24Apr MTC Salutes Alumni Help Fight COVID-19 During Medical Laboratory Professionals Week by Wendy Weichenthal (Marion) Thousands of Marion Technical College graduates are working to protect our community during the novel coronavirus outbreak. One key role is medical laboratory technicians (MLT), who are working to help test and identify those with COVID-19. Ariel Hall works in a lab. “MTC has taken good care of me during my time as a student. They have prepared me for the job I currently do at my local hospital in the laboratory setting and are still helping to further my education,” said Ariel Hall, who has a phlebotomy certificate from MTC and is currently studying medical lab technology. “Without the health technologies programs at MTC, I wouldn’t be working the front lines during this pandemic helping to save lives!” Ariel Hall shows her phlebotomy certificate. This in-demand, growing profession has an average salary of more than $53,000 with an associate’s degree in our area. “There are so many job opportunities that it was very easy to find an MLT position. I got offered a job at my clinical site, so I have a job lined up,” said Crystal Harstine, who is graduating this May. Crystal Harstine works in a lab. “What I loved about the program was our daily labs. The hands-on learning we got to do really helped during my clinicals. Our teachers have a lot of experience working in their field of study. The teachers made this program fun.” The knowledgeable, caring faculty made a difference for Harstine. “Everyone here wants to see you succeed, not just our program teachers. They will work with you with anything you need as well as tutoring. I felt like I could talk to any teacher I had when I needed help,” Harstine said. As a nontraditional student, Harstine was nervous when she started college. “This program change my life. I have been out of school for 10 years, I was worried I wouldn’t get the material or even pass my first class, now I am graduating with academic honors! MTC really helps you prepare and succeed,” Harstine stated. Caitlin Stansbery, the Director of Medical Laboratory Technologies Program at MTC, says this is a critical medical field. “Once I dove into the field, I quickly realized that this was where I was meant to be. I have worked in large university medical centers and small satellite emergency centers. Every shift is different, each patient offers a unique puzzle. When leaving work, I knew I had made a difference in many lives. I am proud to be a part of the forefront of healthcare,” Stansbery shared. “In the midst of COVID19, this once secret profession is gaining worldly attention. Medical Laboratory Technicians are in high demand. If you are looking for a fast-paced career in healthcare, enjoy solving puzzles, and want job security, please come talk to us at MTC.” In a recent survey of medical lab tech graduates of MTC, 100% passed the licensing exam on the first try. A total of 100% were employed in Ohio and 100% would recommend the program to others. For more info on this program for Medical Lab Professionals Week (April 19-25), go to www.mtc.edu or call 740-389-4636.