Certificate programs in biomedical informatics focus on the intersection of Information Technology (IT) and the healthcare industry. Conversely, biomedical laboratory diagnostics programs focus more on laboratory leadership and sample analysis. Both programs teach students about core issues related to their chosen field, as well as the fundamental skills needed for career success. Additionally, many programs allow students to choose a specialization relevant to their interests and career objectives via elective coursework.
The standard prerequisites for each program type include a field-relevant bachelor's degree that meets minimum GPA requirements. Following program completion, individuals can pursue leadership positions within their respective field of study or pursue graduate degrees in the same subject.
Certificate in Biomedical Informatics
Students who pursue this program can complete the curriculum in a little over one year of full-time study. Concentrations may be offered in medical imaging, public health informatics, clinical information systems, or bioinformatics. Classes introduce the subject of IT and its different applications in the health care industry. Some certificate programs also include instruction on management since many graduates pursue careers as biomedical informatics managers and administrators. Other possible classes include:
- Organizational management
- Introduction to clinical systems
- Organizational behavior
- Health information practice and management
- Ethical and legal issues in bioinformatics
- Computer networks
Certificate in Biomedical Laboratory Diagnostics
This one-year program is generally offered to bachelor's degree holders looking for leadership careers in the field of clinical laboratory science. However, in some instances this certificate may be offered in conjunction with an undergraduate degree in an allied health or science field. Once enrolled, students learn how to handle and analyze various types of samples, as well as implement new standards and protocols in laboratory diagnosis. They also complete coursework in pharmacology, genetics, molecular biology, cell biology, and biochemistry. Other possible class topics include:
- Immunodiagnostics and clinical applications
- Complications of transfusion
- Biomedical laboratory operations
- Health sciences physiology
Job Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), the employment of medical records and health information technicians, including medical informatics professionals, is expected to increase by 15% between 2014 and 2024. The median annual salary, also reported by the BLS, was $37,110 as of May 2015.
The employment of medical and clinical laboratory technologists, including biomedical laboratory technologists, is expected to increase by 14% from 2014 to 2024, according to the BLS (www.bls.gov). The annual median salary among all medical and clinical lab technologists was $60,520 as of May 2015.
Both 12-week biomedical laboratory diagnostics and biomedical informatics certificate programs are instrumental in learning the skills for effectively working in your chosen profession, whether it involves IT related matters or managing laboratory procedures.