MLT Program prepares graduates for successful careers
by Iowa Central Information
Posted on 9/29/2022
Among a wide range of healthcare career paths at Iowa Central lies a lesser-known program.
The Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) program prepares students for the workforce in a variety of laboratory settings from hospitals to the agricultural industry.
“It isn’t a well-known field, even within a hospital setting,” said Josh Kraushaar, MLT program coordinator. “Lab technicians do have some patient contact on the patient floor or in the ER drawing blood, that is a given, but it is a very scientifically diverse field.”
While enrolled in the program, MLT students are taught hands on skills such as drawing blood, but also study microbiology, hematology, parasitology, immunology, chemistry, and urinalysis.
“There are a lot of very interesting and diverse disciplines of science within this program,” Kraushaar said.
Kraushaar said the laboratory technician is often one of the first to provide a diagnosis and assist with treatment plans for various diseases and illnesses that can be diagnosed through lab specimens.
“When a doctor suspects a patient may have diabetes, the lab techs run those tests to allow the doctors to make that diagnosis,” he said. “For different types of leukemia, lab techs are the first to see and identify that and give the information to doctors who make the treatment plans. They are often the first point of contact for providing the answers to a patient’s condition.”
Laboratory technicians are instrumental in making sure patients receive safe blood transfusions and in identifying bacteria that cause infections so that the correct antibiotic may be prescribed.
Kraushaar said laboratory technicians have also played a large contribution in getting through the COVID-19 pandemic in recent years.
“They do the testing in hospitals; without lab techs, that (COVID) testing would not have been done as quickly and effectively as it was.”
Outside of healthcare settings, laboratory technicians can pursue careers in other fields such as industrial laboratories, veterinary labs, Ethanol and biodiesel plants or as traveling technicians.
“The career and employment options as a lab tech are vast,” said Kraushaar. “Lab technicians are needed everywhere and have been in demand for years.”
Graduates of the 71.5 Hour MLT program earn an associate of applied science degree which meets licensure requirements in 38 states.
Medical Laboratory Technician is a Future-Ready Iowa Last Dollar Scholarship eligible program.
The five-year statistics of the Iowa Central MLT program include 100 percent of all graduates passing their board exams and a 90 to 100 percent employment rate since 2017.
For more information on Iowa Central’s MLT Program visit https://www.iowacentral.edu/health_science/medical_lab_tech/index.asp
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