Few students thrill at the idea of getting up on a Saturday morning to play with petri dishes in a lab, but the ones who were presumably dragged there by well-meaning parents, were glad they did (like this young man on the right)! The Clinical Lab Scientist Day (aka CLS Day) was developed with the University of La Verne to increase awareness about the need for clinical lab scientists and introduce students to the day-to-day responsibilities and skills needed in the field.
We believe strongly in early exposure, so this event was opened to middle school students as well as our high school and college populations. The presenters were top-notch and included keynote speaker, Chongbae Lee, Director of Operations Core Lab, and Robert J. Elazegui, CLS, MSL (ASCP), Operational Manager of Molecular Infectious Disease, who are both from Kaiser Permanente Regional Reference Labs in Chino Hills, Jerome Garcia, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology and Title V STEM Activities Director, University of La Verne, and biology students from the university.
Students learned how to properly use and handle typical lab equipment like microscopes, petri dishes, micropipettes, and electrophoresis chambers while performing basic lab processes including blood typing and analyzing prepared agar gel.
By the end of the morning students were not only awake but more importantly, ENGAGED. They learned about job outlook (very good!), pay, skills needed, and so much more. Students who wish to learn more or pursue a degree in CLS can look right in their own backyard for excellent programs offered by Loma Linda University, Eisenhower Medical Center, and CSU - Dominguez Hills.
- More than 60% of all decisions regarding a patient's diagnosis and treatments go through a CLS?
- The starting salary of a CLS can be as much as $60K - $70K a year!