Vol State Medical Laboratory Technology Program Expands

Submitted on December 17, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Health care accounted for 38 percent of all jobs created in the United States in September and the U.S. Department of Labor expects the competitive employment environment to continue in coming years. To respond to the need for trained workers, Volunteer State Community College is expanding its Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) program. Those technicians are often the ones performing important medical lab work for doctors, both in private practice and at hospitals. Vol State is building a new home for the MLT program and with it comes a new program director. Tom White, Jr. has a background in military medicine.

"I was the program director for the Air Force Med Lab training program," White said. "We ran six to eight classes a year and I managed eleven clinical sites." White's title was Clinical Laboratory Manager at McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas. Before that, he was Education Program Director.

"My first goal at Vol State is to update the curriculum. That's something that needs to be done every two or three years," said White. "I've been working with Dean Brandon to design the layout of the new laboratory."

The Vol State MLT program has been stationed at St. Thomas Hospital through a partnership. A new Allied Health Building at the school will allow the program to have a dedicated lab and class area on the Gallatin campus.

"Having classes here on campus will help," said White. "Students can come by and see what we do. There are so many people who don't realize what a medical lab technician is or does."

Technicians collect samples from patients and perform tests to analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances. An MLT degree can lead in many different career directions, including forensic science in law enforcement.

The Vol State MLT program requires students to take the introductory course MLT 100 before they can apply to the program. That class is coming up this spring semester, starting in January. Once students are in the class, they will be eligible to apply for the program. New students will need to apply to the college first. For more information contact Tom White, Jr. at 615-230-3363 or by email at tom.white@volstate.edu.

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Pictured: The new Vol State Allied Health building is under construction and due to be completed next year.

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