Year after year, it seems as if the health care industry keeps growing with just under 16 million jobs recorded in 2013. That number is expected to increase by 4 million in the next four years according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (Torpey, 2014). The main role of a health care professional is to keep their patients healthy by using various techniques and medical procedures to diagnose, treat, and prevent illnesses, diseases, and injuries (WHO, 2013). Some health care professionals work closely with their patients, such as physicians and nurses, while others work behind the scenes, such as pharmacists or laboratory technicians (Torpey, 2014). Individuals who work closely with the public are more outgoing and thrive in that type of social environment. Individuals like me, however, are more introverted, and would rather work with microorganisms. This is why I am currently enrolled in the Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) program through Marshall University. Growing up, I have always had a passion for science and had my first experience in the field of medicine during my first job. I started working at a veterinary clinic where I was exposed to multiple areas of medicine, such as surgery, radiology, dentistry, sonography, pharmacy, and the medical laboratory. I enjoyed discovering these various areas, but I found myself being drawn to the medical laboratory more and more often. I witnessed firsthand just how vital the laboratory technician’s job was to the veterinarian in the diagnostic process for our patients. I was captivated and wanted to pursue this type of profession in human medicine, which led me to Marshall’s MLT program. Prior to being admitted into this program, I was required to apply for admission to Marshall University. After receiving my acceptance letter, I then had to submit an application letter and two reference letters to the MLT Program Director, Dr. Jennifer Perry (MU, 2018). I decided to request my reference letters from two veterinarians that I had worked with for many years because they were able to attest for my capabilities to succeed in this type of program. Once I was accepted into Marshall University’s Medical Laboratory Technician program, I knew I would have to keep up with my studies in order to remain in the program, due to the policy that courses must be completed with a grade “C” or higher (MU, 2018). Once the two year MLT program is completed, students will be able to gain some hands on experience during the fifteen weeks of clinical rotations. These rotations are completed through various hospitals that contract with Marshall University to accept and educate new students. During the fifteen weeks of clinical rotations, students will experience four clinical practices, including hematology, clinical chemistry, blood banking, and microbiology (MUCLS, 2018). Once students have successfully persevered during clinical rotations, they will then have completed the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) accredited MLT program through Marshall University. The next step for these students is to pass the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) exam in order to receive MLT certification (ASCP, 2018). For students who pass the certification exam, their next step is to apply for MLT licensure if their state requires it, such as West Virginia (OLS, 2017). This process involves submitting an application for licensure that includes the student’s Associate’s Degree of Applied Science and certification credentials (OLS, 2017). After all of these processes have been successfully completed, the student can officially claim the title of Medical Laboratory Technician.
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