Ruth Dupey

Our student profile features are back! Today, we are taking a look at Western’s Medical Lab Technician program! To learn more, visit

Today’s feature is on Ruth Dupey, a recent MLT grad who is working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

-What do you on a daily basis?

I am in the COVID extraction unit at Gundersen Hospital La Crosse. My job is to extract the coronavirus viral elements out of a tube with the patient swab and viral media. Then I purify the RNA so that the protein pattern (which is used to detect coronavirus) is prominent without any interferences. This purified, extracted RNA then gets put through a real-time polymerase chain reaction for viral protein coding. The entire process takes about 4-5 hours from start to finish.

-How has COVID changed your job?

COVID has pulled me from the normal testing that we do in the hospital, to work in the extraction unit. A good thing about this is that we are now introducing more molecular elements into our lab, which bumps up the overall complexity level of our lab. It has also opened up more positions at the hospital for MLS’s/MLT’s providing an open door for those who want to work at a very competitive hospital.

-Would you recommend the MLT program to others? Why?

I would hands-down recommend this program to anyone who is interested. It is a quality program that was very enjoyable. Although challenging, I believe it has thoroughly prepared me for my career.

-How did Western help you in your career?

The program was excellent in the sense that we would get to put our hands to the lab work. We would spend about the same amount of time in class as we would in lab. All this training allowed for an easy transition into working in the hospital.

Thank you so much, Ruth! And thank you to all of our healthcare workers during this time!