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Why Choose the UPMC Chautauqua Medical Laboratory Science Program?


The UPMC Chautauqua Medical Laboratory Science Program and the UPMC Chautauqua Laboratory are committed to student learning and the promotion of excellence in the profession. Graduates of our program are highly successful individuals, many of whom remain in the hospital laboratory environment serving patients and directly applying their internship program-learned skills and knowledge. Some of our graduates have continued on to diverse careers as physicians, physician assistants, laboratory instrumentation technical representatives, computer laboratory information system analysts, educators and more. The solid academic- and personal-excellence foundation provided by our program has a proven record of producing successful individuals.

History of the Program

The UPMC Chautauqua Medical Laboratory Science Program held its first class in the fall of 1979 under the founding direction of Mary Kathryn C. Kutschke, M.A., M.T.(ASCP), Program Director and Donald J. Furman, M.D., Program Medical Director. The development of a program stemmed from the desire to train quality professionals and continues today, upholding those standards of excellence.

Graduation and Placement Rates

Our program takes the success of its students seriously, making sure we bring highly capable individuals into our program and providing them with quality education and practical experience. Our continued success can be measured in registry exam pass rates, graduation rates, attrition rates and employment/position placement rates. These outcome measures are carefully monitored by the Program Director; following, are three (3) years of recent program year statistics.

Certification Exam Pass Rate: Our excellent pass rates result in scores exceeding the national average.
2016-2017: 100% (6/6)
2017-2018: 100% (6/6)
2018-2019: 100% (6/6)

Graduation Rates: Our program’s historical completion rate is greater than 99%.
2016-2017: 100%
2017-2018: 100%
2018-2019: 100%

Attrition Rates: Our program’s historical attrition rate is less than 1%.
2016-2017: 0%
2017-2018: 0%
2018-2019: 0%

Employment/Position Placement Rates (graduates seeking employment in a laboratory-related field and employed within 6 months of graduation): The vast majority of our students interview and are offered employment positions prior to and in anticipation of completing the program year:
2016-2017: 100%
2017-2018: 100%
2018-2019: 100%

Employer Testimonies (1-year post graduation):

“[Your graduate] is knowledgeable in all areas of the laboratory and she quickly adapted to our procedures and instrumentation.  She understands the reasons for our policies and the relationship our results have to the patients we serve.  She currently is working the night shift as part of a team of 4 to cover the entire Lab.  She is efficient, capable of multi-tasking and calm under pressure.  Sometimes she is the only one trained in one or multiple areas.”   
Supervisor, hospital system in NY, 2019

 “[Your graduate] is a delightful, intelligent professional.  She learns quickly and works neatly and efficiently.  In the area of Microbiology so much is experience-dependent that I feel any technologist entering the field after graduation needs several years to reach excellence.  Having said that [your graduate] shows herself to be quite competent in the areas in which she has been trained.  Given the abilities she has shown here she seems to have been well-prepared.”   
Supervisor, hospital system in NY, 2019

“[Your graduate] has quickly become a valuable asset to this laboratory.  She is a well-rounded, technically sound generalist that has obviously been indoctrinated through a complete comprehensive program.  Additionally, Linda has demonstrated an exceptional work ethic and a highly intuitive sense of customer service.  We, at [our] Hospital are blessed to have her as a member of our clinical team.”  Supervisor, hospital system in NY, 2018

 "[Your graduate] has developed very well into her position as a generalist Medical Technologist here at [our] Hospital.  Very eager and understands the concepts.  If there is something that she does not understand she will ask to get clarification.  I am very pleased she chose us to work with.  I wish there were more out there like her with her ability and attitude."   
Supervisor, hospital system in NY, 2017

I could not be more pleased with [your graduate’s] performance to date in our lab. She started in November 2015 and has been an absolute pleasure to work with and train in our lab. She is an astute and quick learner and rarely needs more than a single explanation or demonstration for any task she has been shown. More importantly however, is her ability to evaluate independently and with very good insight.
I would more than welcome any other candidates that you train that are like her in the future. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you happen to know of any that are seeking a position.
Chemistry manager, hospital in eastern NY, 3/2016

"[Your graduate] came to us right out of school; I expected him to take a while to train, but [he] was very quickly able to pick up on policies and procedures. While none of the instrumentation was the same as UPMC Chautauqua, he had the theory to quickly pick up on the use of our instruments. I had 4 or 5 techs who were training him come to me and say, “[He] is doing great, and he asks really good questions.” [Your graduate] had the skills necessary in blood bank to quickly train and pass his initial competency with no problems. We felt comfortable moving him to his night shift home. He is usually here with another blood banker but sometimes works alone; he has made judgement calls that are spot on and exactly what I would have told him to do if he had needed to asked me.
Overall [your graduate] has been a great addition to [our hospital]; he is quickly becoming one of the more trustworthy and dependable techs here. This is due to not only him as a person but also the excellent education he received. Thank YOU!!!! (If you have any other good graduates who want to move to the Pittsburgh area we have some openings!)"
Supervisor, large hospital in Pittsburgh, PA, 5/2015

“[Your graduate] is a wonderful employee! She demonstrates all the important qualities an employer strives to find, a great attitude, strong work ethic, good judgement and deductive reasoning, dependable, and a commitment to improving laboratory skills and expanding knowledge. She was extremely prepared from both the technical bench perspective, as well as, didactic instruction. If you have any graduates from this year’s class looking for employment, please let me know. If her performance and abilities are typical of your program, I would love to employ more of your graduates!”
Laboratory Administrative Director, hospital system in Northeast Ohio, 4/2015

The Faculty

The UPMC Chautauqua Medical Laboratory Science Program boasts two full-time faculty, the Program Director and Program Coordinator. It is the job of these individuals to make sure the program provides the best quality education UPMC Chautauqua has to offer. Pathologists and department managers also act as primary faculty, bringing years of experience and vast knowledge into lectures and one-on-one clinical training. Additional instructors in the lecture and bench instruction of the program are Medical Technologists and Medical Technicians who bring with them a wide base of experiential knowledge along with a desire to share their knowledge and love of laboratory science.

One-on-One Bench Instruction

The clinical rotation allows a student to learn and practice their skills alongside and under the careful supervision of a professional Medical Technologist. The student works one-on-one with a technologist, performing laboratory tests on actual clinical samples and, under direct supervision, reporting those results for use by clinicians. This direct sharing of time in teaching and observing provides a highly successful learning environment.

The Student Laboratory

A large student laboratory, located within the main laboratory, is utilized by the students during the didactic phase of the program prior to entering the clinical rotation. Students are taught laboratory skills utilizing real patient specimens in a controlled environment in which results are not reported but used for learning. Many procedures are performed manually in order to understand the principle and procedure of each assay, and to cement the theory of disease and the diagnostic process. Each student is assigned a work area and sufficient drawer and cabinet space to store their laboratory supplies and assigned equipment.

The Laboratory Classroom

A laboratory classroom is also present in the laboratory proper. This room is used as the primary classroom and for group demonstrations and study conferences. The room is equipped with the usual instructional equipment, including a glass white board, bulletin boards, digital projector and screen. The classroom is also outfitted with computer terminals for use by students for research and study.

Accredited by

The UMPC Chautauqua Medical Laboratory Science Program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). The Program meets and often exceeds the Standards established by NAACLS in education quality and outcome measures.

National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
5600 N River Rd, Suite 720
Rosemont, IL 60018

The Clinical Laboratory

The clinical laboratory of the UPMC Chautauqua is located on the third floor of the Center for Imaging and Medical Arts and is attached to the main hospital facility by enclosed walkways. The laboratory encompasses approximately 12,000 square feet of space and follows an open lab concept providing an environment in which the laboratory personnel easily interact. A vast array of state-of-the-art instrumentation, interfaced with the laboratory information system, depicts the latest in modern technology.

The laboratory includes the main office, phlebotomy/specimen processing station, clinical chemistry, immunochemistry (serology), hematology/coagulation, immunohematology (blood bank) and microbiology, and specialty areas including cytology, histology, pathology and the Medical Laboratory Science Program.

Under the direction of the Vice President Administration, Laboratory Services Director and Pathologists, the laboratory employs technical, clerical and administrative personnel. The personnel staff three work shifts (7-3, 3-11 and 11-7) and many join in the lecture and on-bench training of the students.

The UPMC Chautauqua Laboratory performs over 1.5 million tests per year, allowing students a wide range of experience in normal and abnormal clinical testing and analysis of results. The open-lab environment permits unique patient samples and results to be seen and experienced by all students in a timely manner, no matter which area of the laboratory the student is currently studying. The department of Pathology, also housed within the laboratory, provides additional experiential support in the clinical picture of disease.