Service Learning Exercise Valuable to MLT Students

Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) students recently performed health screenings for 29 of their peers during the program’s annual service learning activity. The exercise presents MLT students with realistic situations like those found in a hospital or an outpatient setting. In turn, the student patients, many of who lack health insurance, receive $300 worth of medical testing.

The tests include complete blood count, cholesterol with HDL, blood glucose, prothrombin time, blood type and a routine urinalysis.

“The students gain so much from this experience,” said Deb Eckman, MLT Assistant Professor.

Sophomore students gain additional phlebotomy experience and have the opportunity to progress through all of the laboratory stations — from the registration process, to sample collection, to completion of the lab tests, and finally to evaluation of the accuracy and relevance of the results. They also become mentors to the program’s first-year students.

“The sophomore students learn to mentor and teach the first-year students by showing them how to run the instruments and perform tests these students have not yet seen as part of their instruction,” explained Eckman. “It is a very collaborative experience between the two groups of students who do not have the opportunity to interact normally because of their course and clinical schedules.  The first year students love learning something new, and participation during their first year gives them insight into what their role will be in the activity during their sophomore year.”

She added, “they can do all of this while giving back to the College community and particularly fellow college students who have little or no insurance and would probably not be able to afford these tests.”

The College’s nationally-accredited MLT program prepares students for careers in hospitals, commercial laboratories, physician office laboratories and pharmaceutical companies. There are currently 22 students enrolled in the program, and 16 new students are admitted each fall. To learn more about the program, contact Assistant Professor Debbie Eckman at 215-641-6487 or deckman@mc3.edu.

~ by Alana J. Mauger

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Photos by Matt Carlin

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