Although they will be working in very quiet laboratories, in most cases only interacting with the instruments of their profession and with a few people, the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) allowed these final-year students to say their goodbyes to the university in a true academic style.
They had to conduct their final presentations, which are a requirement for the completion of their studies, and form part of semester 6 of their study.
There were nine groups of students, each group had five members. Veronica Biyela, Training/Quality Coordinator in the department, said the presentations were part of Integrative Medical Laboratory Sciences III. Biyela said that before starting their laboratory training, students are given a topic to research, and present on.
“The topics are based on current and important diseases, and or conditions that affect the human body. They are to follow cases from the time patients are seen by doctors to the time the Medical Laboratory Scientists confirm the diagnosis. They then integrate the information gathered from all the different disciplines into one presentation,” said Biyela.
Biyela said the panel that adjudicated presentations consisted of experienced Medical Laboratory Technologists/Scientists, some were Laboratory Managers in their respective laboratories, while others are Supervisors and Training Managers.
“The adjudicators are specifically looking at the students’ understanding of the topic, and how the students process and give accurate results that will be meaningful and assist in the treatment and monitoring of the disease for the benefit of the patients,” said Biyela.
Biyela added that the presentations allow students to be “more prepared” for the critical roles they would be playing in saving lives. The presentations also provided students with an opportunity to learn how to communicate results as this is one of their roles. Biyela added that the role of a Medical Laboratory Scientist involved investigation, interrogating and advising.
“This is sometimes difficult and time-consuming while patients and doctors await the diagnosis. The students learn how to investigate and interrogate results that they get so that they can give accurate and reliable results while observing all ethical protocols as registered student Medical Laboratory Scientists,” Biyela said.
Biyela said the students received scores and certificates for participating.