A New Home for Vol State Medical Lab TechnologyA medical diagnosis by a doctor is usually part of a team effort. There are important members of that team that a patient will probably never meet. Training those professionals is the job of the Medical Laboratory Technology program at Volunteer State Community College.
“There’s a lot of responsibility when you’re talking about caring for the patient through the lab,” said Adam Fredette, the director of the Vol State Medical Laboratory Technology program. “A specimen needs to be treated the same as the patient, because it is the patient.”
“The doctors and nurses are on the front line,” said student Christy Matheny of Tullahoma. “It doesn’t matter how good they are, if we screw up what we’re doing.”
That responsibility means that lab students need to learn a careful attention to detail and have rigorous training. The Medical Laboratory technology Program at Vol State has a new home on the Gallatin campus in the Wallace Health Sciences building. It’s the first time the program has been located on the campus. State-of-the-art equipment and facilities can provide students with the hands-on work they need. On this day, the students split time between the medical lab equipment and a computer lab.
“Having all of the technology in one room is fantastic,” said Fredette. “While one group is collecting data in the lab today, the other set of students are analyzing that data.”
“I like puzzles,” said student Janet Wagner of White House. “You’re taking patient information and aiding the doctors in diagnosis, by helping them put together the pieces.”
The students learn proper lab techniques and the theory behind the process. Using the up to date equipment in the new Vol State classroom, such as electrolyte analyzers and spectrophotometers, prepares them for the working world. Students also gain experience through clinical work at area hospitals.
“I’m currently in my clinicals at NorthCrest Medical Center in Springfield,” said Wagner. “I really like the facility and the people. It’s my goal to eventually work in a hospital. I want to get some experience and then go on to get my bachelor’s degree.”
After they graduate, and pass their board exams, the students will be qualified to work in hospitals, doctor’s offices and research labs.
“There’s so much you can do with this program and degree,” Matheny said. “I kind of like the research side of it. I would like to be part of a team that can help solve medical problems. You could be part of the team that cures a disease.”
For more information about Medical Laboratory Technology visit www.volstate.edu/MedLabTech or call Adam Fredette at 615-230-3363.