Welcome to the Medical Laboratory Technician program! Upon completion of this program, you will achieve an associate’s degree that prepares you to work as a Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT). The work of the MLT is exciting, varied and vital to the quality of a patient’s healthcare. MLTs work behind the scenes as highly skilled scientists to perform tests that detect the absence or presence of disease.
Your work setting could vary with employment primarily in hospitals, medical or diagnostic laboratories, physician offices, and in state or federal agencies. You will function independently and as a part of a laboratory team, so your knowledge, professionalism, and focus on quality will be vital to maintaining a superior patient experience.
Our program prepares you to be able to step into this role, in any setting, with the knowledge and confidence needed to be a valued employee.
The Medical Laboratory Technician program is classified as an associate’s degree. There are different degrees available at Rasmussen University depending on the program you are enrolled in. The type of degrees offered are certificate, diploma, associate’s, and bachelor’s degrees, each of which requires a different total degree credits needed to achieve that particular degree. The MLT program requires 91 credits to graduate with an associate’s degree. There is a national certification that is needed to practice as a Certified Medical Laboratory Technician (ASCP MLT).
The Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) program is a blended program for core courses, meaning that there is online lecture with residential labs on campus and Clinical Practicum experience at clinical facilities. MLT students will be required to attend one quarter 360 hours of clinical experience at a clinical laboratory facility. The MLT program can be completed in 7 quarters with each quarter being 11 weeks long, meaning a student could complete this program in about 20 months (between each quarter there is a 2-week break). Each core course is 11 weeks long (the length of a quarter). Some general education courses in this program are 5.5 weeks long, or half a quarter. It is a bit strange to students at first, especially the half-week aspect, but research demonstrates higher student success in this model.
Students, if you have any questions or concerns about your courses or course schedule, please reach out to your campus Student advisor, MLT Program Coordinator or your Department Chair, Tammy Renner.
Each quarter is 11 weeks long and are divided into term 1 (T1) and term 2 (T2). T1 refers to the first 5.5 weeks of the course, and T2 refers to the last 5.5 weeks of the quarter (for a total of 11 weeks). In one 11-week quarter of courses, a student can take a course during T1 and a course during T2 for a total of 2 courses taken in that quarter.
Watch this video to see how T1 and T2 setup works within a calendar quarter.
So how do you prepare yourself? Time management is going to be your key to success. Make sure you check out the Time Management tab to make sure you are set on your time management skills before the quarter starts and are ready to tackle these 5.5-week courses. Also, understanding how to make tutor appointments is great to know as well. You can even meet with a tutor for time management tips.
Time management is an important life skill and is essential for you to be successful in your courses and program. Take the time prior to classes starting to put together a time management calendar. This is where you map out and assign/budget your time during each week for academics, work, family, and personal time. Creating this calendar will provide you with the pathway to success and allow you to balance college with other aspects of your life. Rasmussen University has two excellent resources to help you learn how to manage your time efficiently:
1) Within the Student Success Guide, there is a section entitled Managing Your Time--Getting It All Done with tips and downloads to help you organize your time, including time management calendars to help budget your time. Here is a quick link: https://guides.rasmussen.edu/studentsuccessguide/time (scroll down to the bottom box and click on Handouts). Please also visit our Time Management Tips from Students box in the Study Skills section of the Health Sciences Guide.
2) You can make an appointment with a tutor that is trained in time management skills, and they can work with you to help you create a time management calendar. It's a great idea to schedule even before the term starts to ensure you have a plan that starts you on the right track.
Use this link to learn how to make an appointment with a tutor (you need to be able to log into the student portal): https://rasmussen.libanswers.com/faq/32816 Appointments for time management help can be found under Success Skills. Remember, you can make an appointment with a tutor for coursework assistance as well. See the Tutor Appointments tab for more information.
Asking for help seems simple enough to do, but yet so many students fail to do it, many being scared to ask or some waiting too long. Be proactive--ask for help as soon as you need it! Every single employee at Rasmussen University is committed and dedicated to your success and is here to help. Sometimes we can’t tell if you need help or have a question, so you have to be proactive about asking questions. You can call or email your instructor, your student advisor, your program manager, or your department chair with questions and/or concerns. The sooner the better--don’t let your questions or concerns fester and become bigger problems.
Another person you can ask for help with is a tutor. You can schedule an appointment with a tutor for help over the phone, online, or even in person (where it is offered). You can get help with specific courses (such as Medical Terminology or Structure and Function), with writing a paper in APA formatting, with managing your time more efficiently, or even with improving your study skills. The college has tutors that are trained in your specific need of help. Click here for more information on our Health Sciences tutors or here for step-by-step instructions on scheduling a tutoring appointment.
Students will most likely have Medical Terminology and Structure & Function in their first quarter. Both of these courses contain a technology aspect where students will have to do voice and/or video recordings to submit as a part of their assignments. This can be intimidating at first, but it’s actually quite simple. When students are required to use various technology within their courses, there's always detailed instruction, and if students have questions or concerns about any technology issues, there are numerous resources to help, including your instructor, student advisors, tutors, the Health Sciences Guide, and the Personal Support Center, available free of charge 24/7 at 1-866-693-2211.
The ability to use technology is a valuable skill you can transfer to many situations. We call this digital fluency. No matter what professional field a student is pursing or even employed in, having the confidence and ability to use technology (including learning new technology/software) is a vital component to being a valued and successful employee. As students continue through their programmatic courses, they will gain this confidence, knowledge, and ability to become digitally fluent.
PATH Initiative Grading Criteria
PATH stands for Professionalism, Attitude, Time Management, and Hygiene. The purpose of the PATH Initiative is to prepare all students to meet professional standards while in the classroom, during clinical training, and once employed in the field. It is important for you to develop both personally and professionally throughout this process.
As a part of the PATH Initiative, you will receive instructor feedback throughout the course. This feedback is important to your success in the classroom and clinical rotations, as well as for establishing appropriate habits for your career.
P - Professionalism
Evaluation of Professionalism includes:
Respectful of instructors
Respectful of other students
Willing to learn
No use of slang when communicating
Portrays ability to recognize faults and works to improve
A - Attitude
Evaluation of Attitude includes:
Participation in class
Respect for instructors' and class members' ideas and feelings
Appropriate verbal and non-verbal communication
T - Time Management
Evaluation of Time Management includes:
On time for class
On time to return to class from breaks
Stays in class the entire time of class
Homework and all assignments are completed and handed in on time
Uses lab time effectively by keeping up with work and competencies during class time
H - Hygiene
Evaluation of Hygiene includes:
Tattoos are hidden
Body or facial piercings are removed, including gauging
No artificial nails
Student is clean:
No body odor
No scented lotion/perfume/cologne
Maintains oral hygiene
Student does not smell like cigarette or cigar smoke
Student has natural/neutral hair color