McLeod Health School of Medical Laboratory Science

We are excited to announce that we are reopening the admission cycle for the McLeod Health School of Medical Laboratory Science for the 2024/2025 program year.

The deadline for submission is May 31, 2024, by 5:00 pm EST. Please ensure that all required materials are submitted by this date to be considered for admission.

Welcome

The McLeod Health School of Medical Laboratory Science (MHSMLS) is located on the McLeod Regional Medical Center (MRMC) Campus in Florence, SC, with satellite clinical sites. The hospital-based program was established in 1977 to help provide qualified medical laboratory scientists to the region.

The faculty is composed of Board-Certified pathologists and medical laboratory scientists. Students rotate through Hematology, Immunochemistry, Microbiology, Blood Bank, Body Fluids, Coagulation, Urinalysis, and Phlebotomy for three to ten weeks per laboratory section.

Students accepted into the program are either college seniors from an academic affiliate or have already completed their bachelor's degree.

The program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).

Payment Links
Program Application Fee: $50
Program Deposit: $500
Tuition

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Mission and Goals

Mission

To ultimately serve the needs of the people in the Pee Dee Region of South Carolina by helping to provide quality laboratory services through employment of our graduates.

 

Goals
  1. To prepare the student to assume employment as a responsible, competent medical laboratory scientist using entry-level skills in any area of the clinical laboratory. Entry-level competencies are outlined in the handbook.
  2. To present theoretical knowledge that would allow the student to become a competent medical laboratory scientist.
  3. To instill in the student the realization that continuing education is an integral part of being a competent medical laboratory scientist.
  4. To guide the student in developing interpersonal skills and attitudes needed to interact with patients, other laboratory staff members, and other medical disciplines to provide quality laboratory services while demonstrating caring attitudes.
  5. To prepare the student with an entry-level body of knowledge in medical laboratory science them to pass national certification examinations.

MLS Profession

Description

Welcome to the medical laboratory science profession where diagnostic analysis is the key.  A highly skilled team of laboratory health professionals work together to:

  • Determine the presence, extent, or absence of disease.
  • Provide valuable data needed to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment.

The fact is: The practice of modern medicine will be almost impossible without today’s clinical laboratory.

 

Characteristics of Medical Laboratory Scientists
  • are problem solvers
  • like challenge and responsibility
  • are accurate and reliable
  • work well under pressure
  • communicate well
  • set high standards for themselves & others
  • are fascinated by science

 

Why Medical Laboratory Science?

Medical Laboratory Scientists, often select the profession because they enjoy biological sciences and want a career where they help to improve the health outcomes in their communities.

Medical Laboratory Scientists:

  • rank high in healthcare professions
  • very low unemployment rates
  • good job security
 
Where Does a Medical Laboratory Scientist Work?
  • Hospital Laboratory
  • Reference Laboratory
  • Physician Office Laboratory
  • Fertility Clinic
  • Pharmaceutical Company
  • Research Laboratory

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Medical Laboratory Science program is competitive and limited to eight students per year.  The program accepts applications October 1st through March 1st each year for the next cohort of students starting in August each year.  Early application is encouraged.

  • Completed Baccalaureate degree (4+1) or completed first three years from affiliated university (3+1). All foreign degrees must be evaluated.
  • Overall grade point average of 2.5 or higher on 4.0 scale
  • Science grade point average of 2.6 or higher on 4.0 scale
  • 16 (24 quarter) semester hours of Biology which include one semester of:
    • General Biology
    • Microbiology (with lab)
    • Immunology (content or as a separate course)
    • Human Anatomy and/or Physiology (recommended)
    • Genetics and/or Molecular Biology (recommended)
  • 16 (24 quarter) semester hours of Chemistry which include General Chemistry and a combination of 8 hours of any of the 2 listed below:
    • Organic
    • Biochemistry
    • Analytical
  • 6 (9 quarter) semester hours of Math which include (remedial math will not satisfy this requirement.):
    • Statistics
  • Recommended courses:
    • General Physics 8 (12 quarter) semester hours. Not required for candidates with a bachelor’s degree.
    • Computer Science 3 (5 quarter) semester hours in computer techniques and/or software applications. Not required for candidates with a bachelor’s degree.
  • 3 completed professional personal McLeod Health School of Medical Laboratory Science reference forms which may be accompanied by letters of support. Two of the three should be from university or college science professors.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended (even if for only one course) electronically submitted or mailed directly from the institution to the Program Director.
  • Completed application form with written essay.
  • Copy of one of the following score reports:
    • SAT: > 480 each for verbal and math
    • ACT: > 19 overall score
    • GRE: > 140 verbal and quantitative reasoning
  • TOFEL report if English is not first language.
  • Personal interview
3 + 1 Candidates from Affiliated Colleges

Students working towards a baccalaureate in medical laboratory science must obtain a statement from their university or college registrar verifying that all degree requirements have been completed except the clinical educational year.  This statement must be on file prior to beginning the McLeod Program.  Coker University and Francis Marion University are the current McLeod Health School of Medical Laboratory Science academic affiliates.

Updating Course Work

Persons who have not taken an Organic Chemistry or Biochemistry course applicable toward that prerequisite within the past seven years or who have not taken a Microbiology course applicable toward the prerequisite within the past seven years must update their knowledge in these fields before entering the Medical Laboratory Science program.  Updating course work can be done by any of these methods:

  1. Taking the appropriate refresher course in Chemistry and/or Microbiology. The courses must be acceptable towards a major in Chemistry or Biology, respectively, or Medical Laboratory Science. A grade of “C” or better must be achieved in each course.
  2. If you have recently been working in the chemical or microbiological laboratory, your experience may exempt you from one or both update prerequisites. A resumé of your relevant work experience may be sent to the Program Director of the McLeod School of Medical Laboratory Science for evaluation.
International Students, International Degrees, and English as a Second Language

Individuals for which English is a second language or who hold an international degree must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam.  All international students who wish to enter the school must provide the Program with documentation that they are legally eligible for employment in the United States and must satisfy at least one of the following criteria:

  • Possess a international baccalaureate degree in either Chemistry, Biology, or Medical Laboratory Science. Course work must meet the requirements specified in the program’s brochure under “admission requirements” and will be subject to review and evaluation by an agency approved by the Program. The transcript must include courses taken, credit hours per course, and grades obtained in each course.  A list of approved agencies is available upon request.  Scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam must be submitted to the Program and will be used a part of the admission criteria.  Students must have TOEFL scores of at least 600 on the paper-based exam, 250 on the computer-based exam, and 100 on the internet-based exam.  Subsets scores on paper-based and computer-based exams must be equivalent to internet-based exam.  Subsets on the internet based TOEFL exam must be at least 26 on speaking and at least 23 on reading, listening, and writing.  TOEFL scores must not be more than two years old.  Student must prove the Program with official SAT, ACT, or GRE score report.
  • Admission and satisfactory progress in an affiliated college or university shall also be eligible for acceptance provided they meet the requirements specified in the program’s brochure under “admission requirements” as well as those of the affiliated college or university.
Student Selection

Students are evaluated on each area of the admission criteria.  Each criterion is assigned weighted values and students are ranked according to most points obtained.  The members of the selection committee evaluate and select candidates according to rank/order for the most qualified students for admission.  Preference is given to students from the Pee Dee region of South Carolina in accordance with the Program's mission.  A letter of acceptance or rejection is sent to each candidate by April 1st of each year for candidates who completed the application process by the March 1st deadline.  Applicants who have not taken the SAT, ACT, or GRE must take one of these exams and submit the score to the Program.  Applications without an SAT, ACT, or GRE score report will not be considered.

Criminal Background Check, Medicare Exclusion Check, and Health Screening on all Students

All students must submit to a criminal background check before they can be accepted. All students must also clear a Medicare exclusion check. Once accepted, students must have a pre-clinical physical by their personal physician. A copy of each student’s immunization records must be submitted to our program and Occupational Health at McLeod. Students must also be cleared by McLeod Employee Occupational Health prior to starting their program year.
Results of the background check, Medicare exclusion check, or McLeod Occupational Health screening may render the student ineligible to participate in the Program.

Essential Functions and Technical Standards for Students

Academic and Non-Academic Requirements

These skills are required to successfully participate in the program.

  1. Physical Demands (observation, communication, psychomotor)
    1. Ability to move around the laboratory and medical center while demonstrating safety for myself and others.
    2. Ability to operate delicate instruments or equipment or to perform delicate procedures using the senses of smell, vision, and somatic sensation while demonstrating safety for myself and others.
    3. Ability to use a microscope with speed, accuracy, and precision in a manner that does not endanger others.
    4. Ability to constantly carry trays and objects weighing up to 10 pounds and occasionally carrying objects of 30 pounds while demonstrating safety for myself and others.
    5. Ability to observe with normal or corrected vision and ability to discriminate colors, odors, viscosity, or clarity of biological specimens. For example, a student must be able to operate analytical instruments safely and accurately, identify microscopic structures, differentiate fine detail, and identify organisms.
    6. Good hand-eye and fine motor coordination/manual dexterity to fulfill the technical requirements of the Program and the profession while demonstrating safety for myself and others.
    7. Ability to communicate in English effectively and efficiently both verbally and in writing. The student must be able to effectively instruction patients if required. Students applying whose college course work and/or degree has taken place at institutions other than accredited American colleges or universities must demonstrate English language competency (see Handbook or website).
  1. Emotional Demands (Behavioral, Social Attributes and Ethical Standards)
    1. Ability to work in a fast-paced, stressful, changing environment with speed, accuracy, and precision. For example, the student may be exposed to instrument noise, emergency situations, several persons working in his/her immediate vicinity, unpleasant odors or sights, pathogens, and blood and body fluids.
    2. Ability to organize work and direct others; to exercise independent judgement; to assume responsibility for own work and after the work of others.
    3. Ability to communicate and maintain ethical professional relationships with patients, physicians, and others in the hospital setting (written and oral).
    4. Ability to think logically, and correlate information to solve problems.
    5. Ability to exercise ethical judgement, integrity, honesty, dependability, and accountability in the clinical laboratory testing environment and in the classroom setting.
    6. Ability to demonstrate adherence to patient confidentiality, the academic, and professional code of ethics. This includes adherence to the McLeod Regional Medical Center Drug and Smoke Free Campus Policy.
    7. Ability to work safely with sharps, bio-hazards, and hazardous material.
    8. Ability to project a neat, well-groomed physical appearance.
    9. Ability to use interpersonal skills such as communication, cooperation, confidentiality, and attentiveness in a positive and tactful manner to communicated with peers, faculty, and other members of the healthcare team effectively and respectfully.
    10. Ability to take instruction from the faculty respectfully. For example, the student will be interacting with fellow students, faculty members both in lectures and on practicum, as well as encountering nurses, physicians, nursing unit technicians, phlebotomists, and others both in person and on the telephone if required. In the Phlebotomy rotation the student will be interacting with the public. Instructors will correct students to aid in instruction.
    11. Ability to accept constructive criticism in a positive manner.
  1. Academic, Intellectual and Cognitive Abilities
    1. Ability to work in a thorough, careful, efficient, and organized manner; independently, in small groups, and as a member of the laboratory team. For example, a student will be expected to take initiative in asking questions, performing required work in the practicum, participating in class discussions, working as a member of a problem-solving team, and performing as colleagues with their professional counterparts in the laboratory.
    2. Ability to practice critical thinking in using problem solving, common sense, critical evaluation, decision making skills, and objectivity in approaching laboratory problems. To comprehend, analyze, reason, measure, calculate, synthesize, integrate, and apply information in problem solving and to the outcome of laboratory test procedures.
    3. Ability to obtain information in English from lectures, laboratory demonstrations and/or exercises, and independent study assignments.
    4. Ability to sit for written, oral, or practical examinations, complete assignments, and exams on time, orally present a formal project presentation in English, write a project report, use computers, and perform a variety of laboratory activities with and without supervision.
    5. Ability to operate computers with speed, accuracy, and precision in a manner that does not endanger others.

Prior to entry into the Program, the student will be required to sign forms stating that they have read and understand the essential functions of the program as well as a form regarding understanding and intention to comply with the information contained in the student handbook.

Clinical Rotations and Courses

MLS Clinical Rotations
  • Hematology – 7 weeks first rotation with 2 additional weeks in the summer.
  • Immunochemistry – 5 weeks first rotation with 1 additional week in the summer.
  • Microbiology – 8 weeks first rotation with 2 weeks in the summer.
  • Blood Bank – 8 weeks first rotation with 2 additional weeks in the summer.
  • Microscopy – 6 weeks first rotation with 1 additional split week with the coagulation rotation in the summer.
  • Coagulation – 2 weeks first rotation with 1 additional split week with the microscopy rotation in the summer.
  • Phlebotomy – 3-week rotation (does not have a re-rotation in the summer).
 
MLS Classroom (Lectures on Wednesdays)

First Semester Courses

  • MLS 405 Clinical Hematology
  • MLS 425 Clinical Microbiology
  • MLS 450 Immunohematology
  • MLS 455 Clinical Immunology
  • MLS 460 Clinical Laboratory Systems (Medical Terminology, Phlebotomy, Clinical Laboratory Education) - begins 1st semester & completed second semester)

Second Semester Courses

  • MLS 410 Hemostasis
  • MLS 415 Instrumentation & Methods
  • MLS 420 Clinical Chemistry
  • MLS 430 Mycology, Virology, and Parasitology
  • MLS 440 Clinical Microscopy
  • MLS 460 Clinical Laboratory Systems (Management)

Fees and Scholarships

Fees
  • Tuition - $1800 per semester or $3600 per year
  • Books – Approximately $800 per year
  • Application Fee - $50.00 (nonrefundable)
  • Deposit (if accepted) - $500.00 (nonrefundable)
  • Uniforms – Approximately $500 per year
  • Platinum Planner Account – Approximately $80.00 per year

 

Housing and Meals
  • No housing or meal plans are available from the Program.

 

Scholarships
  • McLeod Health has Scholarships in Medical Laboratory Science for students accepted into the McLeod Health School of Medical Laboratory Science Program. Visit the McLeod Health web site to download an application packet for the scholarship.  https://www.mcleodhealth.org/careers/then select students.  There you will find scholarship information.  You will need to apply as soon as possible after your acceptance to the McLeod Health School of Medical Laboratory Science Program.
  • Siemens Healthcare and American Society for Clinical Pathology have national scholarships for medical laboratory science students.
  • Financial aid may be available through affiliated colleges and universities for degree seeking (3 + 1) students who are completing their senior year at the McLeod Health School of Medical Laboratory Science.

MLS Program Outcomes for NAACLS Accreditation

Accreditation

The McLeod School of Medical Technology is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS). Contact information for NAACLS:

NAACLS
5600 North River Road, Suite 720
Rosemont, Illinios 60018-5119
Phone: (773) 714-8880
Web Site: www.naacls.org

Program Contact Information

Program Director:

  • Email is preferred: aorange@mcleodhealth.org
  • Please make phone calls Monday through Friday during business hours (7:00 am – 3:00 pm)
    • April B. Orange, MM, MLS(ASCP)CM
      (843) 777-2497
  • Mailing address:
    • McLeod Health School of Medical Laboratory Science
    • Attn: April B. Orange, MLS Program/Lab
    • P.O. Box 100551
    • Florence, SC 29502-0551