New River CTC celebrates National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week

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Front Row: MLT Program Director Diane Tyson (left) and Visiting Instructor, MLT/Clinical Coordinator Robert Stanton; Back Row: MLT students Latosha Traynham (left), Kongka Smith, Gloria Coleman, Elyssa McManaway and Sanjita Shrestha.

As New River Community and Technical College’s first class of medical laboratory technician students prepare to complete their program, they are celebrating National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, Apr. 23-29.

The student’s backgrounds ranged from careers in phlebotomy to teaching math in the public school system, but employment opportunities, job security and career advancement along with interest in the field, attracted them to the MLT program.

“Laboratory professionals play a vital role in health care. They perform phlebotomy and analyze tissues, blood and body fluids to help physicians diagnose and treat diseases or monitor a patient’s health,” MLT Program Director Diane Tyson explained. “There is a critical shortage of trained and certified laboratory professionals nationwide, and the shortage in southern West Virginia is becoming a health care crisis.”

New River CTC’s MLT program prepares graduates for technician-level positions in clinical laboratory environments in hospitals, physician’s offices, commercial laboratories, biotechnology, research laboratories, pharmaceutical companies and veterinary laboratories.

The graduating students will begin their clinical placements in May at facilities including Appalachian Regional Hospital, the Beckley VA Medical Center, Greenbrier Valley Medical Center and Raleigh General Hospital.

The MLT program is a selective admission program, meaning that students must apply to and be accepted into the program before enrolling in program coursework. Prerequisite courses include chemistry, anatomy and physiology, college algebra and phlebotomy.

The Higher Learning Commission granted the college approval to offer the degree program last summer. New River CTC is currently seeking accreditation of the MLT program from the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences and anticipates the self-study to be complete by September 2017, allowing students to be eligible to sit for the national certification examination.

For more information about the MLT program, contact Tyson at 304-929-5038 or dtyson@newriver.edu. For information on admissions and the programs offered at New River CTC, email admissions@newriver.edu or call 866-349-3739.

New River Community and Technical College serves nine counties in southeastern West Virginia from the Greenbrier Valley Campus (Lewisburg), Mercer County Campus (Princeton), Nicholas County Campus (Summersville) and Raleigh County Campus (Beaver/Beckley).