Students practice testing blood types

Krista Olson-Lehman, Staff Writer

Medical Laboratory Technician students spent a rainy day in the Health Sciences buildings showing off their skills and testing blood types, as a part of their clinicals for blood bank work. Just a simple prick on the finger, and the students gain valuable real world experience, while informing others of their blood types.

Knowing what type you are helps when blood donations are in dire need. Blood donations are crucial for hospitals to help patients with trauma during an operation, or even those with blood disorders. One pint of blood can save up to three lives. In the United States and Canada, about 43,000 pints of donated blood are used each day. The Red Cross has donations set up right on campus, so donating blood can be hassle free. The next blood drive will be held on March 29, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

There is so much more to the Medical Laboratory Technician program than pricking fingers. Individuals interested in sciences, the human body, biology, and unravelling the mysteries of specimens could be a great fit for the program. Some students even have bachelor degrees in sciences like biology, but without passing the boards and gaining the accreditation to work in a lab, they find themselves strengthening their education with the MLT program. MLTs study the chemistry of various bodily fluids, do urinalysis, identify bacteria and parasites and fungus, aid in the diagnosis of infection, and diseases.

There are usually more job openings than there are graduates from Madison College’s MLT program, and the demand for technicians is high. Following the MLT program are plenty of opportunities to go on to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Clinical Laboratory Science. The School of Health Education has multiple offerings besides MLT to explore, for individuals interested in health sciences.

For more information, you can find the MLT program information on the Madison College website at, or can email the School of Health Education at [email protected].