FAQs

MWCC Medical Laboratory Technology Graduates Celebrating and Thanking Professor Cheryl WilsonWhat is a medical laboratory technician?

Medical laboratory technicians work in a medical laboratory performing tests on blood and other body fluids to help physicians diagnose and treat diseases.

What do medical laboratory technicians do?

A medical laboratory technician’s typical duties may include preparing blood, urine and tissue specimens for analysis and then performing procedures ordered by a physician on these specimens. Using sophisticated laboratory equipment, lab technicians look for bacteria, parasites, and other microorganisms; analyze the chemical content of fluids; match blood for transfusions; and test for drug levels in the blood to show how a patient is responding to treatment. Technicians may specialize in the areas of chemistry, hematology, cytotechnology, immunology, virology, blood banking and microbiology. Due to the critical nature of the work, laboratory technicians must be extremely accurate and follow established procedures.

What is the salary range for medical laboratory technicians?

Consistent with the national average the starting salary for medical laboratory technicians with an Associate Degree is approximately $36,600. This varies with shift and type of laboratory.

What should I do if I think I might like to major in MLT or if have questions about this program?

You must meet with the Program Department Chairperson, Cheryl Wilson, room 271, 978-630-9433, cwilson14@mwcc.mass.edu. The first recommendation (actually this is a pre-MLTrequirement) will be to attend a MLT Information Session (held monthly).

What should I do if I have questions about field of work?

Besides meeting with the Program Department Chairperson you will find career related information at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Can I enroll in the MLT Program part-time? Can I take the program in the evening?

You may complete the first year courses on a part-time basis, but the clinical component of the second year is a full-time schedule. Multiple sections of courses are available on a day and evening schedule each semester, EXCEPT for all MLT courses. These are only offered in the semester designated on the curriculum and during the day.

What hospital will I receive my clinical training in?

All clinical rotations during the second year of the program will take place at one of our hospital affiliates: Heywood Hospital in Gardner, HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster, Lab Corps at Saint Vincent’s Hospital in Worcester, Marlboro Hospital in Marlboro, Cheshire Medical Center Dartmouth Hitchcock in Keene, NH, Nashoba Valley Medical Center in Ayer, Marlboro Hospital in Marlboro, Emerson Hospital in Concord and Athol Memorial Hospital, Athol.

Is the MWCC MLT (formerly CLS) Program accredited?

The MWCC CLS-AD Programs received full accreditation by the National Agency for Clinical Laboratory Personnel (NACCLS) in April of 2009.

Why is NAACLS accreditation important?

Graduation from a NAACLS accredited program is required for eligibility for taking the national certification examination. Certification is the benchmark for employment in the field of clinical laboratory science.

What if I am already a phlebotomist, do I need to take the phlebotomy practicum?

If a student enrolled in a formal phlebotomy training program with equivalent learning outcomes (didactic and practical) as PLB 101 and PLB 203, a student can petition the Department Chair to waive MLT 106. If a student has been employed as a phlebotomist and has achieved or exceeded the learning outcomes equivalent to the phlebotomy component of MLT 106, a student may petition to waive the phlebotomy clinical practicum component of MLT 106. Exception from this week of clinical practice would require validation of competency in venous and dermal blood collection procedures from an instructor, employer and/or a supervisor.

How many students are accepted into MLT?

The MLT program is currently accepting 6–9 students per year, depending upon the availability of the clinical sites for the 2nd year clinical practicum experiences.