May 27, 2024


Science It Works


Program to prepare graduates for behind-the-scenes careers in health care, education and other fields

INDIANAPOLIS, April 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Medical Laboratory Scientists (MLSs) are the professionals that doctors and other medical providers rely on to make decisions about a patient’s diagnosis, treatment and monitoring. But like other healthcare heroes, MLSs are in short supply.

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Orbis Education Services, which is helping to fill the demand for health care workers nationwide, is teaming up with Saint Louis University, a private Jesuit research university, to prepare these workers for rewarding careers in as little as 16 months through an Accelerated Bachelor of Science Program.

The program combines rigorous online academic courses with intensive hands-on learning in a student laboratory and real-world clinical experience. Students will gain analytical skills and technical expertise in clinical chemistry, medical microbiology, immunohematology, hematology and clinical immunology.

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will be eligible to take the national board of certification examination administered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).

April 24 – 30 is Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, an opportunity to show appreciation for clinical laboratory personnel and raise awareness of a critical workforce shortage within the laboratory science industry.

“Medical laboratory scientists work behind the scenes, but they make a huge impact on patient care,” said Elizabeth Gockel-Blessing, Ph.D., associate dean and associate professor of medical laboratory science in Saint Louis University’s Doisy College of Health Sciences.

Gockel-Blessing notes that the work of medical laboratory scientists plays a vital role in helping medical professionals and patients make informed decisions about their care. 

Nationwide, there are 337,800 practicing medical laboratory professionals serving 330 million Americans, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Health care settings that offer medical laboratory testing are in dire need of qualified staff, said Daniel Briggs, founder and CEO of Orbis.

“The need is well-documented,” said Briggs. “Unfortunately, there are too few universities preparing graduates for this work.”

Gockel-Blessing, who has worked in the industry for more than three decades, agrees.

“This field is huge, especially in this time of COVID-19,” she said. “If it weren’t for testing by medical laboratory scientists, we wouldn’t know who has or doesn’t have the virus, because the symptoms can be generic.”

Medical laboratory scientists play a pivotal role in providing invaluable test results in numerous situations, such as for the diagnosis of leukemia and sickle cell disease, transfusion of blood in a trauma setting and meningitis detection.

But beyond a blood draw or a nasal swab, Gockel-Blessing reminds her students of an important fact: there is a person behind every test.

“We try to impress this idea upon our students. You are not just looking at a blood sample. This belongs to somebody, and you are making a difference in their life based on the results.”

Saint Louis University’s in-person medical laboratory science program was one of the first of its kind and has been accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science for more than 85 years.

With a growing request for medical lab scientists across the country, the new accelerated program extends the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree in this competitive field. The program is geared to those with at least 60 college credit hours or a bachelor’s degree in another field. There are three start dates per year – in the spring, summer and fall.

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About Orbis Education Services

Orbis Education Services develops, markets and manages health care education solutions that result in outstanding student outcomes and help alleviate workforce shortages for hospitals and health care systems. Founded in 2003, the company forms strategic partnerships with academic institutions and health care systems to enable the delivery of high-quality, clinically intensive nursing, occupational therapy and other health care education programs. Orbis Education is a division of Grand Canyon Education, Inc. (LOPE), a publicly traded shared services partner dedicated to serving colleges and universities. For more information, visit

About Saint Louis University

Founded in 1818, Saint Louis University is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic institutions. Rooted in Jesuit values and its pioneering history as the first university west of the Mississippi River, SLU offers nearly 13,000 students a rigorous, transformative education of the whole person. At the core of the University’s diverse community of scholars is SLU’s service-focused mission, which challenges and prepares students to make the world a better, more just place.


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SOURCE Grand Canyon Education, Inc.