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AACC Launches Medical Lab Technician Program This Fall

Mar. 9, 2007
Education

            A workforce need for medical laboratory technicians combined with community interest led Anne Arundel Community College to launch a Medical Laboratory Technician Associate of Applied Science degree program this fall.

            The program is open to students with the start of fall classes on Aug. 27.

            Medical laboratory technicians (MLTs) perform complex lab tests to help physicians and other health care professionals diagnose and treat health issues. They may examine and analyze body fluids and cells to check for parasites, bacteria and other microorganisms as well as abnormal cells or cell counts.

            The federal government is projecting faster than average employment growth through the year 2014 for MLTs with an 18 to 26 percent increase in the number of jobs nationwide.

            Those entering the field will find plenty of job openings. Worker shortages are growing because of the increased volume of lab tests, an aging population requiring more medical care and Baby Boomer retirements within the profession. The American Society for Clinical Pathologists states in its 2005 Wage and Vacancy Survey that 44 percent of clinical labs surveyed report difficulty in recruiting or hiring lab personnel, with a higher than average rate for MLTs.

            The School of Health Professions, Wellness and Physical Education created the MLT program to meet current and projected workforce needs in areas of public health, hospital care, physician care and with independent clinical labs. Students must complete 65-69 credits to earn the degree, depending on their choice of general education requirements in English and computer science.

            Nationally, the median annual earnings of MLTs were $30,840 in May 2004, the latest year for which statistics are available. The middle 50 percent earned between $24,890 and $37,770, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics http://stats.bls.gov/oco/ocos096.htm

            The MLT associate degree program prepares students to transfer into a medical technologist bachelor’s degree program.

            Free program orientations are set for noon Wednesday, March 28; 5 p.m. Thursday, April 12, 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 15 and 3 p.m. Wednesday, June 13. All are in Florestano Building Room 114 

            For information on the MLT program, call Tracy Lloyd at 410-777-7239. For information on AACC health professions programs, go to www.aacc.edu/healthprofessions