Shining a Light on Hidden Bioscience Professions

In Part 2 of this conversation between Mauricio Tellez and Dr. Rodney Rohde, we explore how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the Clinical Laboratory Science field. Dr. Rohde explains the double-edged sword of the pandemic shining a light on the profession and increasing the general public’s awareness of it, while also adding a lot of stress and burnout due to the increased need for CLS professionals. 

Dr. Rohde and Mauricio express the need for more folks to take the CLS career path, whether they are working in a hospital setting or pursuing a research-oriented role, and explain the job opportunities that exist for those who work in CLS and want to continue to grow and learn beyond an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree and CLS Credential. 

Mauricio demystifies the CLS program and shares stories about how his unique skills and personality traits as an individual combine with his passion for science to make him perfect for his job. He gets into the nitty-gritty of his day-to-day on the job, explaining how his time as an intern at ABI helped to set him up for success in the CLS Program and his current job. Part of this included exposure to instruments and processes, but part of this was also about how he was able to understand laboratory concepts such as quality control that can only be learned through hands-on activities like those that he was able to do at ABI. 

Today Mauricio is a Clinical Laboratory Scientist in a medical setting, helping to identify if patients may have leukemia lymphoma, monitoring HIV in patients, and helping to detect mutations in patients’ hemoglobin. These kinds of detailed laboratory results and analyses help to determine critical components of the patients’ care, and 70% of medical decisions are made off of lab tests like the ones that Mauricio runs and interprets. 

Mauricio and Dr. Rohde close out the conversation by explaining the job outlook for CLS professionals and encouraging students who are interested in science and want to help others, but maybe don’t feel thrilled about sitting at the bedside of ill patients, to explore the career option. They share their advice for students who are interested in science, and advice for mentors of students who are starting to consider their future career plans. 

Learn more about TX State’s CLS Program.

Learn more about Dr. Rohde.  

Learn more about ACC Bioscience Incubator

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