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Morgan Fisher ’20 will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in clinical laboratory science; she will also enter the profession with a wealth of patient care experience in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fisher said these experiences allowed for her to have firsthand experience with patients, which she will take with her as she enters the workforce as a laboratory scientist.

Morgan Fisher
Morgan Fisher

Fisher, originally from Newport, Virginia, worked part-time during her undergraduate career as a certified nursing assistant (CNA). After her clinical rotations ended at the end of the spring 2020 semester, she began working full-time as a nurse assistant.

Fisher said she considered a career in nursing before discovering clinical laboratory science.

“You get to take classes that you wouldn’t otherwise get to take,” Fisher said. “You get clinical experience. You learn all about diagnostics, and that’s such a foundational part of health care.”

Later this summer, Fisher will join the transfusion services team at Duke Hospitals. Transfusion services are a vital part of the hospital and often serve trauma patients, those in surgery, or in oncology.

“There’s so many options. If you have a degree in clinical laboratory science, you’re not limited to one thing. […] It’s so broad, and yet so specialized.”

Her experiences working as a nurse assistant have been particularly valuable during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the pandemic outbreak, she has met clients in their homes for care.

Fisher said her desire to serve others through a career in health care, both in direct patient care and behind the scenes in the lab, may lead her to pursue a future career as a physician assistant.

She credited the Division of Clinical Laboratory Science with instilling a continuous-learning mindset, a characteristic that she said is important for someone who works in a laboratory environment.

“No matter where you start off after graduation, you’re not going to know everything; you’re not going to be an expert,” Fisher said. “You have to stay up to date with current technologies and methods.”

Fisher, a first-generation college student, who is an Allene W. and Jesse C. Alphin CLS Endowed Scholarship scholar, said attending UNC-Chapel Hill had been a dream of hers. During her time at UNC-Chapel Hill, she also received the UNC Hospitals Volunteer Association Community Service Fellowship, among others.

“Having that support and having the donors recognize my dedication to patient care, that’s really special to me.”

The Division of Clinical Laboratory Science is housed in the Department of Allied Health Sciences.