LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Inside the walls of Lake Charles Memorial Hospital each day, there's a lot of teaching going on behind the scenes. The hospital not only caters to patients, but also to students pursuing careers in the medical field. In this Healthcast, we take you inside one of the programs.
It's not your traditional college classroom setting, but these medical technology students are getting hands-on training as part of Memorial's School of Medical Technology. Program Director Dianne Malveaux says, "They learn all the why's and wherefore's behind the disease states and how to put all of that laboratory testing to help diagnose and monitor disease processes."
Jose Olivares is just a few months away from completing a degree in medical technology. Originally from Venezuela, Jose came to the states to further his studies and has seen the difference he can make through laboratory testing. "Doctors can almost never diagnose a disease or condition without lab work," says Jose, "so if our work wasn't done, then a physician wouldn't be able to determine what's wrong with a patient."
Inside the hospital's lab, each of these students - with the supervision of a senior med tech - has a year-long training opportunity to deal with real life, real people medical problems in a hospital setting. Malveaux says this is a unique opportunity for students interested in this field. "They actually see patient work and exactly how it's gonna be, so there's nothing pretend, " says Malveaux.
This competitive program accepts ten students each year who have completed three years of biology-type studies. Then they are put to the test in the classroom and in the lab. "In the lab we analyze many types of specimens like cerebral spinal fluid, blood, stool, urine and we will help the doctors determine or diagnose a disease," says Jose.
Jose says he sees his work in the lab as a service to the community as he helps doctors bring people to diagnoses and potentially life-saving treatments.