ASCLS Session: Climbing the Career Ladder
Guest post by Karen Appold
-- During the Wednesday afternoon session, “Career Options for the Medical Laboratory Scientist,” four laboratorians summarized their career paths, some of which deviated from the traditional laboratory setting. They also described rewards and challenges along the way as well as offered advice for climbing the career ladder.
Ann E. Snyder, MT(ASCP), medical technologist, CMS Division of Laboratory Services, encouraged attendees to volunteer for tasks even if they don’t get paid anything extra to do them. Snyder once adopted the role of education coordinator, which paid off in a big way because she was able to move into a higher position when her predecessor left. “It was a phenomenal opportunity,” Snyder said.
William Hunt, MLS(ASCP)CM, SH, administrative director, Laboratory Services, Penn Medicine, offered this advice to lab managers: “Be part of the solution.” When approaching a lab supervisor with an issue, offer three solutions for him or her to choose from.
For Holly E. Bowers, MT(ASCP), senior laboratory specialist, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, multi-tasking in the lab was critical to advancing her career. “I never wanted to be stagnant,” she said. Bowers encouraged listeners to be open to opportunities. She also noted that it’s not only important what you know, but who you know. “Whatever you do, do it right,” Bowers continued. “It is who you are.”
Finally, Scott Aikey, MLS(ASCP)CM, DLM, director, Information Services Department, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, discussed his transition into laboratory information systems. “It was an opportunity for me to grow and learn something new,” Aikey said. Eventually this led to a full-time position in laboratory information systems and after that, a job in hospital information systems.
Ultimately, participants left with a look at what other avenues a medical laboratory scientist can take with their degree outside of the laboratory. In addition to the panelists, moderator Barbara Snyderman, MLS(ASCP)CM, DLM, senior laboratory specialist, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics (pictured), suggested other careers, such as a research technologist, sales representative, sales manager, food technician, production technologist, hotline representative or educator. “The executive vice president of ASCLS and the ASCLS staff are all MLS graduates,” she noted.
Karen Appold is a freelance medical writer and is on site covering the ASCLS 79th Meeting and the ASCLS/AACC Clinical Laboratory Exposition. Visit www.WriteNowServices.com.