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Med Lab Tech Students Join Professional Society, One Selected for Prestigious Scholarship

6/13/18


From left, attending the ASCLS-NJ seminar in April are MLT faculty member Lisa Shave, and students Danielle Campoli and Elizabeth Sloan, who was the recipient of an ASCLS scholarship. They are standing next to Gov. Murphy's signed proclamation that declares April 23-27, 2018 as National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week.

West Windsor, N.J. – This year, ten students in Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC’s) Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) program took their education to the next level by joining the New Jersey chapter of the American Society of Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS-NJ).

According to MCCC faculty member Lisa Shave, who coordinates the MLT program, the ASCLS is the national society that promotes the MLT profession. “It provides advocacy, standards setting, and continuing education opportunities, and connects students with professionals in their field,” she said.

The New Jersey organization is part of ASCLS Region II, which also includes Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

Shave observes that student members are invited to attend seminars hosted by the New Jersey chapter in the fall and spring, where exhibitors showcase the latest biomedical instrumentation and speakers discuss advancements in the field.

She observes that for students looking to advance their career prospects, these seminars are highly beneficial. “Students get the opportunity to network with other medical laboratory students, as well as medical laboratory professionals from many institutions across the state,” Shave said.

One MCCC student, Beth Sloan, who has maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA, serves on the society’s New Jersey student committee, taking part in monthly meetings and reporting back to Shave with updates. At the spring seminar, held in late April during National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, Sloan was rewarded for her hard work and dedication by receiving one of only two undergraduate scholarships presented by the ASCLS-NJ annually.

“It was a distinct honor for Beth and for our program,” Shave said. “To earn this selective scholarship, students must demonstrate characteristics of leadership, ethical reasoning, and be viewed as someone who will enter the profession as a competent scientist. I can see Beth going far in our field.”

While enrolled in the intensive 14-month MLT program, Sloan has worked full-time at a local medical laboratory, her employer for almost ten years. "Beth already has a bachelor's degree in Pre-Veterinary Animal Science from Rutgers University, but decided to enroll at Mercer to add to her skill set after hearing such good things about our program," Shave said.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical laboratory technologists is projected to grow 14 percent through 2024, much faster the average for all occupations. "Medical laboratory technicians are in demand," Shave said, adding that salaries average from $30,000 to $50,000 to start, with most companies offering sign-on bonuses.

MLTs work in a variety of settings, including hospital and physicians' office labs, public health clinics, blood collection facilities, pharmaceutical and research firms, and manufacturing companies.

More about the Medical Laboratory Technology Program

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