can a microbiologist become a medical laboratory scientist ((MLS)?


Microbiology is the study of microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, viruses, achaea, fungi and protozoa. This discipline includes fundamental research on the biochemistry, physiology, cell biology, ecology, evolution and clinical aspects of micro organisms including the host’s response to these agents.

It is the scientific study of micro organisms, those being unicellular, multicellular or acellular. Microbiology encompasses numerous sub-disciplines including Virology, Bacteriology, Protistology, Mycology, Immunology and Parasitology. Microbiology is a biological science course under the faculty of science in most universities. The number of years required for the award of the BSc. in Microbiology degree is 4 (four) years.

Can a microbiologist become a medical laboratory scientist?
Can a microbiologist become a medical laboratory scientist? Yes…go back to school to become one

Medical laboratory science is the use of chemical laboratory tests to detect, diagnose, monitor, and treat diseases. Blood, tissue, and body fluids can be chemically analyzed and examined for foreign organisms and abnormalities. A Medical laboratory scientist aims to analyze a variety of biological specimens. They perform scientific testing on samples and relay results to physicians. They use sophisticated clinical equipment like microscopes, cell counters and other high precision equipment to carry out tests in chemistry, hematology, immunology, transfusion medicine, and microbiology.

The decision of a physician regarding a patient’s diagnosis, hospital admission, treatment, and discharge is heavily dependent on a Medical laboratory scientists report. Medical laboratory scientists work in places such as hospital, clinics, forensic and public health laboratories, Pharmaceutical industries, Biotechnology companies, Vet clinics, and research institutions. Medical laboratory science lasts for 4 years in the university.

Yes, in Nigeria a graduate of Microbiology can apply for Direct entry or Post graduate entry to study Medical laboratory science. The knowledge gained studying Microbiology will definitely make studying Medical laboratory science easier as Microbiology is one of the areas under Medical laboratory science. But note that easier does not mean easy, some areas such as Use of clinical equipment, immunology and transfusion medicine may still proffer some level of difficulty.

Most universities accept students with minimum of a 2nd class upper in relevant courses (Microbiology, Biochemistry, Anatomy, etc) for admission to study Medical laboratory science, some schools accept 2nd class lower but this reduces the chances of being admitted. Generally some of the requirements are while each university has unique criterion for admission, you need at least five ‘credit’ passes in English, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology in not more than ‘two sittings’ at O’level to study Medical laboratory science. It is also advisable to visit your proposed school of admission for enquiries. You can get admission by purchasing a Joint Admission and Matriculation Board Direct Entry Form (JAMB DE Form).

As a Microbiologist, after getting your degree in Medical laboratory science, you can move on to do an internship in an accredited laboratory (which may improve future chances of employment), get certified as a Medical laboratory scientist and move on to get experience in the health sector.

Some of the things Medical laboratory scientists can become include;

👉Biological Technician
👉Blood bank Technologist
👉Chemical and Materials Scientist
👉Clinical Chemistry Technologist
👉Immunology Technologist

Shyllon Olayinka Enoch, Undergraduate student of Biochemistry at Obafemi Awolowo University

Twitter; @blackpeggy103

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