Science

Thursday, Sept. 23, was the Medical Lab Science night, where anyone could attend and learn more about the field of medical laboratory science. The event took place on the third floor of Agenstein, with nine different rooms being occupied by staff from a lab or hospital. 

In a statement made by Doctor Natalie Mikita: “We want to teach people about this unknown program and professions and to help students get a feel of being in a medical lab.” In addition, the event would encourage students to learn about the program, catch people early to see if that was the field they would like to pursue.

One of the many clinical labs that were there that night was Quest Diagnostics. They are a great company with a great culture and are the largest lab in the U.S. Daily. They have over a thousand national patients. It’s cost-effective for hospitals to work through them, especially with insurance. A lot of places were affected by COVID-19, but Quest was able to thrive during the pandemic. Being one of the top-performing labs helping to fight the pandemic, since 2020, they have helped conduct fifty million tests. They are so busy that they are always hiring. A couple of weeks in the summer, they offer paid internship programs.

Tyler Law, a Senior who is also a returning student studying biochemistry, came to the event to learn more about the field and general studies.

The representative from Nemaha County Hospital, Presley Heisser, had graduated from Western in 2013 and, a week later, immediately went into the business and has been for the last eight years. She worked at Mosaic for three years, then got her masters in Genetics and was recently promoted to lab director.

“Don’t be afraid to go to different labs for experience,” Presley stated. “All the different labs have helped me progress forward in what I do.”

Many students also showed up for the extra credit offered by their professors, such as Logan Hovey, a Junior majoring in Bio-Health, who plans to go to medical school to be a doctor.

In an interview with Mary Tiano, a representative from Truman Medical Center, Tiano explained why they feel these events are essential for students.

“We want to teach students what it’s like in a busy trauma center. We’re a safety net hospital, a safe place for the homeless and the sick.” 

Mary also continued to say how they are state-funded and have suitable teaching classes, such as UMKC Nursing school, dental school, nurse anesthesia, and medical lab science school. Due to small class sizes, though, there is a maximum of six students, and they are very picky on who they let into their program, but for excellent reasons. 

Although it was a very educational night, students were able to have a lot of fun with the hands-on labs, talking with industry professionals. Hopefully, they left with more knowledge than when they arrived.

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