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Olivia King is nearly complete with her first year in the Division of Clinical Laboratory Science, an undergraduate program she discovered when she enrolled at UNC-Chapel Hill.

While in high school in Mooresville, North Carolina, King realized she excelled in biology and chemistry but did not want to immediately pursue medical or nursing school. When she found the clinical laboratory science program in the Department Allied Health Sciences, she knew she had found the right fit. “It aligned with my interests very well,” King said.

King said the clinical laboratory science program trains students for critical work in health care and also opens doors to other opportunities, including additional education after graduation.

“The fact that this program is preparing you for a specific career can be a really awesome thing,” she said. “My ability to perform lab tests proficiently can have a direct impact on patients’ health.”

King said laboratory science is a foundational aspect of someone’s health care journey and that her work in the lab can provide pivotal information to other health care providers.

“One test can’t tell you what you need to know. Looking at sort of the combination of all of those tests, getting an idea of the overall idea of the patient, is really an important skill to have,” King said. “As we’ve gone through these labs, I’ve noticed the smaller intricacies of the cells, and I notice those minute differences. A lot of times, you have to sort of look at the whole picture.”