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rofessor Suzanne McHale always tells her lab
tech students they are the unsung heroes of
the medical field.
"Seventy percent of clinicians base their diagnoses
on laboratory results," said McHale, Associate
Professor and Program Coordinator of MCC's
Medical Laboratory Technician Program. "Patients
have no idea how important that is, but it's
important for our students to know it."
As one of the founders of MCC's popular
Phlebotomy Certificate, Clinical Laboratory
Assistant Certificate, and Medical Lab Technician
programs, McHale goes the extra mile to make
sure her students succeed.
Before coming to Middlesex and starting her
teaching career, McHale worked in a pediatric
office lab for 24 years. "It was a highly complex
lab and we got to see the patient through
full-circle from the presentation of symptoms,
to lab testing, results and treatment."
While working in the lab, she was asked to teach
a hematology lab class at UMass Lowell. "I had
never taught before," said McHale, "but with
guidance from a wonderful mentor, I found another
passion: teaching. Seeing those light bulbs go off
in my students' eyes and fostering their interest in
this field is exciting."
McHale came to Middlesex in 2010 to start the
Phlebotomy Certificate Program, which recently
received a Best Phlebotomy Education Award in
Massachusetts, from
"Our program trains students to become skilled phlebotomists,
as well as exceptional healthcare professionals. We hold our
students to the highest standards of the field."
When MCC was awarded a state Workforce Development
Transformation Agenda Grant to expand its health and STEM
programs, McHale helped start two new lab tech programs: the Clinical
Lab Assistant (CLA) Certificate and the Medical Lab Technician (MLT)
Degree. The certificate program feeds into the degree program.
Approved in June 2013, the MLT degree program started that
September with just seven students. Since then, the program has
grown and each semester approximately 18 new students enroll.
Always looking for opportunities to help her students succeed, this
year McHale's "Intro to Clinical Lab Science" course includes students
enrolled in both the certificate and degree programs. "We bring them
together to show them that we're all working as a team," she said.
McHale also insists her students wear their uniforms to class. "It's a
source of pride. It makes them feel they are a part of something bigger
than themselves, and it raises the level of professionalism."
Going Above and Beyond to Help
Medical Laboratory Students Succeed
Faculty Profile
Suzanne McHale, Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of the Medical Laboratory Technician Program.