Tracing our roots: a new era in clinical laboratory science education.

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Clinical laboratory science : journal of the American Society for Medical Technology

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OBJECTIVE: To describe the emergence of laboratory personnel at the technician and assistant levels and discuss educational issues that arose between 1962 and 1977. DESIGN: A survey of literature on the history of clinical laboratory science (CLS) was conducted. References consulted include various books and professional journals. CONCLUSION: Advances in scientific and medical knowledge and the development of new technologies created new roles and responsibilities for medical technologists (MTs) in the areas of education, research, and laboratory management. At the same time, the certified laboratory assistant (CLA) category was established as a means of providing competent personnel to work in physician office laboratories and small community hospitals in lieu of a certified MT. The growth in popularity of two-year colleges and the availability of federal funding for the development of allied health programs led to the establishment of yet another category of laboratory personnel: the medical laboratory technician (MLT). These developments prompted educators to modify their CLS curricula, develop educational programs at the CLA and MLT levels, and provide opportunities to CLAs, and MLTs for upward mobility. Furthermore, once the Board of Registry (BOR) established the baccalaureate degree as the prerequisite for MT certification, educators also began to restructure and more closely integrate the academic and clinical components of MT programs.

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