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March 27, 2015
HCC MLT Program observing Medical Laboratory Professionals Week
WELDON, N.C. – Halifax Community College’s (HCC) Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) faculty and students will observe Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, April 19-25. The week provides a unique opportunity to increase public understanding of and appreciation for clinical laboratory personnel.

There are about 300,000 practitioners of clinical laboratory science in the country. The career group was developed in the 1920s and has played an increasingly vital role in the diagnosis and prevention of disease. Now, the clinical laboratorian is a key member of the health care team. More than 75 percent of all medical treatment and diagnosis are based on laboratory findings, according to the American Society for Clinical Pathology.

“People don’t often realize that you can work in a hospital and help patients without having direct contact with them,” explained Lonnie Barker, MBA, MT (ASCP), who is the MLT and phlebotomy department head and instructor.

“We are receiving calls all the time for our graduates,” added program instructor Arnette Davis, MBA, MLS (ASCP)CM. HCC offers an Associate in Applied Science in MLT.

Both Barker and Davis are alumni of HCC’s program.

“We both got our start at HCC,” Barker explained. “I graduated from HCC’s MLT program in 1989. From there, I obtained my Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology (ASCP) in 1995 and then a master’s degree in business administration in 2005. I have worked all areas of the laboratory from phlebotomy to my last position as the laboratory director at Wilson Medical Center before deciding to take on the role of teaching the MLT and phlebotomy programs.”

Davis has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and graduated from the HCC program to work as a medical technologist and laboratory manager at Nash-UNC Hospital for almost 10 years. Both feel that the program provided them with entry-level laboratory skills for immediate job placement.

This May, HCC will have four graduates. Only 10 students are admitted to the MLT program each year. The curriculum is hands-on and offers clinical opportunities in area health care facilities.

“Our clinical sites are a valuable resource for our programs and we really appreciate their support,” explained Barker. Some of these sites include Halifax Regional Medical Center, Vidant Edgecombe, Vidant Roanoke Chowan, NASH –UNC and Boice Willis Clinic, to name a few.

The program prepares students to perform clinical laboratory procedures used in the maintenance of health and diagnosis/treatment of disease. Graduates are eligible to take the exam given by the Board of Registry of Medical Technologists of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists. Employment can include laboratories in hospitals, medical offices, industry and research facilities.

According to the MLT Career Profile featured on About.com and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the top 10 percent of medical lab technicians earn up to $50,250 and the median annual salary for the career is $32,800. Higher paying MLT jobs can be found in hospitals and universities and lower paying jobs are found in medical laboratories of physician offices or small clinics.

MLT student Allison Majors, of Roanoke Rapids, is currently in her first year of the program. Majors is a graduate of the phlebotomy program, but decided to enroll in the MLT program. “The lab really interested me,” explained Majors. “I’ve always done better with hands-on activities. In the lab, you can work alone and as part of a team.”

Majors hopes to pursue MLT as a career and possibly continue her education in the future. “I would like to work in a hospital to begin with to get the experience.” She encouraged anyone who likes math and science to look into MLT. “This program has opened up a lot of opportunities for me,” added Majors.

Medical Laboratory Professionals Week was established in 1975 as National Medical Laboratory Week under the auspices of the American Society for Medical Technology (now the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science). It is coordinated by a collaborative committee with representatives from 14 national clinical laboratory organizations, including The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS). In fall 2005, the name was changed to National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week to emphasize the person whose expertise is needed in the performance of laboratory testing. Organizers deleted “National” from the title in 2012.

For more details, visit the HCC School of Health Sciences webpage and click on “Programs” to view information on MLT and phlebotomy, view the PowerPoint presentation on MLT careers, or call instructors Lonnie Barker at 252-536-7284 or Arnette Davis at 252-536-6379. Also, check out the ASCLS Facebook page and the hashtag #lab4life, the American College of Clinical Pathologists website, http://ascp.org/ or Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ASCP.Chicago for additional information.
HCC MLT Program observing Medical Laboratory Professionals Week
Halifax Community College’s (HCC) Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) faculty and students will observe Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, April 19-25. Pictured, from left, are MLT student Allison Majors, Instructor Arnette Davis, MBA, MLS (ASCP)CM and MLT and Phlebotomy Department Head and Instructor Lonnie Barker, MBA, MT (ASCP).
Halifax Community College's Mission
Halifax Community College strives to meet the diverse needs of our community by providing high-quality, accessible and affordable education and services for a rapidly changing and globally competitive marketplace.
Primary Media Contact: Melanie Temple, Director of Public Relations and Marketing, mtemple295@halifaxcc.edu, 252-538-4319

Secondary Media Contact: Dr. Dianne Rhoades, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Halifax Community College and Executive Director of the Halifax Community College Foundation Inc., dbarnes-rhoades128@halifaxcc.edu, 252-536-7239