Texas laboratory healthcare workforce: Meeting the needs in 2015

Karen Jean McClure, The University of Texas School of Public Health


The purpose of this research was to study groups of students and young professionals in the clinical laboratory science field using exploratory discovery and inductive logic regarding the attitudes of four groups in Texas: (1) 3rd and 4th year college biology students, (2) students currently enrolled in Clinical Laboratory Science/Clinical Laboratory Technician (CLS/CLT) programs, (3) young CLS/CLT professionals (1-2 years post education), and (4) mid-career CLS/CLTs (4-10 years post education). It was also a comparative study looking at these four groups and their attitudes and perception regarding: career selection factors and legislative incentive measures which might attract individuals to an allied health care career, the field of practice and factors needed to keep individuals in the chosen field of practice. The study found that the career is attractive to individuals who enjoy laboratory work and find the various areas in which to choose to work very attractive. Government programs offering grants/scholarships or loan forgiveness programs offered by health care institutions would be beneficial in attracting students to study in the clinical laboratory sciences. Students are unsure if there is a viable career ladder associated with the field and are anticipating the possibility of going on to other fields in the future. While young and mid-career professionals share many of the same points of view on some aspects (skills used, trends) of the CLS/CLT profession there were a few areas were opinions diverged; perceptions of the field itself and if they plan to remain in the profession for the next 5 years. The mid-career professionals had a much more negative outlook on the profession (low salary, no visible career ladder, lack of respect from other health care professionals) and only a small number plan to be in the field within the next 5 years. The lower salaries in the profession as compared to other similar health care careers, lack of a career ladder and lack of respect from laboratory and institutional management and other health care providers are critical missing pieces to the retention of CLS/CLT professionals.

Subject Area

Health education|Health

Recommended Citation

McClure, Karen Jean, "Texas laboratory healthcare workforce: Meeting the needs in 2015" (2007). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3283833.