By Katie Stacy
MUSC's long distance histotechnologists program, the only one of its kind nationally, aims to ease the shortage of these health care professionals.
Jim Madory, D.O., medical director of Lab Informatics, said that MUSC's program helps well-qualified histotechnologists graduate and fulfill shortages in the state. "Without the expertise in preparing and staining slides provided by these technologists, many pathologists in South Carolina would be without an essential part of the team required to provide accurate and timely pathologic diagnosis to our patients."
The theme for national laboratory week is "The Team Behind the Scenes." Although sometimes unseen, medical laboratory professionals are critical to health care. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of these professionals according to Madory.
This was the basis of a program that was started at MUSC to train histotechnologists. Because of the distance education program offered, labs at MUSC and across the country, were able to be staffed staff.
Karen Gelis, director of the Histotechnology Program said distance education is a huge thing. "We are the only program in the country that is offering a distance education program for histotechnologists. We are hoping to eventually expand the program to meet the demands for these lab professionals and are now accepting students twice a year."
MUSC affiliates with hospital clinical labs in Florence and Arizona and allows histotechnicians to receive a degree as a histotechnologist. MUSC's program prepares them for the exam and participants receive practical experience at their clinical lab.
The program just received a seven year reaccreditation from the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences. This allows the program to have four traditional students and an unlimited number of distance educations students.
National Laboratory Week will be celebrated April 24-30. MUSC will have Lunch and Learn sessions, provide tours highlighting specific laboratory sections, and hold various social activities to celebrate this week.
For information about MUSC's histotechnologist program, go to http://academicdepartments.musc.edu/histotechnology/.