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Obtaining a California clinical scientist license requires planning, training and a college education. The California Department of Public Health has the responsibility of licensing clinical scientists through its laboratory field services division. Under this system, the department's Laboratory Field Services seeks to ensure quality standards in clinical and public health laboratories and laboratory scientists through licensing, examination, inspection, education and proficiency testing. Anyone interested in becoming a licensed clinical scientist must meet the educational, testing and training requirements approved by the Department of Public Health.
Earn a four-year college degree from an accredited institution of higher learning. According to the California Association for Medical Laboratory Technology, an individual seeking licensing must complete undergraduate coursework in the areas of biology, chemistry and physics. This includes required coursework in medical microbiology, hematology, immunology, analytical chemistry and biochemistry as well as instruction in principles of light and electricity.
Complete a clinical laboratory training program with a California approved laboratory. For a complete listing of approved laboratories, visit the California Department of Public Health's Division of Laboratory Field Services website. As of 2009, the California Department of Public Health has approved more than 39 laboratories, 18 of which are affiliated with San Jose State University and 21 with San Francisco State University.
Compete the clinical laboratory licensing online application and registration. Visit the California Department of Public Health Laboratory Field Services website to register and complete the online application. Pay a nonrefundable application fee of $203 as well as signing and mailing the application's attestation letter directly to the California Department of Public Health's Laboratory Field Services.
Request that a copy of your undergraduate transcript be mailed to the California Department of Public Health Laboratory Field Services Personnel Licensing Section 850 Marina Bay Parkway, Bldg. P., Richmond, CA 94804. Contact your undergraduate institution of higher learning registrar's office to make this request. Provide the registrar's office with the year you graduated and pay any required transcript fee.
Request that the laboratory training director where you completed your training provide the California Department of Public Health Field Laboratory Service with the start and end dates of your training. The information provided must also describe the number of hours and weeks for each specialty area you worked in at the laboratory as well as a brief description of all the procedures you performed.
Prepare to take the ASCP or ABB certifying exam. Start your exam preparation by enrolling in a California Association of Medical Laboratory Training approved pre-exam training seminar. Mini-grants are available for qualifying students to pay for the cost of attending the weekend seminar.
Take the California Department of Public Health Laboratory Field Services certifying exam. You will need to log in to your account using your password to sign up to take the exam.
Contact the Clinical Laboratory Scientist Licensure office at 510-620-5795 or by email before you complete the online application. Be prepared to discuss your application and ask any questions you might have about the certifying exam.
Pedro Carrasquillo began writing professionally in 2002 while working for the New Jersey state legislature. He coauthored the legislature's annual "Budget Analysis for the Department of Community Affairs" from 2002-07. Carrasquillo holds a Bachelor of Arts in comparative literature from Haverford College as well as a Master of Science in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University.