Klinger gains experience in medical laboratory science


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This summer, Grant Klinger ’25, a medical laboratory science student [at Bluffton University] confirmed his career goals and gained practical experience in his field. Klinger worked full-time as a lab processor at Blanchard Valley Health System in Findlay, Ohio.

“Processing isn’t super glorious work, but being in the lab and seeing what the techs are doing is awesome,” Klinger said. “It was really nice to have the reassurance that I’m definitely in the right field.”

Although he can’t perform tests on his own until he’s fully certified, Klinger has been able to interact with medical lab techs on calm days.

“If they had free time, they would show me the tests they were doing and explain why they would be running them or discuss the differences between chemistry and hematology,” Klinger said of the different parts of the lab. “There is a crossover with some tests, and they go to both places. Experiencing microbiology and plating was also awesome to see.

Introduced two years ago, Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) is one of Bluffton’s newest majors. The degree prepares students for a career as a scientist who performs and reads medical tests in hematology, microbiology, immunology and more. During their senior year, students like Klinger participate in classes through the West Central Ohio Medical Laboratory Science (WCOMLS) program administered by Ohio Northern University while remaining students at Bluffton University. The WCOMLS program is the only National Accreditation Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences accredited program operated by a private college in Ohio.

Going into his second year of classes, Klinger plans to “start running.”

“It’s my OChem [organic chemistry] year,” Klinger said. “It’s difficult for everyone, but I think I’ve prepared enough.”

One of the ways Klinger has prepared is by taking advantage of the student-run study tables at the Learning Resource Center. The study sessions improved his critical thinking skills and prepared him for homework and exams in anatomy and physiology, taught by Sarah Lehman, assistant professor of biology, and inorganic chemistry, taught by Dr. Charles Daws , professor of chemistry.

“Prof. Lehman was great in sharing anecdotes and helping us in the lab,” Klinger said. “Professor Daws made me laugh all the time. His class was a little more difficult, but both are very good teachers.

During the fall semester of 2022, he plans to continue working at Blanchard Valley and become more involved with Bluffton’s Science Club. He is also involved with the Bluffton Tennis Club.

A longtime resident of the village of Bluffton, Klinger chose his hometown college because the campus community was “the right fit.”

“I had a lot of really good options, but I felt like Bluffton was the best.”


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