Female Moraine Park Medical Lab Tech

Guest speaker, Claudia Pitt Galligan, an alumni of our Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) program, recently came back to Moraine Park Technical College to speak to some of our second-year students and share how much this program has meant to her. If you’re unaware, Medical laboratory technicians assist physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases by performing tests on tissue, blood and other body fluids.

Here’s a look at how Claudia took a leap of faith to go back to school – even with a four-year degree already in hand – to make a better life for herself:

1.  What motivated you to enroll in our MLT program at MPTC? 

I graduated with a BS degree in Biology from UW-Madison.  The degree was too general to get a well paying position in our area, so I took a position with Consultant’s Lab at Agnesian Healthcare as a specimen processor.  I was very impressed with their facility and never knew that a clinical laboratory like theirs existed.  That spurred my interest and motivated me to investigate routes I could take that would allow me to work in the clinical lab.  I contacted UW-Oshkosh because they had a Medical Laboratory Scientist program (MLS) (a four year program).  The program director told me that Moraine Park Technical College offered an Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) program that would get me into the lab quicker than through their program and at a more affordable cost.  Once I got some work experience as an MLT, I could use my degree from UW Madison, and be eligible to take the Medical Laboratory Scientist Certification Exam.  Essentially, that became my plan.

2.  How did you feel about the MLT program at MPTC? 

I chose MPTC MLT program because of the course and clinical structure.  I found that the education I received through MPTC was more beneficial than my first undergrad degree – much more focused towards a lab career.  I am very grateful for the education I received through MPTC and the opportunity it provided to me for pursuing my career.  It changed my life!

3.   At your place of work, what are the job duties for MLT vs MLS employees?

Where I work, both the MLT and the MLS perform all the same tests in each department of the laboratory.

4.   When you reflect upon your career since graduation, what are your thoughts? 

I am very happy with my career choice, I like the type of work I do and I plan on working in the field for a very long time.  I like working at Consultant’s and I like the people I work with.    I do not think that people outside of healthcare know much if anything about our profession. In that respect I think we are undervalued, so the challenge is to change that!

If you’d like to become like Claudia and enter this exciting career field, call Linda Bau, MLT program director, at 920-924-3314 or email her at lbau@morainepark.edu. You can also visit Moraine Park’s MLT program page for all the details! 

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Written by Linda Bau