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Refresher courses available for medical technologists. (Letters to the Editor).

I want to reply to the question in the February 2002 MLO asking about information on "refresher" programs for medical technology. I was in the same situation as the writer five years ago. My children were in high school and starting college, and I wanted to sharpen my skills before looking for a job that would utilize the experience I had gained in a hospital laboratory before retiring to raise a family. As I was a graduate of San Francisco State University in medical technology, I knew that it had an internship program for medical technology and a master's degree program, as well as a program for clinical laboratory scientists wishing to re-enter the field. The re-entry students study with those enrolled in the internship program, but they do not go onto the clinical rotation in a laboratory. I was one of three re-entry students in my class, and it was a very satisfying, but rigorous, six months of study.

I am now employed in a position that utilizes my experience in the quality assurance and quality control aspects of clinical laboratory testing as well as the current knowledge I gained in the classroom at San Francisco State University, Center for Biomedical Science, Clinical Laboratory Scientist Re-entry Program. I would encourage individuals who want to sharpen their skills before returning to the work force to contact San Francisco State University or other colleges with internship programs to see if re-entry programs are available.

Mary L. Fowler, MT (ASCP). CLS QA-QC Specialist

California Department of Health Services

Environmental Health Laboratory Branch

Lead Poisoning Prevention Unit

Berkeley, CA

I am writing in response to a recent letter regarding re-entry programs for clinical laboratory scientists. In 1997, I made a decision to return to lab work in California after a 14-year "vacation" to raise my children. As I had let my California CLS license expire, I was required to take the licensure exam again -- a frightening thought! After spending an entire morning on the phone trying to find help, I was pointed to a program at San Francisco State at the Center for Biomedical Laboratory Science (CBLS) under the direction of Dr. Bigler.

As a re-entry student at CBLS, I participated in didactic lectures and practice labs with new students for six months. I would characterize this as an intensive program with in-depth instruction in all of the laboratory segments and abundant opportunity to refine test-taking skills. The friends I made during this time remain close personally and as peer professionals.

Following my re-education, I passed the California State licensure exam and found employment in a biotech company doing molecular testing. I found the challenge of learning and keeping current with new techniques and discoveries to be very stimulating. I have since taken numerous classes, including virology, immunology, molecular biology, statistics, and an on-line course for molecular diagnostics through Michigan State University. I plan to become certified as a specialist in molecular biology at the next testing opportunity. I believe that my efforts are in part responsible for my being promoted to research scientist and being given the task of bringing new, cutting-edge assays into the lab. I enjoy my work immensely and look forward to many more years of challenges and contributions.

I would encourage anyone re-entering this field to check out CBLS at: Center for Biomedical Laboratory Science-SCI 211, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Ave., San Francisco, CA 94132, phone: (415) 338-1696, or online: www.sfsu.edu/~cbls/

Claudia Elkin CLS (ASCP)

Research Scientist

Bayer Diagnostics (Nucleic Acid Diagnostics)

Berkeley, CA
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Publication:Medical Laboratory Observer
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Aug 1, 2002
Words:591
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