Review what to look for when choosing a school for online studies in clinical laboratory technology. Then review what these programs might require, such as internships, what courses they typically offer and where you might find them.
How to Select an Online Clinical Laboratory Technician School
Students considering online clinical laboratory tech schools must make their decision based on several key factors. Online programs for students interested in clinical laboratory technology are available at a number of accredited colleges and universities. Due to the hands-on requirements to enter the field, online programs typically require some on-campus training and additional internship experience before a student can graduate with a degree. Students must then weigh the technical requirements of the program.
Online degree programs offer students a variety of enrollment options, such as full online immersion, low-residency (hybrid) or self-paced program. Online immersion programs provide course instruction though video, voice and e-mail correspondence and don't require students to visit campus for classes. A hybrid program requires students to spend part of their time on-campus and offers more hands-on training opportunities. Due to the necessary hands-on experience and technical know-how required for clinical technologists, most online programs in clinical laboratory technology are hybrids.
Some schools require that students complete an internship; this will provide them with a chance to gain experience in a professional laboratory setting.
Online programs require high-speed Internet to accommodate the transmission of large text files, video and multimedia lectures and presentations. In order to access special online features or complete assignments, students may need to acquire additional hardware and software such as a microphone or a printer.
Online Program in Clinical Laboratory Technology
Online Associate of Applied Science in Medical Laboratory Technology
Students must complete a minimum of 15 credit hours in liberal arts before they can begin taking laboratory technology courses, such as hematology, chemistry, and microbiology, utilizing online lectures, textbook reading assignments and online presentations. Students will be expected to supplement online lectures and course material with on-campus training in clinical laboratory procedures. Graduates will need to pass a certification exam before they can obtain a job in the field. Typical on-campus courses include:
- Immunohematology principles
- Biomedical core
- Human anatomy and physiology
Schools with Online Programs in Clinical Laboratory Technology
Weber State University offers an online Associate of Applied Science in Medical Laboratory Science program that is designed to train currently employed lab professionals to advance to medical laboratory technician positions. After earning this degree, students are prepared to take the ASCP MLT certification exam. Graduates from this program may also apply to the Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science program offered at Weber State. This bachelor's degree program may also be completed online and prepares students to advance to careers as laboratory scientists. In these programs, you will be required to complete the hands-on laboratory training at the laboratory where you work.
SUNY Broome has a online clinical laboratory technician program that can be completed in three or four semesters. The last semester involves completing 360 hours of clinical training at a hospital laboratory affiliated with the program. At the end of the program, students take part in a seminar class that prepares them for certification and licensing exams. After graduation, students are awarded with an associate's degree.
There are a number of schools offering online programs to those wanting to pursue careers as clinical laboratory technicians. These programs, which most commonly lead to an associate's degree, are often geared toward working lab professionals and may include clinical training in a hospital laboratory.