How to Become a Clinical Laboratory Scientist

ACP Lesson Plan 

How to Become a Clinical Laboratory Scientist
Lara J. Nichols
Grade Level(s): 10-12Total Time: 3, 45 minute class periods

Overview / Description: Ever wonder what happens to those vials of blood drawn at the hospital for your lab work? What about when you have a swollen, red, raw throat? Who runs those tests that the doctor orders? What is involved in running those tests? Here is where we dive into the world of the Clinical Laboratory Scientist (CLS).

Learning goals/objectives:

After completing this activity, students should be able to . . .

Correctly identify the skills and education needed in order to become a Clinical Laboratory Scientist

Have basic knowledge of the duties of a Clinical Laboratory Scientist

Workplace Readiness Skill: (place an X in front of all which apply)

    Social Skills  X  Communication 
X    Teamwork     X    Critical Thinking
 X  Attitude and Initiative  X  Planning and Organization
 X  Professionalism    Media Etiquette

Content Standards:

WI Common Career Technical Standards

CD4.c.5.h: Maintain appropriate dress and behavior for the job to contribute to a safe and effective workplace/jobsite.

CD3.b.5.h: Evaluate the relationship between educational achievement and career development.

CD3.a.12.h: Evaluate changes in local, national and global employment trends, societal needs and economic conditions related to career planning

CD2.a.4.h: Determine those opportunities that best support attainment of a specific career goal.

Wisconsin Health Science Standards:

HSF2.a: Apply the concepts of effective verbal and nonverbal communication in the healthcare industry.

HSF4.b: Examine healthcare opportunities to develop a quality career plan.

HSF7.a: Explain principles and practices of infection control in healthcare.

HSF7.b: Describe personal safety procedures and equipment used in healthcare settings.


YouTube video links: (What is a Medical Laboratory Scientist??); (A Day in the Life of a Medical Laboratory Technician); 

Links to Education Programs in the area: (Medical Laboratory Science Program - Northern Michigan University) (Various links to medical lab scientist education requirements from UW Madison) (Medical Technology degree UW Oshkosh)

Links to classroom activities/ lessons/ units: (a whole series of activities to investigate an illness outbreak in a hypothetical situation -- from the NIH website) (another great resource from the NIH) (an EXCELLENT one time purchase activity that the students absolutely LOVE!! Each student is given their own "patient", and they must diagnose the illness, given the protocol laid out before them. It is a great student activity that takes 2-4 class periods, depending on how much of the activity that you incorporate) (This is an entire UNIT, that is downloadable as a pdf!! For this lesson, I use lesson 2 "Disease Detectives", where students are separated into 3 groups "Laboratory Scientist", "Field Researcher" & "Physician", and ultimately they will collaborate to pool their information they have gathered to diagnose the patient. Great stuff!!)

Learning Activities:

Describe each step of the learning activity including strategies that will be used to meet the learning objective.

WHO (T=Teacher Focus Lesson; WG=Whole Group\; SM=Small Group; I=Independent)

Learning Activity Task                                                WHO is responsible
for this step?
Approximate time
for task
Disease Detectives (NIH lesson #2)Teacher led, then student driven1-2 45 min class periods
Wrap up Disease Detectives-tudents + Teacher< 1 class period
Lab Scientist InvestigationTeacher/ Student Discussion15 minutes
Education Requirements of the CLSStudents15 minutes
Regional Job Analysis of the CLSStudents15 minutes


1) Formative assessment: prior to Disease Detectives activity, have students discuss their prior knowledge and possible misconceptions regarding the role of the lab scientist.

2) Formative assessment (informal) table to table review with students regarding their roles as Lab Scientists/ Field Researcher/ Physicians

3) Summative assessment: collection of information per small group regarding the info for the lab scientist career.

Wrap-Up: Review & Brainstorm other possibilities for job requirements/ job possibilities as a CLS

Extension Activity (for intervention or enrichment): Job shadow CLS at HSHS St. Clare in Oconto Falls (Contact Frieda Stewart:  920-433-8226)

ATTACHMENTS  Add additional resources (handouts, assessments, rubrics) not previously linked above. Go back and create bookmarks from the Materials section to these resources.-

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