The Health Sciences Faculty of Kuala Lumpur Metropolitan University College (KLMU) has been steadfastly and physically geared to receive students for its well-structured Diploma of Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) in its forthcoming intake. The university college has put itself through a substantive learning experience in developing this program - analysing prevailing market trends, adopting a formulaic approach in balancing its teaching staff and investing in a complete range of sophisticated equipment. The program's ultimate aim is clear cut - to equip students with industry-related knowledge, skills and practical experience that will enhance their "marketability" and "self-worth" which would give them a certain competitive edge even with the most demanding employers.
The diploma is comprised of syllabi focused on clinical laboratory and pathology sciences that have been developed according to current market practices, derived from hands-on experiences gained in a broad range of industries. Graduates of the program will thereafter pursue a degree in Biomedical Science, Medical Technology, Biotechnology, Bioinformatics and Forensic Science. KLMU's Health Sciences Faculty has state-of-the-art laboratories, fitted with biohazard cabinets, fume hoods, microscopes, autoclaving equipment, spectrophotometers and autoanalysers which cost about RM1 million to put together.
The diploma covers subjects such as Clinical Biochemistry which focuses on the biochemical components in blood such as glucose, cholesterol and enzymes for the identification of diseases related to the kidney, heart, liver and so on. Another important subject, Hematology is basically a study of blood cells in order to detect anemia, leukemia, thalssemia and the like. Medical Microbiology consists of methodologies to ascertain the types of diseases caused by microorganisms. Besides these, Blood Transfusion Science will train students on how to ensure that blood supply is properly handled and safe for use while Cytology and Histopathology will expose students to the study of cells and tissues.
At the faculty, students are also exposed to the basic medical sciences, biostatistics, English and ICT. Experienced lecturers and medical laboratory technologists are "brought in" from India so that students will have a taste of a more challenging international-based environment which will help them boost their confidence, skills and expertise in operating potentially "complicated" lab equipment. Part of the academic team's responsibility is to also to ensure that students measure up in terms of producing prompt and accurate lab test results, which are necessary to help doctors in the diagnosis and treatment management of patients.
Although local private medical laboratory industry and pharmaceutical companies have grown tremendously over the years, today there are less than 10 public universities and private institutions offering MLT programs. Due to opportunities in this field, it is not surprising that career prospects in the relevant fields are brighter than ever. Some of the more common MLT specialization areas are cytology, microbiology, hematology, and blood transfusion science. As a diploma holder, the graduate would usually start his or her career off as a Medical Lab Technologist. The Pathology Act passed by the parliament in 2007 has made it compulsory for those involved in the field of pathology laboratory to be duly trained and qualified for the job and thus, the need for such a course is even more pronounced than before.
KLMU Health Sciences Faculty is headed by a commendably experienced Dean, Dr. Mohdzir Bin Mohd Yasin whose strong background in medical science and education extends into the areas of anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and biology. Among his past research has been in the areas of vitamin E and the properties of palm oil as an anti-oxidation agent. He has also been the spokesperson at the Asia Pasific Islamic Conference. Also helping to lead the charge at the faculty is Mr. Lim Back Seng, Head of Department for KLMU MLT. Mr. Lim is the Past President of Malaysian Institute of Medical Laboratory Sciences and has been involved in the MLT field as a professional and an educator for 36 years. His teaching philosophy hinged upon the belief of cultivating strong discipline, commitment and developing the character and expertise of his students in order for them to be highly-regarded as competent Medical Lab Technologists.
For MLT student Nurul Hidayah Binti Mohd Raduan, 19, she hopes her ambition to be an expert in criminal forensic, just like the characters in her favorite TV show; Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) would one day be realized after she graduates from KLMU. The university college's permanent campus is being constructed in Wangsa Maju at an estimated cost of RM200 million which will able to house 10,000 students at any time and also provide accommodation for 3,000 students.