Students in the Medical Laboratory Technician program at North Platte Community College are training on new, state-of-the-art equipment.
They have started using both a QBC STAR™ Dry Hematology System and a Diagnostica Stago STart 4 Hemostasis Analyzer – gaining a tremendous boost toward their career path.
“These machines have helped us greatly in class with understanding the components of blood and the measures of each substance,” said Molly Walker, MLT student from Kearney.
Her classmate, Maricela Melendez, of Arnold, agreed.
“The new equipment will prepare us for the laboratory by giving us basic knowledge of the machines we will soon be using,” Melendez said.
Jamie Perry, MLT instructor, said it’s the first time the MLT program has had a hematology analyzer. Previously, a MLA Electra coagulation instrument was used.
“The new instruments allow our students to use up-to-date equipment that will help them correlate their theoretical studies with real life laboratory work,” Perry said. “The students will be using more complex equipment in their clinical rotations and then in their career. These instruments give them the basis of understanding of those larger more complex tools found in clinical laboratories.”
About the QBC STAR™ Dry Hematology System
The QBC STAR™ Dry Hematology System is the gold standard for performing complete blood count (CBC) testing in a variety of settings, including office labs and even remote locations.
It employs innovative dry hematology technology, meaning that all of the reagents needed to perform a CBC test are contained in one tube.
After filling the tube with the blood samples, the clinician simply places it in the specially designed analyzer and obtains the test results after the analysis is complete.
The process provides multiple benefits, including eliminating the need for the liquid reagents associated with conventional CBC analyzers. Those require special biohazard disposal.
In addition to being more environmentally friendly than other analyzers on the market, the QBC STAR™ is also smaller and easier to use. Weighing in at only 19 pounds and measuring 16-inches by 16-inches, it is portable and effective in a variety of testing environments. Installation time is less than 30 seconds, meaning the QBC STAR™ can be ready for use whenever needed.
Unlike other hematology systems, the QBC STAR™ is also fully automated, so it can be operated with minimal training. The operator can insert a tube into the machine, press “start” and walk away while the system performs a fully automated CBC analysis. The QBC STAR™ measures nine important CBC hematological parameters from venous or capillary blood samples, and its accuracy and precision correlate well with accepted standard methods.
Diagnostica Stago STart® 4 Hemostasis Analyzer
The Diagnostica Stago STart® 4 Hemostasis Analyzer, also called the Diagnostica Stago ST4 Coagulation Analyzer, is an efficient semi-automated benchtop system, integrated with Stago’s patented electro-mechanical clot detection method – Viscosity-based Detection System.
It performs clotting, chromogenic and immunoassay procedures. Its light weight and compact size are ideal for low to medium volume batch testing. Other highlights include four independently timed incubation stations, an electronically linked multiple pipettor, a 40-character liquid crystal display and an internal thermal printer.
Both the hematology system and the coagulation analyzer were budgeted for through the college’s instructional equipment plan.
More information about the college and its MLT program can be found online at mpcc.edu.