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Why Choose UPMC Chautauqua WCA's Medical Laboratory Science Program?


The UPMC Chautauqua WCA Medical Laboratory Science Program and the UPMC Chautauqua WCA 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 WCA 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.
2013-2014: 100% (7/7)
2014-2015: 100% (8/8)
2015-2016: 100% (6/6)

Graduation Rates:  Our program’s historical completion rate is greater than 99%. 
2013-2014: 100%
2014-2015: 100%
2015-2016: 100%

Attrition Rates:  Our program’s historical attrition rate is less than 1%.
2013-2014: 0%
2014-2015: 0%
2015-2016: 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:
2013-2014: 100%
2014-2015: 100%
2015-2016: 100%

Employer Testimonies (1-year post graduation):

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 WCA, 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

“[Your graduate] came prepared with skills and knowledge. We are glad to have him on our Lab team.”
Laboratory Manager, large hospital, Buffalo, NY, 5/2014

“[Your graduate] demonstrated a good general knowledge in Chemistry and the instrumentation; she adjusts well to constant updates and changes.” “She is very knowledgeable in Hematology with both the theories and instrumentation. She did very well with differentials. I feel she was very well prepared for her first job and continues to perform well.”
Department supervisors in Chemistry and Hematology, hospital in Ohio, 5/2014

"[Your graduate] has the technologic skill and performance of a 5 year tech. She is actually one of my strongest techs, not only in performance, but understanding. I find that she is one of the most willing to take on projects, to learn, and to move forward with all issues, lab, tech, and patient related. She is absolutely an asset to this team. I feel that [she] has the understanding, strong background, and motivation to move up fast in this field. I would highly recommend her for hire at any laboratory. I would recommend any student for hire from UPMC Chautauqua WCA. I feel that she came beyond prepared for a first year tech!" "If all of your students have half of the background as [this graduate], I would fill my lab with them."
Laboratory supervisor, community hospital in central NY, 5/2013

“[Your graduate] has done very well as an entry level tech in our organization.  She was trained quickly and makes very few errors.  My supervisors were surprised at times with the information she was able to recall during her training period.  We’re very happy with her and wish we could find more like her!”  
Ed Tirakis MHSA, MT(ASCP), Laboratory Manager, Wooster Community Hospital, OH, 6/2012

“[Your graduate] is, quite simply put, one of the best technologists that I have ever worked with.  Her schooling more than adequately prepared her for work in the field.  She excelled at every aspect of her position in her time here.  Although she recently left our employ to pursue other opportunities, she remains one of the most dedicated, hard-working and amazing people that I have had the privilege to know.”  
Robert Collins, Lab Manager, Cayuga Medical Center, NY, 6/2012

“She’s a wonderful employee even though she’s only been here about 6 months.”  “Thank you for doing such a great job with her; we’d like to have a few more just like her!”  
Supervisor, Children’s Hospital, PA, 6/2012

The Faculty

The UPMC Chautauqua WCA Medical Laboratory Science Program boasts two full-time faculty, the Program Director and Clinical Coordinator.  It is the job of these individuals to make sure the program provides the best quality education UPMC Chautauqua WCA 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

UPMC Chautauqua WCA 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.

The Library

UPMC Chautauqua WCAThe laboratory library is comprised of current reference texts, publications, periodicals, and audiovisual programs covering a vast array of technical aspects of medical laboratory science as well as management and education. The materials have been acquired with an effort to maintain the viability of the information available for students and technologists alike.

In addition, the hospital maintains a Health Science Library providing inter-library loan privileges and research assistance to hospital staff and students.

Computer Services

Computer and internet services are available to students for research and study purposes. Computer programs that provide supplemental educational resources are also available.

The Clinical Laboratory

UPMC Chautauqua WCAThe clinical laboratory of the UPMC Chautauqua WCA 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 WCA 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.

The Institution

UPMC Chautauqua WCA is a voluntary, private nonprofit hospital founded in 1885.  It is the regional medical center serving a population of more then 140,000 people in Southwestern New York and portions of Northwestern Pennsylvania.  UPMC Chautauqua WCA has over 310 beds with services for medical, surgical, pediatric, maternity, emergency, neurological, and orthopedic patients.  There also exists specialty areas for trauma care, intensive and coronary care, palliative care, renal dialysis, endoscopy, respiratory care, alcohol and drug rehabilitation, psychiatric care, cancer treatment, medical rehabilitation, sports medicine, wellness programs, occupational and physical therapy.

The Community

The City of Jamestown (population approximately 35,000) is geo-graphically located in Western New York State in the southern part of Chautauqua County approximately 90 miles south of Buffalo, New York and approximately 45 miles north-east of Erie, Pennsylvania.

The area proudly boasts of beautiful countryside and landscapes and is known as an all-seasonal resort area offering a variety of year round activities at nearby ski resorts, state parks and lakes.

A well known, turn of the century cultural development, the Chautauqua Institution, is located on the shore of nearby Chautauqua Lake offering educational, cultural and entertainment opportunities to both area residents and vacationers.
Post secondary and graduate work can be pursued within commuting distance at nearby colleges and universities.

Unique for its size, Jamestown offers many of the advantages of larger cities while maintaining the charm of a small community.