The College of the Canyons Allied Health Division will host an information meeting designed to introduce potential students to the college’s Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) program and the various employment opportunities available in the high-demand medical and biotechnical lab industries.
The next in a series of information sessions about the MLT program will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 14, in Towsley Hall, Room 102, located on the college’s Valencia campus.
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Including information about eligibility requirements, program prerequisites, the application process and potential career paths and employment opportunities related to this degree, the session is expected to last approximately one hour.
“There is an increasing demand for medical lab technicians in healthcare facilities and laboratories across the nation,” said Hanzel Salva Cruz, director of the college’s MLT program. “For professionals considering a career shift or students still exploring their academic options, the College of the Canyons MLT program might be a good fit.”
With roughly 80 percent of medical diagnoses requiring laboratory testing to confirm them, medical lab technicians are vital to any healthcare team. Often working behind the scenes to provide the information doctors and nurses rely on to provide care to patients, medical lab technicians perform laboratory procedures on blood, tissue and other bodily fluids.
They also play an important role in collecting the data and information needed to provide care to patients and/or perform research used in the scientific exploration of many areas throughout the larger medical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.
Certified medical lab technicians often find employment in hospitals, clinics, public health facilities and other commercial laboratories — where their training and communication and research skills are highly valued.
Currently, as with all health care occupations, there is a shortage of personnel qualified to work in hospital and biotechnical labs. However, the shortage of medical laboratory personnel is greater than that of nurses and physicians.
According to a recent survey, nearly 90 percent of hospitals in California intend to hire medical lab technicians to help staff their laboratories. In addition, the employment of clinical laboratory workers was expected to grow by 14 percent between 2008 and 2018, faster than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“This is the type of career in which students will be able grow and advance, and maintain their mobility,” Salva Cruz said. “There is a demand for trained MLTs across the nation.”
Students who complete the two-year MLT program at College of the Canyons will receive an associate in science degree in MLT and be eligible to sit for the national certification exam needed in order to receive licensing from the California Department of Health Services Laboratory Field Services Branch.
For more information about the College of the Canyons MLT program or the upcoming information session please contact the Allied Health office at (661) 362-3287 or visit www.canyons.edu/departments/MLT  http://www.canyons.edu/departments/MLT> .