Medical Laboratory Science Program
The Medical Laboratory Science Program was established in 1957 when North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo was a 100-bed hospital. Designed in 1956, the initial program was approved for six students per year, and the main goal was to supply qualified medical technologists for NMMC.
As the hospital grew into a major medical center, the need for medical technologists increased. The name of the program has recently been updated to North Mississippi Medical Center Medical Laboratory Science Program to reflect the changes in the field. Presently, the program accepts up to 12 students per year.
Because of support from the Pathology Department, hospital administration, and the community, the Medical Laboratory Science Program has developed into a well organized and administered educational program that supplies qualified medical technologists for NMMC and the surrounding service area.
Graduates from our program are employed throughout the United States, but the majority are located in Mississippi and surrounding states.
From August to mid-December each year, applications are accepted and processed. During the latter part of December and early January, students are scheduled for interviews. Students are selected in late January or early February to fill the class which begins the following August.
Students spend the first six months in the "student lab" portion of the program. During this time, students spend several weeks in classes of each of the major subject areas. Students have one course lecture and lab each morning from 7-11:30 a.m. and another course lecture and lab each afternoon from noon-3:30 p.m. Variable hours may be scheduled for phlebotomy. While studying these courses, students have intensified lecture with limited laboratory exercises. During this time, students are learning theory and basic laboratory techniques. This portion of the program is taught by medical technologists, medical laboratory scientists, pathologists and others as needed. The instructors teach laboratory exercises, lecture and prepare evaluation instruments of various types. Course grades are determined using these and other assigned projects. At the end of the "student lab" portion, the student is graded on each course. These grades comprise one-third of the final grade in each course.
During the last six months of the program, students rotate through the clinical laboratory for five weeks in each of the five major sections of the clinical laboratory. Students earn a grade for each of these rotations. This rotation grade comprises a total of one-third of the final grade in each course at the completion of the program. During the clinical rotation, students have reading assignments and lectures relating to that particular rotation. Test grades from these assignments plus comprehensive exams make up one-sixth of the final grade for each course.
While in clinical rotation, students are exposed to other aspects of the clinical laboratory such as management, education and continuing education. Students are tested on management and educational principles on the final examination. For the education series, students are required to read Mager’s Preparing Instructional Objectives and to prepare and teach one lecture.
While in the Medical Laboratory Science Program, students are encouraged to participate in continuing education programs available locally and to participate in the Professional Society’s activities on the local, state and national level.
The instructors in the clinical rotation are the routine daytime staff of Medical Laboratory Technicians/Medical Technologists/Medical Laboratory Scientists. The supervisor of each Lab section is responsible for coordinating and assigning clinical instruction during the clinical rotation. Each student is supervised by an assigned staff member, who is responsible for cosigning any reports issued by the student.
Students are required to take a comprehensive examination which is similar in design to the certification examinations. This exam comprises 50 percent of the one-sixth of the final grade for each course. Upon completion of the program, students should have in-depth knowledge of the patient's total health care. Grades are mailed to the appropriate university or college. Upon receipt of these grades from NMMC, students are eligible for graduation with a B.S. degree. NMMC grants a certificate of completion to the students. Those students completing degrees and those who already have degrees receive the certificate and a school pin. While not required, graduates are encouraged to take the certification exam.
For a list of Medical Laboratory Science Program teaching personnel, please call the program director at (662) 377-3066.