Motlow State Community College Interim President Hilda Tunstill has announced the college will be offering an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree in medical laboratory technology (MLT), beginning fall semester 2018. The degree will prepare graduates to become medical laboratory technicians (MLTs).
“We are excited to begin this new program in support of the need in our community,” said Pat Hendrix, dean of Allied Health at Motlow, “and would like to thank everyone involved in bringing it to Motlow, especially the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce; Denise Gaff, executive director at St. Thomas Health System; Elizabeth Fitch, dean of Motlow’s Smyrna campus; and the administration at Motlow.”
Students interested in enrolling in the program for the 2018-19 academic year must complete prerequisite curricula, including “Introduction to Medical Laboratory Technology” (MLAB 1301). MLAB 1301 will be offered in the upcoming spring semester of the 2017-18 academic year. Students can register for the spring semester currently through the deadline of Jan. 15, 2018.
MLTs perform a wide range of laboratory tests, which help to monitor patient health, provide diagnostic evidence of diseases, and aid in patient prognosis.
“Medical laboratory technology is an essential, dynamic and progressive diagnostic component of the healthcare industry,” said Dr. Kim-Sue Tudor, program director at Motlow State. “Education and training as a medical laboratory technician provides a comprehensive foundation that intersects with multiple career paths such as medicine, biotechnology and research, information technology, quality assurance, and compliance.”
The forecasted national and state job outlook for MLTs is very favorable. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Employment Statistics website, the forecasted growth nationally in MLT employment over the next 10 years is almost 14 percent. Currently the Nashville/Middle Tennessee region has one of the highest number of MLTs “employment per thousand jobs” in the country, 2.48, ranking second only to the Baltimore area at 2.55. Tennessee as a state ranks first in the country for MLT employment per thousand jobs, coming in at 2.58.
The national average annual income for MLT positions is $38,950; for Tennessee that number is $37,210, while the top 10 percent of MLTs nationally earn over $61,720. These impressive statistics further underscore the opportunity for Motlow State students via this new program.
“We encourage anyone who may have an interest in a medical or health-related career to explore the medical laboratory technology program,” said Tudor, adding, “the MLAB 1301 prerequisite course is an excellent way for students to find out more about this exciting and fulfilling career opportunity.”