Reasons for the Shortage
- The retirement of the aging workforce
- An increase in demand for laboratory services
- Changes in the practice of clinical laboratory science due to technology advances; and
- Vacancy rates that exceed the number of MLS and MLT graduates
Impact of Workforce Shortage on Clinical Laboratory Settings
Impact of Workforce Shortage on Patient Care and Access
Impact of Workforce Shortage on Educational Facilities
ASCLS Position Statements
- ASCLS believes that we will only be able to address the critical workforce shortage of medical laboratory professionals with a coordinated commitment from all stakeholders to include laboratory and medical professional organizations, clinical laboratory and hospital administrations, educational institutions, the laboratory industry, and federal and state government agencies.
- ASCLS supports the need for a congressional study through the U.S. Government Accountability Office to identify the nature of the ongoing workforce shortage in clinical laboratories and the impact on the healthcare system and offer solutions.
- ASCLS supports the expansion of Title VII Authorization, which federally funds education for healthcare professions, to specifically include clinical laboratory science.
- ASCLS supports the continued efforts of the Coordinating Council for the Clinical Laboratory Workforce (CCCLW) in their mission to address the workforce shortage.
- ASCLS supports the CLIAC recommendation that the HHS Secretary issue a recommendation to the US Department of Education to include laboratory science professions in STEM programming so that grant funding opportunities can be made available to our profession.
- ASCLS supports engaging in outreach opportunities that promote the clinical laboratory science profession within middle and high schools, including guidance counselors and science teachers, and partnering with STEM education activities.
- ASCLS supports efforts to improve the visibility of the profession, promote recognition, and showcase the medical laboratory profession as a vital and promising health care career.
- ASCLS believes that clinical laboratory training is an essential part of educating medical laboratory professionals, and innovative ways to provide this clinical laboratory experience should be explored.
- ASCLS supports establishing an electronic clearinghouse for programs to advertise unexpected vacancies in MLS and MLT clinical laboratory training sites.
- ASCLS believes that medical laboratory certification is the benchmark for appropriately educated and adequately trained staff.
- ASCLS encourages members in the profession to undertake research studies, surveys, and to look more closely at existing data to publish information about the state of the laboratory profession, including workforce challenges, patient safety, quality, and the impact of the profession on healthcare.
- ASCLS supports the promotion of the consulting role of laboratory professionals as an integral part of the clinical care team to patients, health care administrators, providers, educators, policy makers, and the public at large.
- ASCLS supports the promotion of the DCLS in addressing gaps in the patient care continuum.
- ASCLS supports the promotion of a career ladder for staff recruitment and retention, as outlined in the ASCLS Model Career Ladder position paper, 2004.
Adopted by the ASCLS House of Delegates on July 2, 2020
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- Compiled from NAACLS annual reports and website information, accessed 2018
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- Personal communication, Edward Rotchford, Accreditation Specialist & Volunteer Services Manager, NAACLS.
- ASCP Board of Certification, Personal Communication
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- Delost, M., et al, Influence of Credentials of Clinical Laboratory Professionals on Proficiency Testing Performance, Am J Clin Pathol 2009;132:550-554
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Task Force Members
Susie Zanto, MPH, MLS(ASCP)CM, SM
Lisa Cremeans , MMDS, MLS(ASCP)CM, SMCM, MBCM
Clinical Assistant Professor
U of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Diane Deutsch-Keahey, PhD, MT(ASCP), SH(ASCP)CM, RD
York College CUNY
Diane Price Banks, MPH, MLS(ASCP)CM
Bronx Community College
Susan Edralin, DBA, MBA, MT(ASCP)
System Administrative Director and Consultant Program
Glenn George, DSc, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM
Laboratory Director and Adjunct Professor
Froedtert South Inc.
Traci Kraus, MA(Ed), MT(ASCP)
Laboratory Education Coordinator
St Elizabeth Healthcare
Ashlee Ketchum, MS-CLS, MLS(ASCP)CM
Holy Rosary Healthcare
Kay Rasmussen, EdD, MLS(ASCP)
Med Lab Science Program Director
Montana State University
Charlotte Romain MS, MLS(ASCP)CM
University of Minnesota
John E Strous, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM
Director Emeritus, Med Tech Program
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Ian Wallace, MLS(ASCP)CM
Medical Laboratory Scientist
Holly Weinberg, MLS(ASCP)CM, SH
ASCLS Region VIII Director & Board Liaison
Adopted by the ASCLS House of Delegates August 2, 2018.