Demand for medical lab scientists increases due to COVID-19, ISU sees 100% job placement rate
By Tori Parks, Marketing Career Path Intern | August 27, 2020
POCATELLO – Idaho State University’s medical laboratory science program has always been an essential degree in the medical field, but the onset of COVID-19 has created an even greater demand for these medical professionals.
It is because of this high demand that 100% of ISU graduates in the medical laboratory science program are employed in the field or in a closely related field immediately after earning their degree.
“We have certification pass rates consistently above the national average,” said Rachel Hulse, director and assistant professor for the medical laboratory science program at ISU.
ISU’s medical laboratory science program is unique because they offer both a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree, along with offering coursework that is available fully online.
Medical laboratory science has always been a critical occupation, but now more than ever laboratory scientists are needed. Because physicians need a laboratory confirmed test to prove that a person has a COVID infection, medical laboratory scientists are often referred to as “the doctor’s doctor.” Tests are commonly processed around the clock in busy labs, which adds to the demand.
“In a 24/7 lab, a full crew of appropriately trained laboratory scientists are working non-stop,” Hulse said. “Eighty percent of all medical decisions that doctors and other primary health care providers make are based on the information that we are giving them back in the lab.”
Though medical lab scientists are important, they are often forgotten in the medical field.
“Medical lab science is a critical, though often hidden profession,” Hulse said. “There’s a lot of need for medical lab scientists, even before COVID.”
The application for Idaho State University’s medical laboratory science program will open in October and is due at the end of February. The admitted cohort will start the program at the beginning of the following fall semester.