PCC Teaming with BCCC and COA to Prepare Skilled Medical Lab Technicians

Student wearing purple latex gloves working with laboratory equipment.

WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College is partnering with a pair of nearby community colleges to prepare technicians who perform medical lab procedures used to diagnose and treat diseases and help patients maintain good health.

Last month, the college established collaborative agreements with Beaufort County Community College (BCCC) in Washington and College of the Albemarle (COA) in Elizabeth City that guarantee spots for Pitt students in their Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) programs.

“PCC students who take advantage of these partnerships will complete general education courses with us in order to transfer to either BCCC or COA for Medical Laboratory Technology training,” said PCC Health Sciences Dean Donna Neal. “Beaufort has guaranteed at least five seats for PCC transfers each year, and COA has reserved a minimum of three seats.”

Neal said the partnerships were created after Greenville’s Vidant Medical Center reached out to PCC about the possibility of starting an MLT program. She said there are a number of good-paying medical lab technician jobs available within eastern North Carolina and Vidant Health’s network of hospitals, in particular.

“PCC doesn’t have the resources to start an MLT program, so I recommended we form a partnership with BCCC and COA, who already have it,” she said. “I am hoping this collaboration will be a good way to address Vidant Health’s shortage of medical lab techs, given there are Vidant hospitals where these schools are located.”

Lisa Lassiter, director of Workforce Development at Vidant Health, said medical laboratory technicians can make a difference in their communities and people’s lives.

“With the current and future needs for medical lab technicians in our labs, we are excited and grateful Pitt Community College has been willing to create a partnership with BCCC and COA to support and continue the future pipeline of these important professionals,” she said. “These individuals play a critical role as part of the health care team, and the need for these professionals is expected to increase in the days to come.”

Students taking MLT develop the skills to perform clinical laboratory procedures in chemistry, hematology, microbiology and immunohematology accurately and efficiently. They learn how to differentiate between normal and abnormal test results and correlate laboratory findings to common disease processes. They also prepare for the American Society for Clinical Pathology’s credentialing exam.

“MLT is a good option for students who have an interest in science and would like to work in health care but do not want to provide direct patient care,” Neal said.

In addition to hospitals, medical lab technicians work in places like state health departments, reference and forensic laboratories, medical and veterinary offices, fertility clinics, and pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms.

Students interested in learning more about transferring from PCC to COA or Beaufort for MLT training, including application deadlines and admissions requirements, can visit pittcc.edu. They may also call (252) 493-7473 or email hltscadm@email.pittcc.edu.