School of Medical Laboratory Science - Joplin, MO


School of Medical Laboratory Science

Contact Us

Kimberly LaMarr  MS  MT (ASCP)
[email protected]
Office: (417) 556-2135
School of Medical Laboratory Science
Mercy Hospital Joplin
100 Mercy Way
Joplin, MO 64804

Mercy Hospital Joplin and its School of Medical Laboratory Science accepts applications to and participation or employment in the program from individuals without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, military status or any other characteristic protected by law.

The medical laboratory scientist functions as a crucial member of the healthcare team. This laboratory professional performs tests which assist the physician in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Our MLS program provides training in all areas of the clinical laboratory – Blood Bank, Chemistry, Hematology, Hemostasis, Urinalysis, and Microbiology. 

Someone who wants to help people by being a medical detective behind the scenes will find the career very gratifying. The ideal candidate has a talent for the biological sciences and medicine. An individual who enjoys solving problems, performing accurate and reliable laboratory tests, interpreting data, correlating test results with potential diseases, managing detailed information, developing and evaluating new tests, and communicating with other members of the healthcare team would prove to be successful in the profession.    

Mission Statement

The School of Medical Laboratory Science, in keeping with the beliefs, mission and values of the Sisters of Mercy Health System and Mercy Hospital Joplin, provides the professional component of the medical laboratory science education program to prepare qualified laboratory professionals to serve our community. The program strives to:

  • Meet the needs of the community for medical laboratory sciences by educating Medical Technologists/Medical Laboratory Scientists, whose knowledge and skills enhance quality patient care.
  • Satisfy the need of local students and affiliated universities for a professional learning experience to complete their Medical Technology/Medical Laboratory Science education.
  • Stimulate the Hospital laboratory staff to maintain the highest level of quality performance and continually update their knowledge and skills to remain current in the profession.

The Mercy Hospital - Joplin School of Medical Laboratory Science, for the Program years 2019 through 2021 (7/1/2018 through 6/30/2021), has a 94% placement rate, a 72% pass rate on the American Society for Clinical Pathology, Board of Certification examination, and a 95% graduation, 5% attrition rate for students who enter the final half of the program.


Career Outlook


For the past three years, 94% of the graduates of the MLS program have found employment in the field or have pursued graduate education. Most medical laboratory scientists are employed in a hospital setting. They may choose to perform testing in all areas of the laboratory as a generalist or specialize in one area such as Microbiology. With experience, advanced certification is available. Laboratory management and MLS education are also potential career paths.


The knowledge and skills of the medical laboratory scientist are valued by other employers such as those in research, forensics, physician office laboratories, veterinary laboratories, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology companies, other industries and sales and service of laboratory equipment and supplies.


There is a critical shortage of certified medical laboratory scientists and the demand is only increasing each year as new tests are developed and those currently working in the field retire. Salaries can range from $40,000 to over $100,000 depending on experience, geographic location and level of responsibilities.


Program course descriptions and suggested semester academic credits ( ) include:


Clinical Chemistry   (10)


Study of the analytical and theoretical aspects of the clinical biochemistry of body fluids and their relationship to disease conditions. Includes an in-depth review of automated and manual methods, quality control, and workload management.


Clinical Hematology (6)


Study of the cellular elements of blood and bone marrow including cell production, release, survival, normal and abnormal morphology, and both qualitative and quantitative abnormalities. Also, the human hemostatic mechanism, its components, and function in both normal and pathological conditions.


Clinical Microbiology (7)


Study of isolation and identification of pathogenic organisms including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. Correlates disease conditions caused by the above with laboratory data in order to aid the clinician with diagnoses and treatment.


Serology-Immunology (3)


Study of immunity including antibody development, principles of antigen-antibody reactions, and techniques of serological testing.


Clinical Microscopy (1)


Study of techniques used in examination of urine and other body excreta and the relationship of disease processes affecting these substances.


Blood Bank-Immunohematology (3)


Study of blood group systems, methods of cross-matching, antibody screening, and phenotyping. Included is the study of the legal aspects of blood banking and the proper clinical utilization of blood components.


Special Topics in Medical Technology (2)


Course includes lectures in the areas of management and supervision, research and development, and education. Budgeting, performance appraisal, theories of management, and other topics make up the management lectures. Learning styles, objective writing, and presentation styles make up the lectures in Education. Instruction in scientific method, research, and report writing enable the student to choose and execute an appropriate research and development project.


Students must also demonstrate competency in laboratory math, phlebotomy and medical terminology and pass a program comprehensive examination to successfully complete the program.


Each affiliated university determines the exact credit assignments according to their policies and procedures.


A detailed schedule is provided to the student at the start of the program year.

The following program policies and procedures are available from the program director upon request:

  • Program mission
  • Program goal
  • Criteria for program completion
  • Clinical affiliates and options if these clinical placements are unavailable
  • Graduates' job entry level competencies
  • Advance placement and waiver of coursework
  • Student withdrawal
  • Service work and part-time employment
  • Guidance and counseling
  • Appeal process and grievance
  • Program schedule
  • Curricular structure
  • Rules and regulations
  • Professional behavior
  • Acceptable/Unacceptable performance, remediation, probation and dismissal
  • Disaster plan and teach out plan

The School of Medical Laboratory Science, known as the School of Medical Technology until 2012, was founded in 1950. It is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS), 5600 River Road, Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018, 773-714-8880, www.naacls.org.


The fifty-two week program provides a structured educational experience which includes lectures and medical laboratory rotations. Students experience two rotations through most laboratory departments, developing the knowledge and skills required to perform, interpret, and trouble-shoot laboratory testing by automated, semi-automated, and manual methods in a state-of-the-art medical center laboratory under qualified supervision.


The program has three clinical laboratory sites: Mercy Hospital Joplin and Mercy Hospital Springfield, and Mercy Hospital Columbus, KS. All students participate together in classroom lecture sessions, either in person or by WebEx video/audio.


The program has two start dates, in January and July. A maximum of four students are accepted in each class. Students wishing to enter the January class must have submitted all application materials by August 1 of the previous year. Students wishing to enter the July class must submit all application materials by November 1 of the previous year.


The program operates Monday through Friday with a typical day beginning at 7:00 a.m. and ending at 3:30 p.m. Some educational experiences may only be available outside the normal hours of operation of the program. Students are advised in advance of these experiences.


Students are evaluated based on their academic achievement, laboratory performance and professional behavior throughout the program year.   


The MLS program awards a certificate upon successful completion of the year. The certificate plus an appropriate baccalaureate degree allows the student to sit for a national certification examination.



School of Medical Laboratory Science

Contact Us

Karen Adkins, MA Ed., MT(ASCP)
Program Director
School of Medical Laboratory Science
Mercy Hospital Joplin
100 Mercy Way
Joplin, MO 64804

Mercy Hospital Joplin and its School of Medical Laboratory Science accepts applications to and participation or employment in the program from individuals without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, military status or any other characteristic protected by law.