professionals. History shows that new professional titles can take decades to gain full adoption. As we enter the second decade of MLS certificants, we will make the case for why we cannot wait any longer to fully adopt this title. We will offer suggestions for steps to make MLS the recognized title.
- 1.0 Hour of P.A.C.E.® Credit
- Free for ASCLS Members (Non-Members: $10)
- Sign up today; if you can't attend live, register anyway—those who pre-register will receive access to the webinar recording.
December 8, 7 pm Eastern
Speaker: Carolyn D. Burns, MD
This webinar will focus on expanding your scope of knowledge in transfusion medicine and patient blood management through the use of case studies. Learn how to incorporate clinical context, principles of immunohematology, component therapy, and adverse event recognition into daily practice. How to intercede when apparent ethical issues concerning transfusion arise will also be discussed.
Earn 1.0 Hour of P.A.C.E.® credit. Free for ASCLS Members (Non-Members: $10) Sign up today!
January 12, 8 pm Eastern
Labvocacy Briefing for the 117th Congress
Speakers: Patrick Cooney and Jim Flanigan, CAE
Save the date and stay tuned for information on future webinars.
ASCLS is approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences by the ASCLS P.A.C.E.® Program.
Fall Executive Board Meeting
The ASCLS Board of Directors met virtually for its fall meeting on November 6 and engaged in strategic discussions centered around themes that ASCLS officers and executive staff developed after reading reports submitted to the Board. These discussions included the following actions.
- The Board approved the allocation of resources to monitor and assist with MLT and MLS educational programs that are near closure due to the pandemic impacting operational costs at educational institutions around the country.
- The Board approved a new recommendation from the Choosing Wisely Committee, authored by Hannah Ruplinger, which will be moved to our partners at the ASCP Choosing Wisely Committee for their subsequent delivery to the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation.
- The Board committed to working closely with the Diversity Advocacy Council to develop a needs assessment that identifies topics and issues that our members want to hear more about in the domains of diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice.
- To engage our grassroots more effectively throughout the year, the Board approved a second standing meeting of the ASCLS House of Delegates, to be held virtually on Sunday, January 17.
Upcoming CDC Survey of Clinical Laboratories on Surge Testing
On behalf of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Laboratory Systems, Gryphon Scientific and Abt Associates are conducting a national survey of clinical laboratories to understand whether and how laboratories would choose to participate in surge testing during a public health emergency. Laboratories that are certified to perform moderate and/or high-complexity testing under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) are being randomly selected for participation in this survey, to ensure that a nationally representative sample of clinical laboratories are surveyed. If selected, your laboratory will receive a survey invitation letter in the mail between December 2020 and May 2021. The survey will ask about factors that influence your laboratory’s capability, capacity, and willingness to perform surge testing following a chemical, biological (intentional or natural), or radiological incident. CDC and its public health partners will use the survey data to expand partnerships with the clinical laboratory sector and improve surge testing during the COVID-19 pandemic and future public health emergencies.
Gryphon Scientific is also collaborating with Healthcare Ready, the Association of Public Health Laboratories, the Association of American Medical Colleges, and the National Marrow Donor Program on this survey project. If you have questions about this survey or want to learn about additional opportunities to become involved in the project, please contact ClinicalLabSurvey@gryphonscientific.com.
Position Paper Task Forces
As the professional society for laboratory professionals, it is ASCLS' role to generate consensus within the profession on key topics, which take the form of position papers that are adopted by the ASCLS House of Delegates. In many cases, these position papers become the public face of the profession to policy-makers, law-makers, and the public.
ASCLS needs members who have interest and/or expertise in the following areas to work collaboratively to review, revise and/or rewrite the following position papers.
Point of Care Testing
The approaching 117th Congress, and state legislature that will be entering new sessions, are likely to take up these topics. Having a current understanding of the profession's position on these issues is vitally important. Volunteer today!
Call for Nominations
The Nominations Committee is seeking qualified members interested in serving in an elected position beginning in July 2021. If you or someone you know should be nominated, contact Nominations Committee Chair Deb Rodahl by January 15, 2021.
- President-elect (3-year commitment, automatically succeeding to President and Past President)
- Region Directors for Regions III, IV, V, and VI (3-year term)
- Judicial Committee (two positions, one 5-year term and one 3-year term)
- Nominations Committee (two positions, 3-year term)
Learn more about each position's eligibility requirements and duties.
Mentors Wanted for New and Improved Mentorship Program
ASCLS is rolling out a new and improved Mentorship Program this fall. The program pairs up mentors and mentees for one year to create a supportive environment that fosters professional growth and a feeling of belonging and value as a member of the ASCLS community.
New this year the mentor matching is now available all year round through ASCLS Connect, and mentors and mentees can self-select each other through an online process.
Benefits for Mentors:
- Improve your listening skills
- Learn new developments from your mentee
- Give back to the medical laboratory community
- Feel a sense of personal satisfaction
Find, connect, and share experiences with other medical laboratory professionals, while also growing professionally and personally. Sign up today!
Leadership Return on Investment
Watch a video interview with Angela Zellner, C(ASCP)CM, who participated in the 2018-19 ASCLS Mentorship Program, as she describes how her participation in the program assisted in developing her leadership skills in the clinical laboratory.
“If you tap into and take advantage of all these minds that are here—this living, breathing entity—you can have questions answered, you can join committees. There are people who are always willing to tap your brain and get what you have in there to get the word out.”
Discover your potential. Get involved.
CLEC 2021 Features Virtual and Face-to-Face Registration Options
Registration for the 2021 Clinical Laboratory Educators Conference (CLEC) is now open, and a discounted early bird rate is available through December 30.
CLEC is the most impactful annual gathering for faculty, administrators, directors, advisers, and all in medical laboratory education. Content experts will present a wide range of timely topics, providing you with the knowledge and skills to navigate the evolving landscape for the clinical laboratory education community.
CLEC 2021 will be held February 25-27 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel in Denver, Colorado. To respond to the uncertainty that we all currently face, ASCLS is planning this year’s CLEC with as much flexibility as possible. Right now, you have the option to attend CLEC either face-to-face in Denver or virtually through the streaming device of your choice, wherever you are. Reserve your spot today!
Save the Date: Emerging Laboratory Managers Collaborative Conference (ELMC2)
January 15-16, 2021 - Virtual
The most recent ASCP vacancy survey showed that nearly one-third of managers in the core lab planned to retire in the next five years. For some areas like hematology and microbiology, that percentage is higher. As an entire generation of laboratory professionals leave the workforce, younger, less experienced laboratory professionals are being pressed into service in management for positions in which they have received no training. The completely virtual EMLC2 is specifically designed for laboratory professionals transitioning or hoping to transition into management.
ASCLS Members $195/Non-Members $245
Groups of five: $170 each
Groups of 10: $160 each
Groups of 20: $150 each
- 20 hours of P.A.C.E.®-accredited education that will be recorded and available for streaming for up to 30 days after the conference.
- Access to Ask the Expert (ATE) sessions and short-term mentorship
- Educational content in Personnel Management, Culture and Ethics, Operations, Financial Management, Informatics and Automation, and Compliance
Ask Me Anything: Doctorate in Clinical Laboratory Science
Join the ASCLS Ascending Professionals Form (APF) and Developing Professionals Forum (DPF) for this month's Ask Me Anything (AMA): Doctorate in Clinical Laboratory Science (DCLS) on November 23 at 8:30 pm Eastern. This AMA will focus on the Doctorate in Clinical Laboratory Science (DCLS) and will feature current and past students, as well as educators, to answer all of your burning questions. Panelists include current DCLS students Kathryn Golab, MLS(ASCP)CM, and Lindsey Davenport-Landry, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM, among others.
Make plans to join the December AMA: Preparing for Your Certification Exam on December 20 at 8:00 pm Eastern. More details to be available soon.
The APF and DPF host monthly AMAs on a variety of career-related topics to help answer all your burning questions. View a playlist of previous career advice AMAs on the ASCLS YouTube channel.
ASCLS Holidaze Party
You're invited to the first ASCLS Virtual Holiday Party on Thursday, December 17, at 8:00 pm Eastern. Join us for an hour of virtual social breakout rooms including trivia, scavenger hunts, recipe sharing, and much much more. Let's spread some cheer this year with your friends in ASCLS. RSVP today.
New Episodes of Off the Bench Podcast
Have you subscribed to the Off the Bench Podcast yet? New episodes drop the last Friday of each month. Listen in to a lively discussion of scientific and not-so-scientific ideas in laboratory medicine.
The October 30 episode, "Legislation Insights for the Laboratory with Stephanie Noblit," demystified two legislative issues that affect medical laboratory professionals: PAMA and the Laboratory Workforce Shortage. You can even earn P.A.C.E.® credit! Stay tuned for the November 27 episode on transgender patients.
Subscribe to the podcast through Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. Let’s share ideas and talk nerdy.
Tell Your Story in ASCLS Today
The ASCLS Marketing and Communication Committee announce the ASCLS Today 2020-21 Editorial Calendar. Each issue has a theme and detailed description of potential article topics. Articles with topics outside the theme will still be considered for publication.
We encourage all members to consider contributing to an upcoming issue. The most popular ASCLS Today articles are personal stories and opinions from medical laboratory professionals about your impact on patient care and/or the profession. Case studies and career advice are also valued by readers. Contact ASCLS Today Editor Cheryl Caskey with your article ideas or for more information. #TellYourStory
Medical Laboratory Professionals Week
6th Annual ASCLS Lab Week Run
Step out of your labs and into your communities to help spread the word about the medical laboratory profession by participating in the ASCLS Lab Week Virtual Run.
This virtual race can be run at any time during Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (April 18-24, 2021) and can be run anywhere. Participants can walk, use a treadmill, run outside, or even ride a bike to complete the 5K distance (or 3.1 miles).
Race packets will go on sale January 1 with Early Bird Pricing available through February 15. All proceeds go to grants and scholarships that help medical laboratory professionals attend ASCLS meetings, lobby representatives for the profession, and become future leaders in the field.
Race organizers are currently looking for sponsors. If you or someone you know is interested in reaching thousands of laboratory professionals, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congrats to LABOWEEN 2020 Contest Winners
Thank you for everyone's submissions to LABOWEEN 2020! The Membership Committee is pleased to announce Jennifer Cason Busse as the winner of the best lab-themed pumpkin decoration.
The ASCLS Developing Professionals Forum is happy to announce Kailee Genant, a South Dakota State University MLS club member, as the student winner. Congratulations to Jennifer and Kailee!
Thank My Lab People!
It’s that time of year to give THANKS for the ASCLS members making a difference every day. From now until November 30, tell us on social media or the Open Forum which ASCLS member(s) you are thankful for and why. Each person you mention will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $20 gift card! Be sure to include the hashtags #IamASCLS, #Lab4Life, and #ThankMyLabPeople2020 in your post. Happy Thanksgiving!
ASCLS Voices Under 40
Spotlight: Dana (Bostic) Baker, MBA, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM, Kansas City, Kansas
Dana is employed by the University of Kansas Medical Center as an assistant professor where she teaches upper division CLS undergraduate and DCLS graduate courses in immunohematology and advanced laboratory operations. In her role at the University of Kansas Medical Center she is also enthusiastically involved in student advising, mentoring, assessment, and curriculum development.
Dana serves ASCLS in many capacities, most notably as the recent chair of the CLEC 2020 Steering Committee. Previously she has served on this committee as a member and as a member of the Choosing Wisely Task Force. Dana is also a recent presenter of several well received presentations at CLEC and state ASCLS meetings. Read more.
Spotlight: Michelle Renee Campbell MS, MLS(ASCP)CM MB(ASCP), Rochestor, Minnesota
Michelle currently works as development technologist in the Clinical Immunoassay and Clinical Mass Spectrometry Laboratories at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. She describes her role to those outside of the laboratory world as “invent lab tests. I work closely with our laboratory directors and do both the literature review and wet lab work to bring new tests to our clinical laboratories. This involves research into analytes and instrumentation, direct contact with vendors, verification and validation testing, and working hand-in-hand with clinical laboratories to facilitate go-lives. Since the process of developing laboratory assays requires an in-depth knowledge of test methodology and (if applicable) instrumentation, I also serve as a resource for troubleshooting assays once they are 'live' in their respective laboratories. I find this job incredibly intellectually fulfilling, as it requires me to apply my fundamental laboratory science knowledge to create tests from scratch." Michelle also serves as an adjunct instructor of biostatistics for laboratory professionals at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Read more.
ASCLS Voices Under 40 honors ASCLS members who have shown exceptional commitment to the Society, the laboratory profession, and their community at large at a younger age in their professional career. Each month we spotlight the shining voices who were selected from many nominations across the country.
Promote the Profession and Recruit Future Medical Laboratory Professionals
Career Recruitment Tool Kit: A collection of recruitment materials and activities that can be used to assist in giving a presentation about medical laboratory careers.
laboratorysciencecareers.com: Recruitment website with information on careers in laboratory science.
ASCLS YouTube Channel: Includes a number of videos about medical laboratory science and the profession.
Giving Tuesday is December 1
Help build a strong future for medical laboratory science. On this year's Giving Tuesday, December 1, please consider donating to the ASCLS Education & Research Fund, Inc. Established in 1953, the fund supports scholarships for clinical laboratory science students and funds research in laboratory science to be used for pilot studies, preliminary data collection, and early grants for investigators new to research.
Connect: The Community Conversations
Read the recent discussion threads on ASCLS Connect and join the conversations:
- Check out a new feature to post either an "Open-ended Discussion" or a "Question to be answered" in the Open Forum. You can sort threads by type, and you can up vote your favorite responses to questions answered.
- In the Open Forum, a Public Health Master's student received feedback on topics for a thesis or capstone project.
- Members responded to the Chemistry/Urinalysis Scientific Assembly question of the month for October.
- In the Laboratory Administration/Consultant/Quality/Accreditation/Industry Scientific Assembly, members gave advice on using electronic signature for instrument verification data instead of paper.
- The Ascending Professionals Forum shared new blog posts in its Labora-Story blog, including How Has Being a Constituent President Helped My Career? and The Red Queen Hypothesis.
- ASCLS continues to share CDC alerts and updates for laboratories through the Open Forum.
Download the MemberCentric App on your mobile device to get the community conversations and more in the palm of your hand.