Cassandra Altrich knew she wanted a career in the medical field, but couldn’t quite find a program that felt like it fit her. That is, until she discovered the Medical Lab Technician (MLT) associate degree program at our Colorado Springs campus. Despite numerous hurdles, including the pandemic and a serious health diagnosis, she is now working in a career she loves. Here’s her story.
“I have found a career that I love as a Medical Lab Technician!
I’d attempted to find my place in the medical field once before, attending a Dental Assistant program, but it just wasn’t for me. I just didn’t enjoy interacting with patients. After being a stay-at-home mom for about 10 years, I returned to Pima Medical Institute, learned they had started an MLT program and knew this was the program and the career for me.
I chose Pima Medical because I knew how hands-on they were. Unfortunately, shortly after starting the program, the pandemic hit resulting in us having to go to online learning. But, our instructors worked really hard to get us into the lab in small groups to practice during COVID. During my program, I found out I had a brain tumor requiring surgery. The instructors were very helpful and supportive during my treatment and I was able to continue my program.
I am a veteran so I did my clinicals at the VA Hospital in Cheyenne, WY. It was challenging staying in Cheyenne during the week and driving back for weekends, but I did it! I landed an MLT job at Centura Health’s Penrose Hospital shortly after graduation and I love it! There is no typical day; every day is different and I learn something new almost every day. I plan to do this job until I can’t do it anymore. I am preparing to start my bachelor’s degree in Medical Laboratory Science. This will set me up to get my MLS certification, providing a pay increase and an opportunity for a lead position. I would definitely recommend Pima Medical’s MLT program. If you like solving puzzles, this is a great career for you!”
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