Medical Laboratory Scientists

Medical Laboratory Scientists (MLS) play an important, often unrecognised role in disease diagnosis and the monitoring of patient treatment.  They are responsible for the testing of most samples sent to the diagnostic laboratory by medical practitioners.  Laboratory results produced by MLS are used by medical staff in the diagnosis of disorders in 70-80%% of all patient cases.  This is why a four year university degree is required before you can practise as a MLS in New Zealand. 

There are many automated instruments in today's clinical laboratory.  Scientists are required to have an understanding of laboratory method and theory, possess an ability to troubleshoot problems and be able to interpret laboratory results.  MLS interact with physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other health professionals to explain test results, to answer questions about laboratory testing and to recommend additional testing.  

MLS develop, adapt and apply scientific method to the sample analysis process ensuring high standards of laboratory quality assurance and public confidence in the laboratory results.  MLS are employed mainly in hospital and community pathology laboratories, medical research and animal health laboratories.  Other career options include forensic science, the laboratory supply business, teaching and research in the sciences. 

Medlab Central assists with the education of future Medical Laboratory Scientists by providing clinical placements for fourth year Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science students. The students spend a semester in one of Medlab Central's technical departments putting practical use to the knowledge that they have gained while at University.

Placements typically last for 15 weeks and while unpaid they are an excellent opportunity for students to learn more about their chosen disciplines and get experience in a medical laboratory before they graduate.

Once you have gained your qualification you are then able to become registered with the Medical Laboratory Science Board (MLSB) and hold an Annual Practicing Certificate (APC).

Universities providing the Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science are the Auckland University of Technology, Massey and Otago. Please refer to our Helpful Links page for the universities web

Medlab Central employs Medical Laboratory Scientists in all the technical departments. Roles include managment, specialised testing, staff supervision and training, and shift and call back duties.