HGTC Receives Learning Instrument from Carolina Health Specialists
Medical Laboratory Technician Program Receives Chemistry System.
(left to right) Ann Daniels, HGTC Assistant Vice President, Academic Affairs & Dean, Nursing & Health Sciences; Sandra Wetter, HGTC Program Director & Associate Professor for the Medical Laboratory Technology Program; Kimberly Stephens, Laboratory Supervisor, Carolina Health Specialists; Dr. Samantha Martel, HGTC Chair Physical Therapist Assistant/Occupational Therapy Assistant & Health Care Sciences; Carlos Perez-Leon, Laboratory Services Director, Carolina Health Specialists; Erik Ott, Chief Financial Officer, Carolina Health Specialists.
Horry-Georgetown Technical College (HGTC) recently received the donation of a Siemens Dimension EXL 200 Integrated Chemistry System (EXL) from Carolina Health Specialists for the Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) program.
Representatives with Carolina Health Specialists, including Kimberly Stephens, Laboratory Supervisor, and Carlos Perez-Leon, Laboratory Director, serve on the HGTC Advisory Board for the MLT program and knew the importance of students gaining hands-on experience.
“Carolina Health Specialists was purchasing a new chemistry system and decided to partner in the instructional process and donate the equipment as a learning instrument for HGTC students,” said Erik Ott, Chief Financial Officer, Carolina Health Specialists. “We are happy to be a part of the progression of this new program and believe HGTC students and the program as a whole will benefit.”
MLT students learn the manual methods of pipetting, diluting, and analyzing results, but computerized instrumentation is the modern technology used in most hospital lab settings.
Sandra Wetter, HGTC Program Director and Associate Professor for the Medical Laboratory Technology Program, understands the need for this type of hands-on experience for her students.
“Our students are learning to troubleshoot and perform instrument maintenance prior to going to clinical rotations. Within a couple weeks of receiving the instrument, students were performing various maintenance procedures, such as changing fluids, glass syringes, and cuvette diaphragms,” said Wetter. “This experience is giving them an advantage going into clinicals by working with the EXL. Instrument maintenance and troubleshooting are a large part of the MLT’s responsibility. Most laboratory departments are using some type of computerized instrumentation and HGTC is preparing MLT students for the challenge.”
Students in the program like Savannah Wilkerson are already commenting on the benefits of the donation.
Wilkerson, the MLT class representative, said “We are so glad to have the instrument to work on in our courses. I think we are all feeling more confident about working on the hospital analyzers now and know the experience is going to help us as we enter the clinical rotations this fall.”
HGTC’s MLT program is a limited access program, part of the Health Care Science division. Graduates are eligible to take the American Society for Clinical Pathology - Board of Certification (ASCP-BOC) exam. To be certified as a Medical Laboratory Technician, the graduate must pass the ASCP-BOC generalist certification examination. The cost of completing this examination is not included in the cost of tuition for the program. Becoming an MLT (ASCP) will help them procure employment in hospital and private laboratories (clinical or research) or physician office labs.
The program is in the process of becoming accredited by the National Accreditation Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).