BU science students visit Methodist Hospital Lab

Last Friday several of our biology students visited the Methodist Hospital Microbiology and Pathology lab in Omaha. The Methodist Pathology Center provides clinical and anatomic pathology services to medical facilities, physicians and other health care providers throughout Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri.

The tour is an optional, yearly activity that is open to all of our science students, however it is typically part of our Microbiology or Anatomy and Physiology classes, because those cover many of the techniques and topics that students get to experience on the tour. Even though our students are trained well in these techniques and have learned the concepts, once they see these being applied on real patient samples in a real hospital setting, they start to see things at a different level. As a result you can see the excitement in the student’s eyes and that alone makes these trips worth the extra effort.

methodist-lab-visit-1.jpgBuvaneshwari Seshadri, Sydney Robertson, Julie Richards, and Samantha Fitch at Methodist Hospital Lab

The tour was guided by Julie Richards who is the Program Director of the Medical Laboratory Science Program (see below). Some of the things the students were able to see was how blood samples are sorted and analyzed, how routine chemical tests are performed in an automated manner, how various microbial infections are identified, and how tissue samples are screened for potential tumors after surgery.

It really brings together concepts that students learn in biochemistry, microbiology, anatomy and immunology, and illustrates how these all connect together in the medical profession. This time students actually got a unique chance to get their hands dirty making tissue wax slides themselves, guided by the Methodist lab experts (see photo).

Bhuvaneshwari and Sydney hands on experimenting

The Methodist Hospital Pathology lab also hosts the Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) Program, which is an attractive opportunity for Biology graduates that want to continue in the clinical field after their bachelor. The MLS program offers an intensive 11-month educational program, providing experience in all major departments of a hospital clinical lab. The clinical lab science program includes lectures and clinical laboratory rotations. If you are interested, click here to learn more about a degree in medical lab science. Applications are now open to enroll in next year’s program.

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