“Going back to school to [earn my bachelor’s degree] reinforced my technical knowledge and went one step further, providing a deeper understanding of the things I do every day.”
Chemistry Lead Who Oversees Reagent Management, Inventory, Quality Control
Kelly Sullwold is a medical technologist at Hutchison Health, a facility that services both hospital and clinic patients. “I am the chemistry lead and oversee reagent management, inventory, calibration, troubleshooting, maintenance and quality control management [of two Vitros 5600 analyzers],” she said. Sullwold works with departments including microbiology, chemistry, hematology, the blood bank and urinalysis.
“I had the opportunity to improve processes and manage waste throughout the lab,” she added. “I also led a small clinic managing quality control, proficiency testing, staffing and maintenance tasks.” In addition to her work, Sullwold volunteers at the local animal shelter.
Sullwold began her studies in the clinical laboratory technician program at Chippewa Valley Technical College. She built experience working in hospitals and clinic laboratories before attending Argosy University, Twin Cities to earn a Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology. “I’d enjoyed my career to that point and it was time to further my education to further my career,” she stated.
She chose Argosy University because of its proximity to her home. The school provided both online and on-ground class options, allowing her to continue working full time. “I only had to come to campus a few times each semester to complete the in-lab portions of class, which was perfect for my schedule,” Sullwold added. She balanced the convenience of online programs with the discipline needed to complete assignments on time. “You have to manage your time and schedule. Knowing exactly when my assignments and tests were due helped me to schedule my study time.”
“Argosy University furthered my knowledge in a field that I love, which made me a better laboratory technologist,” she said. Her bachelor’s degree courses reinforced previously-learned technical knowledge. Sullwold’s four-year degree allowed her to pursue new professional opportunities. “I [was given] additional tasks at work, making my job more interesting. I also received a raise [after earning my] bachelor’s degree.”
Taking online courses provided flexibility but also the challenge of virtually getting to know instructors and fellow students. “I did have one consistent instructor over multiple semesters, which allowed me to know her and have an open line of communication,” Sullwold said.
Her professional accomplishments include overseeing and managing both analyzers and testing including:
- MiniVidas for Lyme disease testing
- Sysmex CA-1500 analyzer for coagulation testing
- Point of Care testing
- Vitros 5600 Chemistry analyzers
Sullwold encouraged current students to learn time management. “Schedule time for homework,” she said. “Find a separate room to study, away from distractions. But remember to have fun.”
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