Med Lab Tech major provides a great return on investment
Have you ever had your blood drawn? Or taken a strep test? When you need medical care, 70-80% of the time physicians order some kind of lab test to find out what's going on. They are counting on the test to be accurate -- patients' lives depend on it.
"Medical Laboratory Technicians perform the lab work behind the scenes," according to Carol Canton, an instructor in the Med Lab Tech Program at Minnesota State College Southeast. "They do the detective work that makes it possible for health care providers -- nurse practitioners, physician assistants and doctors -- to accurately diagnose and treat their patients."
Karissa Kluzik is one of the "detectives" in the lab at Saint Elizabeth's Medical Center in Wabasha. She graduated from the Med Lab Tech program at MSC Southeast in 2015 with a job offer already lined up. Now only 26 years old, she is well established in her profession and even owns a house!
She is seeing a great return on her investment in a degree from MSC Southeast. "When you get a two-year degree, you may not expect much, but I've got an exciting job with a good salary and benefits. Every day is different, and that makes it fun."
She also appreciated that MSC Southeast was affordable and accessible. "I am so thankful that I had the two-year option so close to home! I know some people my age who have four-year degrees and their student loan debt is incredible. I lived at home while I was in college, so I didn't have to pay for college room and board -- that saved me money too."
Saint Elizabeth's has a relatively small department with only seven Med Lab Techs and three phlebotomists. The lab is bright and clean, with high windows shedding plenty of natural light into the well-organized space. The hospital's connection with Minnesota State College Southeast is strong. Besides Karissa, there are two other MSC Southeast grads working there and a current student doing clinicals.
"We get a lot of emails from potential employers asking if we have anyone graduating that they can hire," said Carol Cantlon. "Once you have an associate degree, the opportunities for advancement in this field are great. You can go on to a bachelor's degree, a master's degree, or even a Ph.D. The associate degree can be just the beginning of a life-long career."
Learn more about Med Lab Tech at MSC Southeast
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Download the December 2018 edition of Campus Connect to read the full story (PDF)