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MLS certification questions

  • 1.  MLS certification questions

    Posted 03-08-2018 06:57

    Hello everyone,


    I am currently researching the pros and cons of ASCP categorical Chem and Heme certification vs. MLS ASCP generalist.  Do employers value one over the other, or is it dependent on the employer? 

    We currently train our own techs and because they do not spend enough time in micro or bb during their bench training they must opt for either chem or heme categorical certification.  This does not limit them in their flexibility in the lab as they still circulate to all benches w/ the exception of micro and bb.


    Secondly, what are the pros and cons for certification with AMT?  It seems like AMT has fewer requirements for the certification and is not associated with NAACLS?


    Thank you


    Stephanie Lindvall   


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  • 2.  RE: MLS certification questions

    Posted 03-09-2018 08:19
    ​1. First of, and this is assumed, we hire MLS, MLT, HT and CT and they need to have both the right level of education (i.e. Bachelor or Associate degree depending on the level) and certification.
    2. As an employer with hospital laboratories (large hospitals and critical access), many physician office laboratories and an independent laboratory, we would hire someone with categorical certification but they would then be limited to testing in certain areas.  For example in our independent laboratory there are a number of specialty laboratories they could work in with the chemistry categorical, the same with hematology. This is harder to do in our large hospital and critical access hospitals as our model would require them to work in all areas of the core lab - heme, chemistry, coag, UA, tox  AND BLODD BANK.  It would not work to have a staff person who could not work in Blood Bank in most cases, although easier on day shift.
    3.  Microbiology is really not an issue since we centralize that in one location and staff it 24/7 with people who only work in microbiology.
    3.  We accept  ASCP, AMT certifications because they recognize the same degree level requirements and both require a graduate of an accredited program, the difference as you mention is AMT says "national accreditation agency and ASCP is specific regarding NAACLS.  We hire both and don't see as many AMT applicant for MLS and MLT, but we do hire them.  We hire a lot of CMAs with AMT certification in our clinics.

    Rick Panning
    Senior Administrative Director
    Bloomington MN

  • 3.  RE: MLS certification questions

    Posted 03-09-2018 10:54
    ​Good morning everyone,
    I would agree with what Rick has posted. We hire categorical registry staff and they work only in the area they are registered. We also hire AMT techs. The majority of staff are MLS/MTs in our facility. I have found good quality staff in all areas of certification. I personally feel it is dependent on the person - how engaged they are in the work and the willingness to learn and grow in the field. The different staff accept each other and in fact I don't think the subject comes up for discussion anymore. It used to seem to make more of a difference years ago.

    Victoria Robbe
    Laboratory Operations Manager
    Woodinville WA
    (206) 987-4099

  • 4.  RE: MLS certification questions

    Posted 03-19-2018 03:30
    Your question depends on the state in which you live and if there is a STATE license also.   In my experience ASCP is more nationally recognized and is now accepted in lieu of state licenses for maintaining continuing education.  Generalists can work anywhere, while limited license have limited options.  Here is California requirements:


    Susan Edralin,DBA,MBA,MLS(ASCP)