Preparing to take ASCP MT exam in three weeks time

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SD in South Bend, Indiana

89 months ago

Hi Saju,
I dont think the transition will be too difficult to make. I came from a completely different research background and made the transition to medtech successfully. In my case, I had to go back to school and take some CLS courses but you already have the advantage of your MLT and Med.Micro degrees as well as some previous experience in the field. The one thing I like about having made the transition is that in the medtech field, I actually have a life as opposed to research which was all consuming. And when you work, you will find many many other people in this field who transferred from a different field so you wont be alone in this.

Yes, the way the procedure works is that you need to be certified or licensured, and you need a visa screen certificate, and then an employer can hire you on the basis of these documents and sponsor an H1B for you. In my case, I got hired first and was lucky enough to have employers who were patient enough to wait for me to complete the rest of the procedures. I would say that even as you wait to take your ASCP/NCA exam, start the job search...look for employers to sponsor your H1B visa because the job search depending on what state you are in may take a while.

Also, plan on taking the NCA CLS general exam as soon as you can. Keep in mind that it takes time for the results to be officially released by NCA (even though you know immediately on the computer screen whether or not you passed, it takes a while for them to prepare the certificate and mail it to you...about a month's time or so). An excellent book that helped me prepare for the NCA CLS exam was the NCA Review Book by Susan Becks. The questions in the book were of a similar level of difficulty to the ones on the actual exam and so practising those questions helped me know what kind of content would be on the exam.
...continued below...

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SD in South Bend, Indiana

89 months ago

...continued from response above...

There are some review cards by Polanksy that are EXCELLENT for studying the material on the exam. They summarize all the information you need to know really well...for me they were my life line for preparing for the ASCP exam. I havent used the Ciulla book myself, but from what I have heard it is helpful only if you are preparing to take the AMT exam (not a very recognized exam compared to NCA or ASCP) so dont rely too heavily on the questions in there.

Also, in my case I applied for the visa screen certificate as soon as I had registered to take the ASCP and NCA exams and had a candidate ID number for them. It put more pressure on me to pass the exams because otherwise my visa screen application would be messed up too...but it did save me time. Because even after you take the exams and pass it will take them about a month to release the certificate and then it will take CGFNS a loooong time (in my case three months despite constant phone calls to them and nagging them to hurry up endlessly) to acknowledge receipt of the certificates (be sure to send everything to CGFNS via special mail otherwise they will just pretend they lost it or didnt receive it)and process the visa screen certificate.

I know there's always a lot of pressure when you are required to pass an exam to continue staying in a country, but try not to let the stress get to you. And yes, I think if you study consistently 5 hours a day for two months, you ought to be fine. I had less time than that and I ended up okay. The key here is to be consistent, carve out time everyday to review material and make sure you understand the concepts really well. You should be fine. Look at whether or not you can answer questions from the NCA Review book by Susan Becks...if you do fairly well on those questions in the book, you'll be fine on the exam. If you find them difficult, you may have to review some more. Good luck and hope you pass the exam! Hope this has helped.

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saju49 in Irvine, California

89 months ago

Hi SD....THANK YOU for such a detailed information. I really appreciate it and it actually gave me a direction to follow and also it was very much encouraging to find someone who was almost in my present situation and has made his way up. I have few more things to be clarified.
When I came to USA 2 years ago I had done my evaluation for my education through World Education Service and their evaluation report said that the combination of my bachelor's and Master's degree is equivalent to 4 years of Bachelor's degree of USA. I guess that should suffice.
Also, how good r the chances of fining an H1B sponsor after I complete all the procedure. I believe that this field is in demand, so it should not be a big deal. Even though right now I am living in Irvine, California but I am open to relocate to any state. I would appreciate ur response. Thank you once again and have wonderful holidays.

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BG in Lake Grove, New York

89 months ago

Hi SD,
you are THE GREAT. i was keep checking forums but whenever i saw your commnets it helps me a lot as i am preparing for the ASCP and i have the same presure as you had, to keep my job and stay here. thank you so much for sharing with us.

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BG in Lake Grove, New York

89 months ago

SD,
what ahould i study for the hematology and biochemistry? i have the review cards. but is that enough? will appreciate your help

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cele in San Ramon, California

89 months ago

James in Scottsdale, Arizona said: I am looking for a MT to manage a STAT Lab in Yuma, AZ. Anyone know someone that may be interested?

hi james,

I am interested for the job and willing to relocate in Yuma,AZ.Please let me know if you're interested too.This is my email add:mbpinili@yahoo.com,waiting for your response.tnx

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RK in Falls Church, Virginia

89 months ago

Hi SD,

Since you are very helpful and knowledgeable, I'd like to ask you one question.
If I am holding a ASCP certificate, can I work in California? Once, I was told, I need to have a California state license. Is it some kind of test I need to take other than ASCP exam?
Please advise me.

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saju49 in Irvine, California

89 months ago

Hi RK... That used to be the case but recently the new law was passed and with that u do not need to take a State level exam only National level exam (ASCP) will suffice.

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RK in Falls Church, Virginia

89 months ago

Hi saju,
Thanks. This info is very helpful.
I graduated in 2006 and still do not take the exam yet. I am planning to take the exam in April, 2009 before I go back to work. I start studying and it scares me because I almost forgot all my study. I am very disappointed. Is it possible to pass the exam if I study for 4 months (1-2 hrs/day)??

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BG in Lake Grove, New York

89 months ago

Hi RK,
do not get disappointed. I took once but did not able to pass it. But study like 3-4hrs/day and you will be fine. I am also prepaing for the second time. As you graduated in 2006, u might felt that you forgot everything but once you will start studying everyday you will do good. ASCP is not that much tough but it is more on case studies. hope this will help.

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RK in Falls Church, Virginia

89 months ago

Hi BG,

Thank you very much for your encouragement. I wish I have 3-4 hrs/day to study. I will try anyway. If there is a will, there is a way.
Thanks again.

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saju49 in Irvine, California

89 months ago

Hi, RK..Same is the case with me. I have been out of touch from Lab Tech field from last 3 years as I was working in Clinical Research but am willing to make my transition back to lab field and am finding it hard to keep up with everything. But i guess i ave to take my chances and try my best. so don't worry, u should be fine. Are u planing of working in california. I just started my studies and am planing to take my test in Feb end or early march. I am right now in California but am willing to move to any other state as well if i find a job....good luck with ur preparations!!!

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RK in Falls Church, Virginia

89 months ago

Hi Saju..I am not planning to work in California. I am just asking just in case if my husband has to relocate or if we are getting bored to live in the east coast or..etc.
Some reference labs ( for example :Quest Diagnostics), they don't need ASCP certificate. I think, they have some openings in many states. Since you don't mind to move to other states, you should check their web www.questdiagnostics.com.
After you got ASCP certificate, it will be very easy for you to get a job in everywhere.
I haven't started my study yet. I try everyday and do not succeed yet. I have a 9 months old baby boy (he is handful) and I am just busy with him whole day. I quit my job one year ago because of radio active materials in the lab when I was pregnant. I need to take the exam before I go back to work again!!!.
I probably take the exam in April.
Good luck..

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SD in South Bend, Indiana

89 months ago

Hi Saju..I am a "her" not a "him". LOL. :D

I dont know if I'm going to be much help with your questions. I completed my education here in the USA and so I have never had the need to have an evaluation done through the World Education Service...but I'd advise you to hold on to those documents and even if they dont specifically ask for them, send a copy of these documents anyway to CGFNS as part of the visa screen certificate application. I have heard from friends that CGFNS tends to be really nitpicky when education credentials are obtained outside the USA so the WES evaluation might help you get through that hurdle with them. In terms of finding a job with those credentials, I highly doubt any employers will give you a hard time over it...right now they are desperate to hire anyone who is even barely qualified to work as a medtech, so you wont have a problem with your credentials from that angle.

Like I said, you ought to start searching for a sponsor from now rather than waiting until you are done with all the procedures...when you interview for the job, let them know that you are in the process of going through these procedures and give them an anticipated start date (the date by which you think you'll be done with all these procedures)..if an employer is interested in sponsoring you, they will be willing to work around the timing of these procedures. Having said that, it is easier to find a sponsor in some states than in others. Here in the Midwest, they seem really desperate to hire medtechs and will be willing to sponsor you if necessary because of the extreme shortage. Some other states may be less willing..am not aware what the situation in California is like (but I hope you know that you require a special license for working in california). Search job ads in CLS journals, newspapers, online...and sometimes it helps to even just drop by the HR office in hospitals close by where you live and let them know you are interested in a medtech position.

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SD in South Bend, Indiana

89 months ago

BG in Lake Grove, New York said: SD,
what ahould i study for the hematology and biochemistry? i have the review cards. but is that enough? will appreciate your help

Hi BG...glad to have been of help :)
For hematology, I had a lot of photo-based questions...so go through a hematology atlas and make sure you can identify structures such as auer rods and what disease state certain intracellular structures are associated with...know the differences between AML and ALL...know what the reference ranges are for cell counts for adults versus children...some of the questions presented the CBC in the form of a report and then would ask you in some way to link it to a certain disease state..so you would have to know the reference ranges in order to determine whether the WBC for example was within range or was high and what might cause that..etc etc...basically know your reference ranges, and know the hallmark traits of the various disease states.

For chemistry, I had an extraordinary number of questions revolving around jaundice, know the difference btwn direct and indirect bilirubin and how to determine whether it is prehepatic, hepatic or posthepatic jaundice based on the direct-indirect bilirubin levels. Chemistry had a lot of disease state based questions...know what enzymes would be high under what disease states.

I did not have much time to prepare for the exam so I concentrated mostly on the info in the review cards and then beefed it up with notes I had taken while I was in school. For hematology, I also skimmed through a hematology atlas.

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saju49 in Irvine, California

89 months ago

Hi SD...Thank you for your reply once again and it was really helpful. Sorry, that I was not able to determine from your earlier replies that you are actually "HER" and not "HIM".....lol but either way u were very helpful. I really appreciate it.
Regarding the special licensing requirement for California, i guess recently there was an amendment that California does not need any state level exam and will consider only national level exam to be a certified CLS. That takes a little burden away from me even though I have not restricted myself work in only CA but an going to be open to any state.
Thank you once again for all your suggestions and I hope u will not mind in case i need any other information from you in the future. Have a wonderful New Year.

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BG in Lake Grove, New York

89 months ago

HI SD,
thank you so much for the info. really appreciate it. i am studying from review cards and from the reobert harr book. i might not have time to go through all notes from school. I will sure go through the ATLAS as you said. thanks again. i really congratulate you as you studied in the pressure to get job and still passed ASCP.

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heather09 patel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

89 months ago

HI, everyone I am taking the exam soon. do anyone have any idea about hematology and chemistry what kind of question do they ask really. I would appreiciate if I get some kind of information about this two portions.

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Cele in Oakdale, California

89 months ago

James in Scottsdale, Arizona said: Hello, My names is James. I am looking for someone that is looking for a management position in Yuma. This is for a Stat Lab. Need to be a Med Technologist. Great pay and potential. Please let me know if you are interested or know someone that may be interested. thanks,

Hi james,
am interested for the position in yuma.i am BS Med. Tech and also graduated of Medical Doctor.i am presently residing at california but am willing to relocate in any states.actually am looking for an employer that willing to give a sponsorship.please let me know if you are interested.this is my email add: mbpinili@yahoo.com
thanks.waiting for your response whatever it is.

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chu in North Las Vegas, Nevada

88 months ago

hi she! i graduated from Saint Louis University in Baguio City

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CNH in Grand Rapids, Michigan

88 months ago

Is there a listing of not for profit programs that offer the year clinical internship for those who have there bachelors in Medical Technology??

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anna@*****.*** in Los Angeles, California

88 months ago

Hi Chi,

Let me know as soon as you pass the ASCP.. Email me at anna@idearecruit.com.
I'm a CLS Recruiter.

Chi in San Francisco, California said: Do you have materials that you use to pass the test and want to sell it? I just moved to California and will hav to take the ASCP again, I took it in 1991.
thanks

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ANU in Missouri City, Texas

88 months ago

I have to take the ASCP tomorrow. I am so nervous right now... students that graduated with me from UTMB said they only needed to study 2 to 1 week and were able to pass the exam.

I feel like I have so much to cover and I think I may fail...
Can anyone give me quick run through on things that I should focus on for all of the subjects... that the test focuses on alot...
Esp. formulas...will there be alot of questions involving conversions?

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ANU in Missouri City, Texas

88 months ago

Paul in Fort Worth, Texas said: I took the exam on December 15. I believe I failed it because when I finished it at the end of it, I read the word highlighted like in purple letters, "fail". I didn't see my score to see what I need to pass. This test was the hardes exam I ever took. I had only 2 cell panels, and they were fairly easy. One wanted you to rule out and the other wanted you to rule in, the question was if you had the following, C, E, Jk something pick out the one that says that... I don't even remember the exam, but it wasn't anything like I thought it would be, none of the questions I saw on the lab game were on there, I had to only ID one picture and I couldn't make it out all that well. It looked like a bunch of Epi's with some white cells with on a stain I had never seen. But yeah, they don't ask you things like, identify this WBC or Waxy Cast. Its real analytical stuff over disease states and stuff... I hope I read my exam status wrong but I doubt it, I'm preparing to take that exam again, I gotta pay another $200.00 and wait till Jan26, to see when I can take it again.. If I fail,again, I'm gonna take the AMT exam. I'll pass one of them, I'm hoping to pass the ASCP one tho. Any advice?

I took ASCP JAN 10th.. it was just as you described it..not at all what i expected it to be...Does the testing center matter when it comes to the ease of exam? I studied just as much as my friends and maybe even more and their test were much more easy.

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Evette Soon in Honolulu, Hawaii

88 months ago

CLS48 in California said: Chu, your question is vague. You probably could find the answer in any review book. Paul by the time I got to question 50 I thought I had failed already. I was surprised to see that I passed after the test.

I mostly studied review questions from the green study book ascp provided and it didn't help me much. I studied for probably 3 weeks a few hours every day.

Aloha,
I need an ASCP Certified Medical Technologist – they will train to do specific nucleic acid testing. One of the most difficult test being done in the laboratory because of the many steps and attention to detail. If you or someone you know is intersted, please call me for more details AND money of course:) Aloha, Evette

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Brian in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

88 months ago

ANU in Missouri City, Texas said: I took ASCP JAN 10th.. it was just as you described it..not at all what i expected it to be...Does the testing center matter when it comes to the ease of exam? I studied just as much as my friends and maybe even more and their test were much more easy.

The best way to pass on your first attempt is to take your test one to two weeks after you graduate from your accredited BSMT program. All the information will be fresh b/c you are on your clinicals. The longer you wait to take it once you graduate the HARDER it will be to pass.

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saju49 in Irvine, California

88 months ago

Hello everyone. Is there anyone on this forum who had passed ASCP or any other CLS certification test from California or a non-USA citizen working in California as CLS. I thought now CA doesn't need a state license anymore and will accept national board certification (ASCP) to work in state of CA. but recently i heard that it is not true...now i am confused. Can anyone provide me any information and how to go about it.
I will appreciate it.

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Evette Soon in Honolulu, Hawaii

88 months ago

Is anyone looking to relocate to Honolulu, Hawaii and work? I am in need of a CERTIFIED MED TECH. The money and benefits are great. Please call me if you know someone. Email me at esoon@vhcsystems.com

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ANU in Missouri City, Texas

88 months ago

Hi everyone. I was just wondering how long can you be employed without ASCP?
What are the disadvantages to work without ASCP?

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ANU in Missouri City, Texas

88 months ago

rani in Saint Petersburg, Florida said: hi anu, i am taking ASCP on 24th jan can you please guide me how were the question and what kind of question, how many panels were there, i heard somebody said if u r taking exam in same month they have similar question. can you please help me..........if u can i will be greatful to you.... thanks rani

Hey rani,

The test is randomized and its really by chance.... To be honest I dont remember the exact questions that were on there...There was about 5-6 panels,there were not many questions from microbiology accept few GPC and GNB and questions regarding Anaerobes...it had two questions relating to virus.. esp adenovirus... beta hcg.. study common calculations and dilution...i had dilution questions..know acid/alk metabolism/resp...know about posthepatic hepatic and prehepatic (these questions werent too bad...) the question I dont actually remember and never learned about were difficult. hematology asked to identify wbcs but the pictures were awful..and case studies followed.. ua and bf contained like 2 ques: 1 was to identify cast another dealt with theory...

thats all i can remember as of now... k.it maya_thomas@ymail.com i will let you know if i remember anything else..

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rani in Saint Petersburg, Florida

88 months ago

Thanks ANU, I apreciate it.

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chu in North Las Vegas, Nevada

88 months ago

hi everyone,
Im an ASCPi certified here in vegas and planning to take AMT too.Is there someone out there who knows where i can apply for a MT position in Las Vegas.Any feedback on this matter will be greatly appreciated

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James in Scottsdale, Arizona

88 months ago

The Advance magazine would be a great starting place for Las Vegas positions. I have a position for a General lab supervisor (MT) in Yuma, AZ. If you know someone that might have interest.

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Evette Soon in Honolulu, Hawaii

88 months ago

I've got two postions here in Hawaii - The weather is warm here and we are expecting 35 foot surf this week. Hope that entices you:) My email address is esoon@vhcsystems.com
Aloha!

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Daniel in Houston, Texas

88 months ago

Hi Evette, what is the average entry-level salary for med techs in Hawaii? Thanks!

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Evette Soon in Keaau, Hawaii

88 months ago

Entry Level pay in Hawaii is about 20.00 an hour

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Xhelie in Baltimore, Maryland

88 months ago

chu in North Las Vegas, Nevada said: hi she! i graduated from Saint Louis University in Baguio City

WOW!! St Louis..U're a louisian..Nice..Louisians have a gud feedback in the Phil.. knowing that my bf is a Louisian too..Hi Chu! hope u could help me with my ASCP inquiry about what books would u recommend

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chu in North Las Vegas, Nevada

88 months ago

hi xhelie! really? your bf is a louisian too? thats great! by the way , are u a filipino?well i took the ASCPi(international) exam and not the ASCP.i used Robert Harr, Pearl of Wisdom by Valerie Polansky and BOR from the ASCP..you can also use Cuilla,its a good review material.Goodluck

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Xhelie in Baltimore, Maryland

88 months ago

Yes Ate, he's a Louisian, graduated just last 2008..Uhm can i add u up in my YM charmed_xhel08..Yea, I'm a filipina..how old r u ate? Haha, im glad i passed by..uhm r u still using the Pearls of Wisdom? Myb i can buy it from you..

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chu in North Las Vegas, Nevada

88 months ago

maybe we can chat sometime..i already add you in my YM account..

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Molly in Ashland City, Tennessee

87 months ago

Brian in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania said: The best way to pass on your first attempt is to take your test one to two weeks after you graduate from your accredited BSMT program. All the information will be fresh b/c you are on your clinicals. The longer you wait to take it once you graduate the HARDER it will be to pass.

So you can take the test before you are done with your clinicals? I graduate from the University May 8th, but I'll be at my clinicals until May 21st. Our professors told us to take off a month and study for 8 hours a day. I can't imagine myself studying 8 hours a day for a month. I'm trying to study at least an hour a day while I'm in clinicals.

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Jasmine

87 months ago

The best way like brian said is to take the ascp as soon as u graduate. When u are on ur clinicals study the review books and ask ur clinical instructors if u have questions. The longer u wait, it will be virtually impossible to graduate.

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Jasmine

87 months ago

Impossible to pass the ascp that is

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Molly in Ashland City, Tennessee

87 months ago

I'd rather take it as soon as possible so I don't have to wait too long before getting a job after I graduate. I haven't been very good at studying my one hour a day, but I'm going to try harder. I'm always so tired when I get home I end up falling asleep.

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Jasmine

87 months ago

Molly study during ur clinicals, ask questions during ur clinicals, as soon as ur clinicals are over, schedule to take the exam.
As for jobs, there will always be jobs in this field because the field is very short handed.
You might want to pursue ur MT if u get a chance if they ever make the laboratory a mandatory BS

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Daniel in Houston, Texas

87 months ago

I was accepted at UT MD Anderson's CLS program - will be starting in
August and I'm really excited! Did anybody here attend MD Anderson (in Houston, Texas)? Any advice you can give me (about UTMDACC, the CLS program, or CLS in general) will be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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Molly in Ashland City, Tennessee

87 months ago

Jasmine said: Molly study during ur clinicals, ask questions during ur clinicals, as soon as ur clinicals are over, schedule to take the exam.
As for jobs, there will always be jobs in this field because the field is very short handed.
You might want to pursue ur MT if u get a chance if they ever make the laboratory a mandatory BS

I'm already in a MT program.

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Jasmine in Flower Mound, Texas

87 months ago

Oh that is great, just study during ur clinicals and u should be fine

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lenlen in Gardena, California

87 months ago

hi, i just took my ASCPi exam last first week of february. does any one of you know how i can work as a CLS in california?

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anu in Missouri City, Texas

87 months ago

lenlen in Gardena, California said: hi, i just took my ASCPi exam last first week of february. does any one of you know how i can work as a CLS in california?

Hi lenlen.. I hope you don't mind me asking.. would you please let me know how the test was like..and what to expect..

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