May 3, 2012
Story and photo by Brandon Steinert
The medical laboratory technician program has been a staple in Barton Community College’s offerings for more than three decades, and thanks to the hard work of MLT Director Cheryl Lippert, it’s presence remains concrete.
Lippert received a letter on April 30 announcing the program’s reaccreditation through April 2018, which is the culmination of more than two years of work on a 750-page document detailing how the program satisfies the myriad requirements and regulations from the Kansas Board of Regents.
“I was hired to write it,” she said of the daunting task, which looks at the program’s progress from the previous seven years. “It was due in a year, so the first thing I did was file for an extension.”
After submitting the completed document, several inspections and resubmissions take place until a finalized report is accepted by KBOR.
Lippert said it was worth all the hard work in the end.
“Having been a technician for 30 years, I know how important it is for healthcare practitioners to have our data,” she said. “About 70 to 80 percent of their diagnoses are based on our data, so without it they’re guessing.”
She said one of the primary benefits of the program through Barton is a student can enter the workforce after only two years, then pursue the four-year degree while working full time.
“It gets people in the lab,” she said. “Around here, they’re so short on people.”
Director of Nursing and Healthcare Education Kathy Kottas said she’s proud of Lippert’s hard work and further illustrated the importance of the program and its impact on the surrounding communities.
“The MLT program provides a much-needed service to medical laboratories in our area,” she said. “If you walk into any medical laboratory in Barton County or the surrounding area, you will more than likely find a Barton graduate working there. Without individuals trained in these skills and techniques, medical laboratories could not function.”