- Trish Reed, Timothy Couillard, Allison Couillard
- Cross-Curricular, STEM/STEAM, CTE, Career Connections, Health and Medical Sciences
- Material Type:
- Activity/Lab, Lesson, Lesson Plan, Visual Media
- Middle School, High School
- Virginia Public Media (VPM)
- Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0
- Media Formats:
- Downloadable docs, Video
Hot Job: Investigate Illness as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist
Hot Job: Investigate Illness as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist Video and Background Info
How do you track a disease? How do you determine if a blood sample contains a virus or a bacteria that could make millions of people sick? What type of information would you need to know to stop a disease from spreading? If you are interested in these questions then being an “Illness investigator” or a Clinical Laboratory Scientist (CLS) might be the right career path for you. Clinical Laboratory Scientists, also known as Medical Laboratory Scientists, are health professionals who investigate events making headlines all over the world. From flu epidemics to anthrax incidents, to rabies outbreaks to the emergence of SARS and more, clinical laboratory scientists use sophisticated instruments to analyze blood and other body fluids and tissues to glean important information to diagnose and track diseases.
Dr. Marilyn Bibbs-Freeman, Group Manager for Immunology and Virology at the Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services explains that “as a kid, I found it fun to know about things you couldn’t see. And when I learned that bacteria and viruses were the small things making me sick, I wanted to know about them.”
Fast forward--Dr. Bibbs-Freeman in Middle School (“I wasn’t the biggest fan of science”) to high school (“I really began to like science in high school because we had labs that allowed us to use our hands and visualize things under the microscope”) to her career as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist. Bibbs-Freeman explains why this career is a Hot Job, “Because identifying diseases is important and necessary to protect human health. Unfortunately, people get sick every day, and our role here at the laboratory is to help to diagnose disease. By knowing where the disease exists we can help prevent it in the future. And because diseases evolve and change every day, we’re going to need more people in the workforce in order to identify them as they change and move.”
Watch this Science Matters video to learn more about Clinical Laboratory Science and see if being an “illness investigator” is the right career path for you.
What do Clinical and Medical Laboratory Scientists and Technicians Do?
- Analyze body fluids and tissue samples and record normal and abnormal findings
- Culture and identify bacteria and viruses
- Operate sophisticated laboratory equipment
- Use automated equipment and computerized instruments to perform tests
- Log data from medical tests and enter results
- Discuss results and findings with physicians
How to become a Clinical Laboratory Scientist?
- High school students who are interested in pursuing a career should take classes in chemistry, biology and math.
- Entry-level job for technologists usually require a bachelor’s degree in medical technology or life science.
- Bachelor’s degree program for a medical laboratory scientist degree includes courses in chemistry, biology, microbiology, math, and statistics.
- Coursework emphasizes laboratory skills, including safety procedures and lab management.
- Medical laboratory technicians require an associate’s degree program in clinical laboratory science.
What are the skills important to this career?
- Do you think like a detective?
- Are you able to operate complex machinery and technology?
- Are you detail oriented?
- Are you dexterous - do you love to work with your hands?
- Have you plenty of physical stamina?
(Source for above: Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook)
What is the Job Outlook for this career?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment for medical laboratory technologists is projected to grow 14% and medical laboratory technicians is projected to grow 18% from 2014-2024, much faster that the average for all occupations.
Educational Programs in Virginia:
Virginia Department of Education, Career and Technical Education in Health Sciences
Want to dig in more?
Check out the American Society for Clinical Pathology.
Presented by VPM Science Matters
January 14, 2016
Investigating Illness- Clinical Lab Scientist Lesson Plan by Allison Couillard
Clinical Lab Scientist Lesson Plan
|Subject / grade level: Life Science (6th/7th grade)|
|Timeframe: 1-2 Class periods (depending on what you choose to use from the activities given below)|
|VDOE Essential Standards and Clarifying Objectives:|
|21st Century Skill(s):|
|Differentiation strategies to meet diverse learner needs:|
|ENGAGEMENT (10 min)|
|EXPLORATION (20 min)|
|EXPLANATION (25 min)|
|ELABORATION (25 min)|
5 E Model of Science Instruction
|5 E’s Lesson Components||Purpose/Goals of the Component|
|ENGAGEMENT: meant to capture the students’ attention and help them access prior knowledge (must include an indication of where the lesson is going)||-Object, event or question engages students· -Connections facilitated between what students know and can do· -Pose problems· -Reveal discrepancies· -Reveal prior student misconceptions· -Develops a need to know|
|EXPLORATION: students are given time to think, plan, and organize collected information to develop their ideas about the content and/or investigation||-Objects and phenomena are explored· -Hands-on activities, with guidance· -Predictions and hypotheses made· -Seek possibilities· -Teachers make open suggestions, questions, probes, provides feedback, and assesses understanding and processes|
|EXPLANATION: allow students to explain and follow with teacher explanation; their understanding is clarified and modified because of reflective activities||-New concepts and skills are introduced· -Various modes for instruction used· -Guided discussions and brainstorming· -Generalizations are formed by students· -Provide an opportunity for learners to develop a deeper understanding concepts· -Teachers ask questions, pose new problems, models, and assesses understanding and processes|
|ELABORATION: gives the student the opportunity to expand and solidify their understanding of the concept, and/or apply it to a real world situation||-Understandings and skills are extended as concepts are applied in contexts· -Further clarification provided· -New related tasks are conducted· -New projects planned and carried out· -Teachers ask additional questions, provides feedback, suggests resources and suggestions, models when necessary, and assesses understanding and processes|
|EVALUATION (ongoing throughout the 5E model): gathering of evidence that students have understood the new learning and inform instructional decisions during the lesson||-Activities permit evaluation of student knowledge and lesson effectiveness· -Student self-assessment of their knowledge, skills, and abilities· -Gain insight into students’ thinking and understanding of concepts and skills· -Provide rubrics to support students in evaluating their own work and learning|
[a]From new 2018 standards
[b]This demo calls for an overhead projector. I'm going to test this to see if it will work under a document camera since most classrooms no longer use overheads.
[c]Checking on this
Investigate Illness Rubric by Allison Couillard
|Includes at least 3 relevant scientific vocabulary words that are used correctly in context||_____ /9 pts.|
|Gives at least 2 ways that bacteria and viruses are alike||_____/ 4 pts.|
|Gives at least 2 ways that bacteria and viruses are different.||_____/ 4 pts.|
|States whether viruses should be included within the kingdoms of living things.||_____/ 2 pts.|
|Includes at least 3 accepted characteristics of living things||_____/ 6 pts.|
|Gives at least 3 meaningful connections with an accepted characteristic of living things as justification in their response as to whether viruses are living or non-living.||_____/ 12 pts.|
|Turned in on time||_____/ 3 pts.|
|Name is included on assignment||_____/ 2 pts.|
|Total||_____/ 42 pts.|
Clinical Lab Scientist - Living Things Sort Activity by Allison Couillard
Characteristics of Living Things (from Exploratorium)
are made of one or more cells.
use energy (metabolism).
maintain a stable internal environment (homeostasis).
detect and respond to select external stimuli.
can engage in movement (which may occur internally, or even at the cellular level).
show growth and development; that is, specialization of cells or structures. (Even unicellular organisms show a tiny amount of growth, and single cells repair and use materials from the environment to replace internal structures as needed.)
reproduce. (Even if an individual can’t reproduce, its species can.) In addition, an individual’s cells are constantly reproducing themselves.
have nucleic acid as the hereditary molecule.
show adaptation, which occurs at the individual level and is tightly related to homeostasis.
exhibit complex organization, grouping molecules together to form cells; at a higher level, cells are organized into tissues, organs, and organ systems.
exhibit evolution over time due to mutation and natural selection (which operates at the species level).