UH Med Now
JABSOM Med Tech Hosts Public Open House
Tucked away in the Biomedical Building on the University of Hawaii’s UH Mānoa Campus is the Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) Department. The MLS department offers a program that educates, trains and develops students who later play a crucial part in generating data needed to assist health care providers in making patient diagnostic and treatment decisions.
This is the only MLS program in Hawaii and the only baccalaureate program at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM). The importance of clinical testing – especially in the age of COVID – cannot be underestimated. Yet, these professionals do their work quietly, often without acknowledgment from the public, which vastly benefits from their efforts.
On August 17, UH’s Med Tech program took a step toward reaping acknowledgment when they invited the public to take a look at the work they do by hosting an Open House. Med Tech students and alums performed demonstrations and offered visitors a hands-on opportunity to learn about microbiology, parasitology, hematology, urinalysis, and blood bank stations. The Med Tech faculty and staff members were around to answer questions and provide information.
Many attended from affiliate clinical labs, which train UH’s Med Tech students during their clinical rotations. Some attendees met the faculty and staff for the first time, while others had been with the department for years but hadn’t seen the instructors and med tech staff since before the pandemic broke out.
Dr. Violet Nxedhlana, who began as MLS Program Director in March, said that she was pleased and surprised to see the event so well-attended and that she enjoyed meeting the people who train their students when they do their rotations. “We put our department out there,” she said and expressed that she thought this event created “a buzz about the department afterward.”
MLS faculty member Sheri Gon echoed Dr. Nxedhlana’s thoughts. That was what the event was all about, she said, “making connections with students, alumni, and the community.”
By: Marybeth Kotrodimos, Academic Support Specialist, Department of Medical Technology