Requirements to get a CA-CLS license: Out of State (DRAFT)

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Jake C. in Chicago, Illinois

51 months ago

So apparently after some digging, it seems that we have some solid information on how to obtain a California license if you are from out of state. I obtained most of this information from somebody who was rejected by CDPH.

1. You must be MLS-ASCP certified.

2a. If your clinical rotations are one year you are qualified to obtain a California license and you do not proceed to 2b.

2b. If you are from a NAACLS program where the clinical rotations are less than a year you need to obtain 4 years of real world working experience in the laboratory in the four major areas of study equally (Chemistry, Hematology, Blood Bank, and Microbiology) before applying for licensure. This option requires you to be a generalist.

3. A requirement in California CLS programs is that all students must obtain 3 semesters (9 credit hours) of physics including "Instruction in Principles of Light and Electricity". Over 90% of CLS programs in the USA do not require the student to take 1 physics class.

Lastly, I should mention that none of this information will guarantee you a California license. I have spent DAYS on the internet trying to scrape together any information I can get on this topic, and it's scant at best. CDPH will not answer it's phone or respond to emails due to budget cuts. Requirements are not listed on CDPH's website, and the only way to obtain reliable information on this topic is to just try and apply-apparently. However we have some bright minds in here so let's get a discussion going on this topic. Does anybody know something I do not?

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Jake C. in Chicago, Illinois

51 months ago

One point of clarification, this will not guarantee you a California licensure, but this should be considered your best chance at obtaining a license!

Again... I hope we can add to this list of information to help ease the transition of technologists from other states to California.

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Rohan in Fresh Meadows, New York

51 months ago

3 semesters of physics..lol. Were only required to take one semester of physics in NYC. How can this be possible if past students from my program have been licensed by CA.

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Jake C. in Chicago, Illinois

51 months ago

I'm beginning to realize Rohan, it's probably a roll of the dice. It might depend solely on who processes your application. Some people might be having a good day, so they will see you have one physics class and let it slide, and others will hold you to the rigid requirements of the state's legislation. Regardless, obtaining a CLS license by their strict legal criteria doesn't seem an easy task to do if you are from out of state, and would help explain why the pay is so high. I would be curious to find out if all the Filipino workers migrating to California have 3 semesters in physics, because I would think that their programs would mimic or be similar to NAACLS programs in the states where emphasis is not put on physics. Moreover, the requirement of physics classes in premedicine is only 6 credit hours, which means a BS in CLS needs more physics than the average medical doctor.

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CLS48 in California

51 months ago

If you go to my thread on the license, option A from the CA state handbook:

(a) Graduation from a college or university maintaining standards equivalent, as determined by the department, to those institutions accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, or an essentially equivalent accrediting agency, with a baccalaureate and a major in clinical laboratory science, the last year of which course shall have been primarily clinical laboratory procedures in a clinical laboratory training school acceptable to the department;

If your BS degree is Clinical Lab Science, it doesn't matter what classes you've taken or not. My 2nd BS degree is CLS and I only have 2 quarters of physics. CA will accept your education if your degree is CLS.

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Jake C.Y in Chicago, Illinois

51 months ago

Just confirmed it with my Filipino coworkers in corelab right now. They all had multiple physics classes in their CLS programs. That explains why so many of them are able to obtains CLS licenses with ease in California.

9 credit hours of physics, 1 year of internship, and MLS-ASCPi and BOOM California licensure... Easy as pie, if your Filipino!

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CLS48 in California

51 months ago

Again I think if your BS is in CLS, the physics requirement doesn't matter.

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Rohan in Fresh Meadows, New York

51 months ago

Highly doubt 3 semesters of physics are required.

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Jake C.Y in Chicago, Illinois

51 months ago

Rohan in Fresh Meadows, New York said: Highly doubt 3 semesters of physics are required.

This is exactly what the girl wrote who applied to CDPH:

Seemly is not the right word. It is IMPOSSIBLE. California is the only state in the US that requires 3 semesters of physics and 52 weeks of clinical rotations. Only 3 states require 2 semesters of Physics all others only recommend the course (I've done the research, I email at least one school in every state and even in Singapore!). Even medical school entry only requires 2.

If you want, I can get the email of the CLS examiner herself (but be forewarned that she is pretty rude...even if its just via email)

As for now I applied and got approved for the CA MLT license. I don't think I can be able to not get paid for a period of 2 years (taking physics and training) while living in California. I may have to work as a travelling tech for a while.

I would appreciate that you would let me know if any changes in legislation occurs .

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Jake C. in Chicago, Illinois

51 months ago

Yes, but you are forgetting CLS48 that most out of state CLSs can not satisfy the requirement of one year of clinical rotations, which unfortunately makes getting up that wall impossible. Since option B is clearly not for us in the states, we are left with option C. I believe some of this information I am uncovering from this girl is about option C.

She had three years of experience in microbiology/molecular laboratory but this was not acceptable because she was not a rotating generalist covering the four departments for four years (hematology, blood bank, micro, and chem).

She also got rejected because she did not have the physics class.

I'm going to find a way up this wall, and if option C is where it's at, I'm going to take it... More information to follow...

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Jake C. in Chicago, Illinois

51 months ago

Rohan in Fresh Meadows, New York said: Highly doubt 3 semesters of physics are required.

Rohan you can only do option A if you have one year of clinical rotations. If you have less than one year it appears that we can only go route C. That's what the legislation says. The C route looks like a huge pain in the ass as well. It doesn't look like this wall is going to be easy to scale up...

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CLS-HOPEFUL in California

51 months ago

OK so let me get this straight. So lets assume that one is MLS(ASCP) but without a BS in CLS, then that would mean that one would still hold some form of science degree correct? A 4 year BS degree at that. Meaning that one would have obtained their MLS(ASCP) through a post-bacc program. Which means that since that person holds ANOTHER type of science degree instead of CLS, a degree that does not generally require physics, then they HAD to take physics, RIGHT? I am just wondering because I am working on my MLS(ASCP) via post-bacc program, BUT since my science degree is in MICROBIOLOGY, I HAD TO TAKE 1 year of physics or approx. 10 credit semester hours. It was mandated. S0, even IF I came from an outside state, and did not do 1 year CLS internship, then I would still qualify to obtain my CA license since I have the requisites 1 and 3 according to Jake's report. RIGHT?

My point is, this causes a lot of issues because even though certification is equal, the curricula of various schools representing other states is not. BUT, it seems like those with a 4 year CLS degree outside CA are still S.O.L. because they do not have physics? That makes no sense. If other regular old theoretical science degrees mandate at least 3 quarters worth of physics goodness, why not the CLS major? Anyway...Jake, I think that CA will or SHOULD accept you if your degree is BS CLS. It doesnt make sense not to accept it since a BS in CLS here in CA does not even require the same amount of physics than my MICROBIOLOGY degree! Keep bugging em, maybe someone will cave.....

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CLS-HOPEFUL in California

51 months ago

"Which means that since that person holds ANOTHER type of science degree instead of CLS, a degree that does not generally require physics, then they HAD to take physics, RIGHT?" --> Sorry I should say that BS in CLS generally does not require that MUCH Physics...because here in CA, it is required but only like 1 class worth in light and electricity.

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CLS48 in California

51 months ago

If you have a BS in CLS and one year of internship, you qualify for a CA license. If you have a BS in CLS, but less than one year of internship, you do not qualify because you do not have that 1 year of internship.

If you have a BS in some other field, you have to qualify by the credits listed in the CA handbook which includes:

(1) 16 semester or equivalent quarter hours of chemistry, including instruction in analytical and biological chemistry;

(2) 18 semester or equivalent quarter hours of biological science, including instruction in immunology, hematology and medical microbiology which may include bacteriology, mycology, virology and parasitology;

(3) 3 semester or equivalent quarter hours of physics, including instruction in principles of light and electricity

That means 3 semesters of physics. You also still have to have 1 year of internship along with the above credits if you have a BS in another field. Even if your education qualifies, but your internship is not one year, you do not qualify.

I doubt CA will change this for awhile. They have bigger problems and the people that decide are probably overworked and underpaid. They'd rather just go by the book and not get fired rather than stretch the rules, especially since the unemployment rate in CA sits at 12.5%. It also wouldn't surprise me if they don't know what a CLS does or how it is in other states in terms of CLS credentials, giving them more reason to just follow the book when deciding to approve or not.

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Jake C. in Chicago, Illinois

51 months ago

One year of internship is NOT clearly stated in Option C, which might be the way to get over the hump:

"A minimum of two years of experience as a licensed trainee or the equivalent as determined by the department doing clinical laboratory work embracing the various fields of clinical laboratory activity in a clinical laboratory acceptable to the department"

I talked to a girl who was rejected by CDPH, who was just like me NAACLS program, MLS-ASCP, and had working experience.

She was rejected because she did not have:

9 credit hours of physics (she only had 3)

and

She was not a rotating generalist in all 4 major areas of the laboratory for 4 years.

This is an indication to me that they are accepting CLS from other states as long as you qualify on the work experience and physics classes. The problem will be to try and verify this information. I have the Director of the CLS in California's email address.... I'm going to try talking to the source directly... Hope they aren't as ticked off as the people working in CDPH...

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Jake C. in Chicago, Illinois

51 months ago

Jake C. in Chicago, Illinois said: One year of internship is NOT clearly stated in Option C, which might be the way to get over the hump:

"A minimum of two years of experience as a licensed trainee or the equivalent as determined by the department doing clinical laboratory work embracing the various fields of clinical laboratory activity in a clinical laboratory acceptable to the department"

I talked to a girl who was rejected by CDPH, who was just like me NAACLS program, MLS-ASCP, and had working experience.

She was rejected because she did not have:

9 credit hours of physics (she only had 3)

and

She was not a rotating generalist in all 4 major areas of the laboratory for 4 years.

This is an indication to me that they are accepting CLS from other states as long as you qualify on the work experience and physics classes. The problem will be to try and verify this information. I have the Director of the CLS in California's email address.... I'm going to try talking to the source directly... Hope they aren't as ticked off as the people working in CDPH...

The girl also had a 5 month clinical rotation period like I had....

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Jake C. in Chicago, Illinois

51 months ago

Jake C. in Chicago, Illinois said: The girl also had a 5 month clinical rotation period like I had....

Basically, it's all about finding out what "equivalent" means.... Christ....

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BB in San Mateo, California

51 months ago

3 semester UNITS! get it UNITS! NOT 3 semester of physics classes! 3 units of physics lec is one full semester!

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Rohan in Fresh Meadows, New York

51 months ago

Oh okay i see, most of the students who graduated from my program previously went for Route A, the full one year of clinicals which is why I won't need 3 semesters of physics (Still think that's an absurd rule because even medical schools don't require this as they only require 1 semester like the rest of us. 1 Year of internship is the best route imo, i don't know why all NAACLS accredited schools don't do this for some of you guys.

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Jake C. in Chicago, Illinois

51 months ago

Rohan, all this stuff makes me want to pull my hair out. If I find out anything more I will let you know about it ASAP. California blood bankers in the SF bay area are making $45-$55 an hour to start (This information is a decade old as well). It pays to work in the blood bank. Core lab techs should expect to start at $5 less an hour.

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Rohan in Fresh Meadows, New York

51 months ago

Where'd you find those statistics and are they valid enough? 45-55 is a pharmacist's salary.

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Jake C. in Chicago, Illinois

51 months ago

My coworker, a Filipino lady, was offered starting pay a decade ago $45 an hour in the blood bank (this figure might have included 2nd shift differential). Trauma center blood bankers are already a rare commodity at my hospital as nobody wants the extra responsibility and hell of working the blood bank. There is a high level of accountibility in the blood bank. Techs shy away from that in general. That's why blood bankers are so hard to find! Now throw a California license on top of it! Think about it, it makes sense.

It would be a wise idea to get blood bank experience immediately out of college. Even better if you get trauma center blood bank experience. Managers will die to get you into their hospital. Even my boss said yesterday, if an IT guy blew away in a storm we could replace him tomorrow, but if a blood banker did---Forget it!

You can be a rare commodity depending on your approach when you graduate. Migrate to the department/departments they need the most help.

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Jake C. in Chicago, Illinois

51 months ago

Rohan in Fresh Meadows, New York said: Where'd you find those statistics and are they valid enough? 45-55 is a pharmacist's salary.

Moreover, I was told that one my friend's friends who works in California buys a new car every single year with the bacon he is raking in... Must be nice, my little Honda Civic might get replaced soon! LOL... Just gotta make it to Cali...

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Rohan in Fresh Meadows, New York

51 months ago

Very tempting, I'm more concerned on getting rid of my students loan off first though. Graduating this year with nearly 145k in student loans after interest lol. That would take over 2 years to pay off with a decent salary and still living like a student. So the cars and a house wont come for awhile.

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Todd MT (ASCP) in Lewisville, Texas

51 months ago

Rohan if I was you I would work in Cali, rent a apt, and start making the bank of 45/hour, that is some great cheese that you will not find ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE COUNTRY EXCEPT FOR CALI. BANK ON THAT.

I have 10 years generalist experience working all over the east coast and my salary is not even at 30/hour....I am trying to apply for my cali license as well, when I tried to get ahold of them, they put me on hold for 20 minutes...I need to get approved bc I do not have a whole year training, that is one obstacle that I will be facing...

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CLS48 in California

51 months ago

Maybe $45 starting on a graveyard blood bank shift with the differential and in the SF bay area. As I said before, a recruiter called me for a hospital in southern CA for a blood bank graveyard at $40 an hour. $55 an hour probably if you had 10+ years of experience even in northern CA.

While it's true that blood bankers are needed, they don't necessarily get paid more than generalists or even thoughs that work just in hematology, chemistry, or micro. Hospitals try to pay all their CLSs the same relevant to experience or else people will complain. Now if they have a hard time filling a graveyard position in blood bank or somewhere else, I can see them raising that salary to attract CLSs.

145K student loans is outrageous and will take you more like 5 years to pay off even if you had two jobs and lived on barely anything during that time. 145K is like med school debt. That's crazy.

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Jake C in Chicago, Illinois

51 months ago

Valerie,

Do you have work experience? Are you a generalist, and how long?

Our information seems to match.

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Jake C in Chicago, Illinois

51 months ago

I've been trying to figure this information out for almost 3 weeks now, so if you could give me a brief history on your work experience I would greatly appreciate it... Getting accurate information out of CDPH is like trying to pull teeth.

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Valerie in Kotzebue, Alaska

51 months ago

I have been a Tech for bout 15 years now. I also completed 1 year of clinical rotation which I have to also prove to them. Thank goodness I have stayed in contact with that facility. I have been Traveling for the Past 3 years

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CLS48 in California

51 months ago

Valerie in Kotzebue, Alaska said: I am BS MT(ASCP) My Major for my BS was Clinical Laboratory Science...and I have just received notice I have to complete 3 semester units including light and electricity to obtain my CA License !!! UNREAL

Interesting. Not sure then. Well 3 semester units would be just one class of physics. I took 2 classes of physics. There is a big difference between 3 semesters and 3 semester units.

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Jake C in Chicago, Illinois

51 months ago

Aiiieeee, thanks.

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cathy B. in Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada

51 months ago

I am a BSMT graduate from the PI. I've been trying to get a license here in NV but you can only get it 2 times. I went to a ASCP/AMT review class under the PAMET Nv Chapter. Im soo scrared to take it again here since I have only one last chance . Whats my best route to take it at California to get license as a CLMT. Thanks

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mary in Daly City, California

51 months ago

hi, i like to get connected with anyone preparing for ASCPi. I am from PI and now staying in SF Bay area. I am currently doing self review. It's hard reviewing alone. Looking for review buddies, online or in person. Anyone knows any review classes now? i am thinking of attending one too. Thanks and God bless :)

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mountainjoo in San Mateo, California

50 months ago

mary in Daly City, California said: hi, i like to get connected with anyone preparing for ASCPi. I am from PI and now staying in SF Bay area. I am currently doing self review. It's hard reviewing alone. Looking for review buddies, online or in person. Anyone knows any review classes now? i am thinking of attending one too. Thanks and God bless :)

hello there mary!
do you speak tagalog?bisaya?
anyway, when are you taking the exam? i will be taking in this july 15 and i have mostly done self-review for 3 months at my own pace. going at your own pace makes you feel more comfortable and you can organize the topics to read in nthe manner that suits you. good luck on your exam!
(used to be from daly city but moved down in san mateo)

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mary in Daly City, California

50 months ago

hi mountainjoo! i speak tagalog but have lots of friends who can speak bisaya, most from cebu. :) God bless in your exam... (advance) congratulations for passing the exam! :) got my ASCPI test permit but haven't scheduled my exam yet. Might sched it by Aug since i feel i am still not ready for july. Are you working in the lab now? You're in san mateo? hope we could meet up sometime. :)

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mountainjoo in San Mateo, California

50 months ago

mary in Daly City, California said: hi mountainjoo! i speak tagalog but have lots of friends who can speak bisaya, most from cebu. :) God bless in your exam... (advance) congratulations for passing the exam! :) got my ASCPI test permit but haven't scheduled my exam yet. Might sched it by Aug since i feel i am still not ready for july. Are you working in the lab now? You're in san mateo? hope we could meet up sometime. :)

yup im down here in san mateo. i was supposed to take the exem in cebu but opted to take it sfo. just got back last july 1. cge bah lets meet up sometime for the world is a small plce indeed! ikaw sad ayuayu sa imu review!

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clshopefulnumber12314 in Brooklyn, New York

50 months ago

Valerie in Kotzebue, Alaska said: I am BS MT(ASCP) My Major for my BS was Clinical Laboratory Science...and I have just received notice I have to complete 3 semester units including light and electricity to obtain my CA License !!! UNREAL

hey Valerie did u get your CLS BS degree from a NAACLS accredited school?

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maria514 in Covina, California

49 months ago

mary in Daly City, California said: hi mountainjoo! i speak tagalog but have lots of friends who can speak bisaya, most from cebu. :) God bless in your exam... (advance) congratulations for passing the exam! :) got my ASCPI test permit but haven't scheduled my exam yet. Might sched it by Aug since i feel i am still not ready for july. Are you working in the lab now? You're in san mateo? hope we could meet up sometime. :)

hi mary! i have some questions regarding the ascpi. did you apply via the california route or via ascp itself? i don't know anybody here who's done it and i'm so lucky to stumble upon this forum. hope to be able to get in touch with you and ask some tips regarding the application.

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maria514 in Covina, California

49 months ago

mary in Daly City, California said: hi mountainjoo! i speak tagalog but have lots of friends who can speak bisaya, most from cebu. :) God bless in your exam... (advance) congratulations for passing the exam! :) got my ASCPI test permit but haven't scheduled my exam yet. Might sched it by Aug since i feel i am still not ready for july. Are you working in the lab now? You're in san mateo? hope we could meet up sometime. :)

hi mary! i have some questions regarding the ascpi. did you apply via the california route or via ascp itself? i don't know anybody here who's done it and i'm so lucky to stumble upon this forum. hope to be able to get in touch with you and ask some tips regarding the application.

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John T in Chicago, Illinois

49 months ago

Most of these writers are Filipinos who all have a 1 year internship at their schools. When they apply for CA licenses they get them instantly. Now if anyone has any information on how to obtain a license to be a tech in California if you are an American and had a 5 month internship---now that would be helpful.

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Valerie in New York, New York

49 months ago

Lol I have been working on mine for a bit seems classes on the east coast aren't goof enough for the west coast I have to take another class. :(.

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Joyride in Chicago, Illinois

49 months ago

Valerie in New York, New York said: Lol I have been working on mine for a bit seems classes on the east coast aren't goof enough for the west coast I have to take another class. :(.

Valerie did you apply for your California license and if so... How long was your internship, and how long have you had working experience? And does work experience as a generalist in another state satisify the internship requirement?

If you could provide any information for us---that would be fantastic. I have been trying to find out definitive information for months on this topic, but I have failed thus far.

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Joyce in San Jose, California

46 months ago

Hi
I am going to apply CA CLS licensure, however, I can not find their requirements on CDPH website. Would any one guide me?

I am a BS degree of Clinical laboratory sciense in non-US university, and one year intership within all fields of clinical lab. After graduated from school, I had three year working experience. However, I got one semester unit/credit of physics in my country, and I am not sure how to calculate to US standard.

Guys were talking about the Route A or B or C, anyone show me more detailed information, please.

Thank you.

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mountainjoo in San Mateo, California

46 months ago

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Joyce in San Jose, California

46 months ago

Thank you, Mountainjoo.
However, I can not open the link. Would you please email me the information? helen2010hu@gmail.com
Thank you.

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priya in Memphis, Tennessee

45 months ago

here is the link where i found the information. It also has all the address and phone number for the license.

www.calmis.ca.gov/file/occguide/mdclinlb.pdf

I have to move to california near pomona area and i have B S as Medical Technologist from PA and 3 yrs of work experiance. I am not sure how and what i might have to do but i am NOT looking forward to move to california.

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priya in Memphis, Tennessee

45 months ago

here is the link where i found the information. It also has all the address and phone number for the license.

www.calmis.ca.gov/file/occguide/mdclinlb.pdf

I have to move to california near pomona area and i have B S as Medical Technologist from PA and 3 yrs of work experiance. I am not sure how and what i might have to do but i am NOT looking forward to move to california.

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SWCMLT in San Diego, California

43 months ago

Hello All,

I am currently in a NAACLS accredited MLT program and want to obtain my CLS eventually. I am a little confused with what would be my best pathway in order to obtain my CLS lic. I found route #2 from ASCP.ORG is almost identical to what is required from CAMLT.ORG yet the CAMLT requires a semester of physics. Will I have to do additional 2 years of clinical work experience even though I have 6 months of clinical training through my MLT Program or will I be doing 1 1/2 to fullfill the requirement?

Route 2: MLT(ASCP) certification AND a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college/university, including 16 semester hours (24 quarter hours) of biological science (with one semester in microbiology), 16 semester hours (24 quarter hours) of chemistry (with one semester in organic or biochemistry), one semester (one quarter) of mathematics, AND two years of full time acceptable clinical laboratory experience in Blood Banking, Chemistry, Hematology, Microbiology, Immunology and Clinical Microscopy in the U.S., Canada or an accredited laboratory* within the last ten years;

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CLS48 in California

43 months ago

Either way, what matters in CA is their requirements. Just because you are MLS(ASCP) does not mean you meet the educational requirements of the state and their 1 year of rotation in all areas of the lab. Sadly it's hard to go from MLT to CLS in CA. You can try getting your CLS trainee's license and doing 1 year of rotation in an approved hospital, or just go to a CLS program.

There have been many MLS(ASCP)s from other states that have tried to get a CA CLS license but failed because they only had 6 months of clinical rotations.

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SWCMLT in San Diego, California

43 months ago

CLS48 in California said: Either way, what matters in CA is their requirements. Just because you are MLS(ASCP) does not mean you meet the educational requirements of the state and their 1 year of rotation in all areas of the lab. Sadly it's hard to go from MLT to CLS in CA. You can try getting your CLS trainee's license and doing 1 year of rotation in an approved hospital, or just go to a CLS program.

There have been many MLS(ASCP)s from other states that have tried to get a CA CLS license but failed because they only had 6 months of clinical rotations.


Thanks CLS48

So even if I get my Bachelors Degree in something like Nutrition or Health Administration with all of the Core Scope Classes listed on CAMLT.ORG, I still won't be able to obtain a Lic. with two years Clinical Experience as a MLT listed on ASCP?
"Licensure as a CLS in California requires a Bachelor's degree with required coursework to qualify for a CLS Trainee license and entry into a training internship program. The internship is generally one year and includes practical laboratory training in all specialty areas of a cooperating medical laboratory as well as didactic training. After training the candidate must pass a comprehensive written exam* to obtain a California CLS License. Many schools also qualify their students to sit for one or more of the national certifying exams which are used as a benchmark in states without licensing laws.

Required coursework includes:
18 semester or equivalent quarter hours of biological science
Required courses: medical microbiology, hematology, immunology.
Recommended courses: parasitology, virology, mycology
16 semester or equivalent quarter hours in chemistry
Required courses: analytical chemistry, (quantitative analysis) and biochemistry
Recommended course: clinical chemistry
3 semester or equivalent quarter hours in Physics, including instruction in principles of light and electricity

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