Major ID: 061A (622A)
Program Start Dates: Fall
The Medical Laboratory Technician program is a combination of classroom, laboratory and applied experiences that will provide students with training needed for employment in Medical Laboratory careers. Following the didactic coursework, which includes hands-on training in campus student laboratories, students are assigned to a clinical affiliate for the clinical experience. This required portion of the curriculum provides realistic experiences and an opportunity for further learning and demonstration of technical and affective skill competency. The Associate of Applied Science Degree prepares graduates to enter employment as a Medical Laboratory Technician or continue their education to earn a baccalaureate degree as a Medical Laboratory Scientist. Medical Laboratory Technicians use sophisticated automated equipment and instruments, microscopes and cell counters to perform testing that helps physicians diagnose illness and disease, and treat and monitor patient health and wellness. They collect and prepare specimens; count cells and look for abnormal cells; analyze the chemical content of fluids; look for bacteria, parasites or other microorganisms; and match blood for transfusions. As a critical member of the healthcare team, Medical Laboratory Technicians evaluate data to determine its accuracy and relay the test results to the physician to provide quality services that contribute to patient safety. Qualifications include an interest and aptitude in science and mathematics, accuracy and attention to detail, strong communication skills, moral and intellectual integrity, self-discipline, an ability to multitask and prioritize workload, an ability to work as part of a team and independently, and desire to contribute to quality patient care. Laboratory workers must have the cognitive and technical skills to perform and master a variety of tasks and the professional/affective skills to maintain focus to work efficiently and interact effectively with patients and other members of the healthcare team in a setting that may be busy and stressful at times.
Medical laboratory personnel are critical to our nation’s healthcare. The diagnostic, technical, therapeutic and direct patient care and support services they provide are of vital importance to the physicians and nurses with whom they work and the patients they serve. The need for clinical laboratory workers is high. Increased job openings are expected due to the growing need for laboratory testing in an aging population and also due to vacancies created through retirements of current employees. Employment of medical laboratory professionals is projected to grow nationally 7% from 2021-2031 (according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In Minnesota over 10,000 vacancies are projected by the Department of Employment and Economic Development from 2023 through 2030, leaving a critical shortage in the workforce. Medical Laboratory Technicians are employed in hospital laboratories, clinics, doctor’s offices, public health agencies and pharmaceutical, industrial, and medical research laboratories. Medical Laboratory Technicians can be on their feet for extended periods and can work at facilities that are open 24/7, requiring staffing on weekends, evenings and overnight hours.
The graduate will:
- Demonstrate proper use, calibration, adjustment, and operation of laboratory precision instrumentation.
- Demonstrate standard safety practices in the medical laboratory designed to prevent injury, illness, or loss of life to those working in and/ or around the medical laboratory equipment with particular emphasis on the skills required for collection and testing of numerous body fluids and specimens using Standard Precautions (including the use of personal protective equipment).
- Correlate pathological conditions of the human body, including cause and symptoms, to the laboratory’s role in diagnosis and treatment.
- Demonstrate organized and efficient clinical laboratory work skills.
- Perform a wide variety of testing procedures employed in a medical laboratory and relate the principles of quality assurance and importance of these procedures to patient safety and the diagnosis and treatment of disease processes in the following areas: clinical chemistry, hematology and hemostasis, urinalysis, microbiology, transfusion medicine, and immunology.
- Be prepared to take the examination administered by the Board of Certification under the direction of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
- Demonstrate effective interpersonal/ professional/self-management skills in interactions with patients, colleagues and other members of the health care team.
National Certification Exam
Upon completion of the program, the student is eligible to take an examination administered by the Board of Certification under the direction of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
Textbook and Supply Costs
Students should expect to spend approximately $2,400.00, beyond the cost of tuition and fees, for books, supplies, certification exam, and liability insurance.
Once admitted to the MLT Major, students must take all of the required MDLT courses in sequence as prescribed. Sequenced MDLT technical courses are only offered once per year. MDLT technical courses are offered only during the day in a face-to-face format that requires attendance 4-5 days/week. Each course also utilizes the college on-line learning management system to provide supplemental learning activities. Students completing the required General Education, developmental or EAPP courses and who have not been officially admitted to the MLT program are considered Pre-Medical Laboratory Technician.
After completing the Saint Paul College application and admission process, students interested in the Medical Laboratory Technician program must submit a completed Application to the Medical Laboratory Technician Program form online. This form is available on the Medical Laboratory Technician Web page (saintpaul.edu/MLT) on November 1st through the last day in January or later until there are sufficient applicants to fill the open seats. This application window is for the subsequent fall semester start in the MLT Major. Applicants must meet the following criteria to submit the application:
- First priority is given to applicants who meet the readiness requirements above and have successfully completed BIOL 1730, BIOL 1740, CHEM 1711 & MDLT 1600 (C grade or better), with a combined GPA of 2.8 or higher.
- Second priority is given to applicants who meet the readiness requirements above and have successfully completed CHEM 1711 and MDLT 1600 (C grade or better), with a combined GPA of 2.8 or higher.
- Based on remaining space available in the MLT Major, applicants who meet the readiness requirements above and have CHEM 1711 and MDLT 1600 complete or in progress will be considered for acceptance.
Admission into the Program
Each application is reviewed in the order submitted on the basis of completion of prerequisite courses, overall academic ability, GPA of college level courses, and assessment scores. Applicants are admitted on a first-qualified, first-served basis according to the order of application submission. Applying by the February 1st priority application deadline does not guarantee admission to the Medical Laboratory Technician Program. Being admitted to Saint Paul College does not imply admission into the Medical Laboratory Technician Program. Notification of acceptance into the Medical Laboratory Technician Major will be sent by email 4 to 6 weeks after the priority review deadline date. Students admitted into the Medical Laboratory Technician program must attend a mandatory orientation meeting (MLT Seminar) to complete documentation to enter the program. Information about this required meeting will be provided upon acceptance into the MLT Major.
Additional Program Requirements
- Evidence of immunity to specific diseases prior to clinical experience placement
- Evidence of a cleared criminal background study prior to clinical experience placement
Michelle Briski - Program Director and Instructor
Nicole Schroeder - Instructor
Steve Cleveland - Clinical Coordinator, Adjunct Instructor
Students should consult with the program advisor to develop an appropriate educational plan.
Saint Paul College has transfer agreements & partnerships between many post-secondary institutions. For more information please go to saintpaul.edu/Transfer.