MLT students honored with pinning ceremony
by Iowa Central Information
Posted on 8/4/2021
Despite the challenges that the 2020-21 school year brought with it, students involved in the Medical Lap Technician program kept up a tradition.
Students in the program once again completed the work and passed the national certification exam to 100-percent satisfaction for program director/instructor/advisor Josh Kraushaar. That marked the seventh straight year they have hit that mark.
“Oh my goodness I know everyone, students and instructors, were all incredibly grateful to make it through all the modifications to traditional classroom and lab learning of this past year,” Kraushaar said. “But thanks to innovative shared ideas, technology, and a whole lot of personal responsibility I think our students can look back now and reflect on everything they've accomplished and be proud. Shawna Schuler and I couldn't be happier for them.”
Schuler serves as an instructor within the program that allows for students to secure licensure or certification requirements in 38 states.
“I think our program's 100-percent pass rate for the past seven years is credited mostly to each individual's hard work,” Kraushaar said. “That said, Shawna and I have worked incredibly hard to design, present and continually modify our comprehensive MLT curriculum that sets students up for success. Though graduates aren't required to take the national certification exam, basically all of them choose to and have one year from their graduation date to complete it to be included in the 100-percent pass rate statistic.
“Over the past seven years, some take it the day after graduation while others have quite literally taken it 365 days from their grad date. But for the past seven years, all have passed, so it makes for a pretty colorful feather in our program's cap. It's not the only measure of success of course, but I think it really says to incoming students and students thinking of joining that they've made a good decision to start our MLT program at Iowa Central.”
The Medical Laboratory Technician program prepares students to perform a full range of lab tests from simple blood glucose tests to complex tests to uncover diseases such as HIV and cancer.
MLTs must work both quickly and accurately to provide doctors with the right medical treatment needs for patients of all ages. They also analyze blood, urine and other body fluids using a microscope or other complex precision instruments.
“I think every year at this time after our MLT pinning ceremony we always reflect on our graduates' successes and love celebrating that day with them. But then we have to wait to hear from each of them about how they did on their national certification exam,” Kraushaar said. “So there's always some anticipation and excitement as those results start to come in. Shawna and I are incredibly proud that this years' graduates all passed their exams. Of course, the certification exam is the icing on the cake as they've put in two demanding years of academic and clinical practicum prep work to get to that final hurdle.
“Each cohort can complete our MLT program in as little as two years, but they have the option to take it as a three-year extended program if needed. Since we are a healthcare science program, there are general course requirements to complete during the first year. In addition, each semester of the two years includes MLT-specific courses consisting of academic lectures and labs. We use a variety of hands-on teaching methods which include utilizing Iowa Central's Simulation Center.
“When students enter the final half of the program, they complete clinical practicum days at affiliate hospital labs starting in January and finish the following summer when they graduate. It's at this point when they practice what they've learned in the classroom/lab and apply it to the ‘real world’ as they work with patients in area hospitals. Our storied program has been going strong for 26 years, and many of our MLT program alumni are now training our students during this clinical practicum portion.”
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