MLT Students Give Back, Gain Skills During Valuable Health Screening Activity‏

MLT Club President and sophomore student Wil Montijo mentors first year MLT students

MLT Club President and sophomore student Wil Montijo mentors first year MLT students

Blue Bell, PA —Each November, students in the Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) program at Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) perform an important service for members of the college community—free health screenings that would typically cost patients more than $300!

For cash- and time-strapped college students, tests that include complete blood count, complete cholesterol profile, blood glucose, prothrombin time, blood type and routine urinalysis, can play a critical role in helping them to manage their health and wellness.

On Nov. 6, 23 MLT students performed 95 screenings for 19 patients 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. It also provides sophomore students with experience mentoring MLT freshmen.

“There’s some things the first year students haven’t seen all. We’re here to introduce them to some of the equipment and answer their questions,” said Danielle Maninger, a sophomore MLT student who expects to graduate in May.

Maninger was on phlebotomy duty during part of the MLT activity—something she mastered during her off-campus clinical work at Holy Redeemer Hospital.

“I’m more confident now,” she said, referring to performing phlebotomy as a second-year student. “We only practice phlebotomy on each other, not on patients, in the first year.”

In addition to gaining mentoring and phlebotomy experience, sophomore students 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 during the exercise.

“This activity is a collaborative experience between our freshmen and sophomore students who do not have the opportunity to interact normally because of their course and clinical schedules,” explained Debra Eckman, assistant professor and MLT program director. “The first year students love learning something new, and participation during their first year gives them insight into what their roles will be in the MLT activity during their sophomore year.”

MLT sophomore Brandon Engle feels he has more independence this year, participating in his second screening exercise.

“Everything for me is more hands-on. You have to figure out how to do the tests on your own,” shared Engle who is currently doing his clinical work at Grandview Hospital.

MCCC accepts 16 students annually into its nationally accredited Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree program. Graduates are eligible to sit for the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) examination, and many go on to enjoy rewarding careers as MLTs in hospitals, commercial laboratories, physician offices and pharmaceutical companies.

To learn more about the College’s MLT program, visit http://www.mc3.edu/academics, then select Areas of Study, followed by Medical Laboratory Technician, or contact Assistant Professor Debra Eckman at 215-641-6487 or deckman@mc3.edu.

MCCC Radiography Program Earns Maximum Reaccreditation

PHOTO: Students work in the state-of-the-art radiography simulation laboratory at Montgomery County Community College’s West Campus in Pottstown.

PHOTO: Students work in the state-of-the-art radiography simulation laboratory at Montgomery County Community College’s West Campus in Pottstown.

Pottstown, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College’s (MCCC) Radiography program recently received full reaccreditation from the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) through 2022. The eight-year accreditation is the maximum award possible, and MCCC met JRCERT’s required standards and objectives without any recommendations or suggestions.

“This rigorous programmatic accreditation process speaks to the quality of our program, which is validated by the successes of our graduates. Graduating from a JRCERT accredited program assures students that they will receive educational excellence that promotes the quality and safety of patient care,” shared Debra Poelhuis, director of MCCC’s Radiography program. “Not only are our graduates highly successful in passing their national certifying examination, but they are well respected for their clinical expertise. This is a model program whose graduates serve the needs of this community in many ways.”

MCCC introduced its Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S) degree program in Radiography in 2003 in response to a documented shortage of radiologic technologists in the tri-county region. The program, based at the College’s West Campus in Pottstown, integrates theory, on-campus laboratory simulations and clinical competency experiences at area hospitals.

Since its introduction 12 years ago, more than 120 students have graduated from the program, and for six consecutive years, 100 percent of the program’s students passed the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (AART) National Certifying Exam. Graduates may choose to enter the workforce immediately upon certification or may choose to transfer to a four-year college or university to pursue bachelor’s or master’s degrees in radiography or a related health sciences field.

Certified radiologic technologists perform diagnostic imaging procedures, including x-ray, CT scan, MRI and mammography to assist in the diagnosis of illness. More than half are employed in hospitals, but jobs are also available in physician offices, medical and diagnostic laboratories and outpatient care centers.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “Occupational Outlook Handbook,” employment opportunities for radiologic technologists are expected to grow by 21 percent through 2022, significantly higher than the average growth rate of 11 percent for all occupations. In 2012, the median wage for radiologic technologists was $54,620.

To learn more about Montgomery County Community College’s Radiography program, visit http://www.mc3.edu/academics and choose Areas of Study, followed by Health Sciences and Radiography.