Is Medical Laboratory Science a good course in Nigeria? The Career Prospects
IS MEDICAL LABORATORY SCIENCE A LUCRATIVE COURSE IN NIGERIA? THE PROSPECTS
WHAT IS MEDICAL LABORATORY SCIENCE?
Medical Laboratory Science is the bedrock of modern medicine. The search light of medical diagnosis. The Medical Laboratory science profession is a profession encompassing different cadres and categories of professionals with the sole aim of analysing body tissues and fluids in order to detect, diagnose, monitor and treat diseases for a timely recovery and restoration of health.
WHO ARE MEDICAL LABORATORY PROFESSIONALS?
Medical Laboratory Professionals are essential personnels who are part of the medical team of specialists that work together to determine the presence, extent or absence of disease. They perform a full range of laboratory tests, from simple blood screens to more complex tests to detect diseases like cancer, coronary artery disease and diabetes.
They analyse, evaluate and validate laboratory data which is then used by the medical team to make decisions regarding a patient’s medical care. Greater than 70% of all medical decisions are based on the results of a medical laboratory testing.
Basically, there are various personnels in the Medical laboratory profession and they fall into different cadres and categories. They include:
BRANCHES OF MEDICAL LABORATORY SCIENCE
Basically, there are four major (4) branches which have been grouped into various innumerable subdivisions.
MEDICAL MICROBIOLOGY AND PARASITOLOGY
This branch, by far, is the most divided and broad branch of the Medical Laboratory Science. The branch deals with microorganisms. Microorganisms are ubiquitous and are readily present everywhere, be it on the skin, in the nose, the mouth inclusive. Majority of these microorganisms are beneficial, however, quite a number are also capable of causing different kinds of diseases and harms.
These microorganisms include Bacteria, Fungi, Parasites and Viruses. The study of Bacteria is termed Bacteriology, the study of Parasites is Parasitology, for Viruses, it is termed Virology and for fungi, it is called Mycology.
Over 80% of the world’s microbial lives have not been identified and christened, yet the identified microorganisms are more than 10,000. Surprisingly, the microbes that have been properly worked upon are a little beyond 3, 000.
PROSPECTS IN MEDICAL MICROBIOLOGY AND PARASITOLOGY
The sky is the limit for a Medical Microbiologist as microbes are increasingly being discovered. Emergence and re-emergence of disease causing microbes have also enhanced the prospects. A medical microbiologist and parasitologist can work effectively as:
HAEMATOLOGY AND BLOOD GROUP SEROLOGY
This branch of the Medical Laboratory Science profession studies blood and blood products. Blood is essential for life and a bloodless individual is a lifeless individual, hence blood is life.
Haematologists study the blood for pathologic conditions and in ensuring that the cells and substances in blood are in the proportions, a deviation from which will lead to serious pathophysiologic conditions such as cancer.
PROSPECTS IN HAEMATOLOGY AND BLOOD GROUP SEROLOGY
PROSPECTS IN CHEMICAL PATHOLOGY
Histopathology is the branch of Medical Laboratory Science that studies normal and abnormal cells and tissues for the diagnosis of tumors which can be malignant or benign.
It could be cellular, referred to as cytology or tissue based, referred to as histopathology.
It is further divided into histochemistry and immunohistochemistry
PROSPECTS IN HISTOPATHOLOGY
Notwithstanding, just like every other profession, certain skills need to be acquired to adequately perform as a Medical Laboratory Scientist. These are;
Conclusively, the Medical Laboratory Science profession is a goldmine yet to be fully explored and cannot be fully explored in its entirety. It is therefore an error to say the sky is the limit; rather, the skill is a step to a greater galaxy. Medical Laboratory Science is both a good course and lucrative profession.
WRITTEN BY OLANREWAJU AYOADE BABATUNDE
(Medical Laboratory Scientist)
This post was last modified on April 30, 2021 6:31 pm
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