Clay launches second career with Medical Laboratory Degree

Staff report

PORTSMOUTH — After six years as a phlebotomist, Kelsie Clay, 28, a Wheelersburg, Ohio native, has chosen to attend Shawnee State University to pursue an associate degree in Medical Laboratory ​Technology after advice from friends and fellow coworkers.

Although Clay always knew she wanted to join the medical field and dreamed of becoming a nurse since she was a little girl. She fell in love with the behind-the-scenes work conducted in a medical lab.

“I’m currently a sophomore and will be graduating in May 2021 with my associate degree in Medical Laboratory Technology,” Clay said. “I have a love for the medical field and love to help others, and once I was introduced to the medical lab field, I was blown away with everything that was done behind the scenes – from working on the floor, dealing with being short-staffed, gathering all the STATS – It can be very challenging.”

Choosing SSU was not a hard decision for Clay as she had researched that SSU had a 95% passing rate and professors want their students to be prepared to take their state boards. She had also heard that the small classes allowed students to connect more with their professors.

Although Clay has experienced challenges that come with going back to school, she does not regret it. Her hard work is paying off and she is glad she pushed herself closer to her dream career.

“Go with your gut!” she advised aspiring students. “Going back to school was the best decision I have ever made. I am 28 years old, and I do not regret it. Yes, there are going to be some rough patches, but if you want something in life, you have to work for it.”

Clay’s advice to students interested in the program is to take general education requirements first in order to avoid extra stress and to pay attention when learning to use microscopes. She also said having a phlebotomy license has been an advantage to her experience.

Applications for Fall 2021 enrollment in the program are due April 1, 2021.

For more information about the Medical Laboratory Technology program at SSU, email Program Director Jean McGlone, [email protected] or call (740) 351-3102 and visit the program page at

Staff report