Ceremony celebrates medical lab technicians

Published 6:42 pm Friday, May 10, 2019

Six students were pinned in celebration of their completion of Beaufort County Community College’s medical laboratory technician program. The ceremony lauded the successes of Cyera Clegg, Beth Cooke, Heather Dotson, Bethanie Gordon, Lisa Robinett and Sara Waters. While the students hold their own ceremony, they will also participate in the Class of 2019 Commencement Ceremony at Washington High School on Friday, May 10.

The medical lab tech program is a two-year Associate of Arts and Science program in which students learn to work in a clinical laboratory setting. Students study topics such as blood typing and transfusions, how to identify and count red and white blood cells and how to measure chemicals within the blood. Not only do they deal with blood work, they also learn how to identify infectious bacteria, viruses and fungi.

As part of the ceremony, student Lisa Robinett presented a hypothetical scenario where there were no medical lab technicians. In this scenario, routine surgeries could not occur, cancer treatments would stop, and as many as 80 percent of the patients who enter the emergency department could not be properly diagnosed.

Often when a patient visits a doctor’s office or hospital, from routine check-ups to serious illnesses, there is lab work involved. Blood and urine samples are used to diagnose and monitor diabetes, heart, liver and kidney diseases. Without the work of lab technicians, doctors would have little to talk about with their patients besides their symptoms and outward appearance. Lab work helps narrow down the diagnosis.

During the pinning ceremony, Fashikie Smith, lead professor for medical laboratory technology, highlighted the accomplishments of Lisa Robinett, who received the NC AACC Outstanding Student Recognition Award from the American Association of Clinical Chemistry. Robinett is graduating with at 4.0 grade point average. According to Smith, she is driven to learn about technologies both new and old.

“Lisa is just the kind of student that helps to make our classroom a lively and safe place to take intellectual risks,” wrote Smith in her nomination of Robinett.

Smith also acknowledged both Robinett and Beth Cooke as recipients of the Arthur Keehnle Award, given to outstanding graduates of BCCC’s medical lab tech program.

Graduates of the medical lab tech program may work in a hospital or physician’s office laboratory, public health agencies, veterinarians’ offices, and industrial, research, and pharmaceutical laboratories. To complete the program, students must take four semesters of coursework on campus and complete one semester of clinical rotations at local hospital affiliates.

For more information about the medical lab tech program, contact Fashikie Smith at 252-940-6285.