A Medical Laboratory Scientist is a medical scientist who studies or has studied the components of blood, tissues and body fluid. The course involved here is generally referred to as ‘Medical Laboratory Science’ (MLS).
This career is usually laboratory based as Medical Lab Scientists always work in the lab to run tests. A Medical Lab Scientist is a little different from a Laboratory Technician (MLT), though both professions know a lot about body fluids and tissues. A Technician is usually limited to the laboratory tools and equipment while a Lab Scientist supervises the Technician.
Have you been to a hospital for a check up or to run a test, if so you must have met such. The Lab Scientist carries out tests like DNA test, blood group and genotype test, and every other test that involves tissues, blood or body fluid samples.
To study Medical Laboratory Science/Technology in Nigeria, one has to have a basic understanding of Mathematics, Chemistry and Biology. The UTME combination is Use of English, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. One must have also acquired a minimum of 6 O’Level credits in science for either NECO SSCE, WASSCE or NABTEB.
A’Level can also be used to study MLS/MLT in Nigeria. You can also check the JAMB brochure for all the requirements. To apply for Medical Laboratory Technology / Science as a Direct Entry candidate, you require: Two ‘A’ level passes chosen from Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
Universities offering Medical Lab Science in Nigeria
You can earn a B.Sc, M.Sc or Phd in Medical Lab Science/Technology in any of the following universities in Nigeria;
- Bayero University Kano (BUK)
- Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU)
- University of Calabar (UNICAL)
- University of Lagos (UNILAG)
- University of Maiduguri
- University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN)
- Usman Dan Fodio University
- Igbinedion University, Okada (IOU)
Where can a Medical Lab Scientist work?
Medical Laboratory Scientists, even after acquiring just a B.Sc can work in various medical or research industries.
- They can work in government agencies (EFCC and ICPC) as forensic scientists in identifying criminals.
- They can also work for NGO’s that carry out tasks involving body fluid and tissue samples.
- Private/public Hospitals and Clinics where tests are carried out (tests like malaria, typhoid and other blood related tests).
- They can set up private laboratories (this is very common in Nigeria as there are medical laboratory in every corner)
- In the tertiary institutions, they can take up a profession as lecturers.