Jackson State Community College’s Medical Laboratory Program is on track to retain its national accreditation status after a successful review from the National Accreditation Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences.
The national accrediting body’s review committee recently finished a virtual site visit, and the program received no recommendations for improvement or concerns.
Jackson State’s Medical Laboratory Program began in 1969 and is the oldest in the country. For the past 30 years, almost all of its graduates have passed their licensure and certification exams on the first attempt – their averages on exit exams are well above state and national averages.
“We’ve always felt like we’ve had the best program in Tennessee,” said Medical Laboratory Program Director Pete O’Brien. “Nationally, I think we’re as good as anybody.”
The program teaches students to hunt for clues about the absence, presence, extent, and causes of diseases. A medical laboratory scientist performs general tests in all laboratory areas and works under the supervision of a medical technologist.
Their testing plays a crucial role in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases, as well as monitoring and maintaining patient health. In fact, about 75 percent of all medical diagnostic and treatment decisions are based on the testing performed by laboratory science professionals.
Medical laboratory technicians perform tests on blood and other body fluids using analytical procedures and state-of-the-art-instrumentation. They identify microorganisms that cause disease and detect blood cell abnormalities, such as anemia and leukemia, as well as blood-clotting disorders and blood compatibilities for transfusions. They also quantify compounds such as glucose, protein, cholesterol, and specific medications.