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Healthforce Minnesota

Addressing a Critical Shortage of Facilities for Training

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 14% and 22% growth in demand for both Medical Lab Technicians and Medical Lab Scientists from 2012-2022.

To meet that demand, the number of MLT and MLS programs has expanded — but opportunities for clinical placements have become hard to find. As many as 5 out of 8 students in MLT programs and 1 to3 students in MLS programs have been unable to graduate on time due to lack of clinical placement.

That shortage is not apt to correct itself. Healthcare organizations are centralizing testing and consolidating clinical laboratory facilities in an effort to reduce costs and maximize productivity.

The Minnesota Clinical Laboratory Workgroup (MCLW) is working to address these challenges. We believe Minnesota’s MLT and MLS programs will need to find new approaches to ensuring that graduates have the clinical skills and education that employers require. Innovations and changes currently under discussion include:

  • Shortening clinical education time
  • Use of simulation for a portion or all of the clinical education
  • Reframing the entry-level expectations of employers
  • Utilization of additional clinical sites

Join the Conversation: We invite you to join us for our annual Clinical Lab Summit and monthly phone meetings! Open to any laboratory educators or laboratory professionals, the MCLW is a great way to be involved in statewide laboratory workforce discussions. To join the workgroup, please send an email to Valerie DeFor at vdefor@winona.edu.

Resources:

Summit Reports
Monthly Meeting Minutes