FORT POLK, La. — Leaders and team members from Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital held a graduation ceremony for

Pfc. Elizabeth Mantlo,  graduated as a medical laboratory technician Mach 4 at a ceremony held at Fort Polk’s Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital.
Pfc. Elizabeth Mantlo, graduated as a medical laboratory technician Mach 4 at a ceremony held at Fort Polk’s Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital. (Photo Credit: Jean Clavette Graves) VIEW ORIGINAL

Pfc. Elizabeth Mantlo, medical laboratory technician, March 4. U.S. Army clinical medical laboratory technician training takes 52 weeks. The clinical practicum portion is conducted at one of 22 military treatment facilities such as BJACH.

Mantlo said the training is rigorous and requires competencies in microbiology, parasitology, urinalysis, blood donor center operations, specimen collection and processing, laboratory operations and laboratory safety. Upon completion of her training she is required to pass the American Society of Clinical Pathologists certification.

“The training requires dedication and discipline. It’s challenging and not for everyone,” she said. “The training was stressful, especially during Phase I (26 week residency at Joint Base Sam Houston) because you must be mentally prepared to stay up late studying for tests and still get up early for physical training”

Mantlo said the BJACH laboratory staff made her feel comfortable and provided a relaxed learning environment.

“My training at BJACH has been great,” she said. “It is a small lab, so I got practical hands on training on all of the equipment. I was also able to form personal relationships, which enhanced and facilitated my learning. I never felt intimidated to ask questions or make mistakes.

The daughter of immigrants, Mantlo said she was the first in her family to graduate from high school and have the opportunity to go to college.

“My parents didn’t have the money for college, so I had always planned to join the military,” she said. “My long term goal is to become a pediatrician and working in the lab exposes me to a health-care environment.”

Mantlo will stay at the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk. Her first assignment is with the 32nd Hospital Center.

“I looking forward to going to the 32nd Hospital Center because I will have an opportunity to experience field medicine,” she said. “I’m excited because some lab techs never get to serve in a field hospital.”