March 14, 2023, 11:30 pm

Stephany S. Chi, one of the Legazpi Thomasian board exam takers, just woke up after a two-and-a-half hour sleep. Before that, Steph, as everyone would call her, spent the entire day watching movies and drama just to distract herself from being nervous and fidgety. That moment, upon checking her phone full of congratulatory messages, a sudden surge of emotions flooded her. She passed the board exams.

More than that, she is the 6th Placer for the March 2023 Medical Technologists Licensure Examination. Immediately, she went to her parents’ bedroom to deliver the great news. They didn’t sleep until three in the morning of the next day.


MedTech wasn’t even her first choice
Journalism and Mass Communication has really captured her heart. However, for practical purposes, her parents convinced her to choose a program that has in-demand job offers right after graduation. Thus, enrolling in the Medical Technology program entered the scene.

Initially, Steph thought of it as a program she needed to finish in four years, however, she learned to love and appreciate the program especially the roles of Medical Technologists in the medical field.

“Unlike doctors and nurses, we are not involved in actual patient care. We’re the ones at the laboratory, making sure the doctor makes a proper diagnosis,” she said.

As MedTechs guide doctors and nurses on proper treatment, Chi thought of it as something cool. “I thought about how the profession evolved since my first year in college and how it also continues to evolve,” she added.


The love for knowledge, ever since
Studying the program is mundane according to the top notcher. Steph would go to school and be home right after. Sometimes, she and her friends would go out after major exams and would spend their academic breaks in their homes.

Of course, everything didn’t come easy for Steph. Now that she looks back, she can say that her college journey was hard. “Buzzer exams, quizzes, and more exams,” bombarded her class along the way. Plus the fact that her foundations in Chemistry were weak, Steph had to double time to be able to catch up and ace her studies. But the challenge seemed to lighten up as she was able to develop a strong support system and build friendships inside UST-Legazpi. A frequent visitor of the Library, Steph would read novels instead of MedTech-related books. Banana Heart Summer by Merlinda Bobis was the top favorite according to her.

On the other hand, her family served as her main inspiration in enduring her college years. Given the adversities brought about by the COVID-19 Pandemic, Steph found herself in three-month hospital work for their internship instead of the traditional one-year exposure.

“I feel like it wasn’t enough for us to fully appreciate the profession. Our batch had to struggle with so many things. My last two years in the program made me feel nothing but an anxious MedTech student who was unsure about what the future would bring. I think my batchmates also felt the same way,” she said.

Nonetheless, Steph was successful in finishing her program. With her grit for knowledge, she graduated Cum Laude last July 2023.


Journey to the license
Steph only had two months to prepare for her board exams by enrolling in an online review center. Going into the first month, she was able to cover everything their lecturers would give to them. Came February, and everything changed.

“For some reason, I feel like I am running out of time despite studying the entire day,” she stated.

“I think I was too hard on myself on the last month of my review. I wanted to cover everything,” she added while feeling as if her efforts weren’t enough.

Two weeks before the exam, an overwhelming feeling flooded her. Despite answering all of the mock exams, she still feels unprepared and would cry almost every night until before the day of the exams.

It was a week before the exam when Steph had a little sign. A Facebook story of hers resurfaced after two years that said “sometimes, good science is choosing what data to ignore.” It made her turn her way all around and return to the basics making her understand further what topics she finds difficult to understand, including areas she hadn’t covered yet.

“I think there’s a kind of relief that washes over you when you finally understand something you find hard to understand before,” she added.


What’s next
Now that everything has sunk in, Stephany is planning to practice her profession for a couple of months before she decides whether to push to become a medical doctor.

Asked as to what advice she can give to those who want to take Medical Technology as their program of choice, Steph is firm in advocating the appreciation of Medical Technologists for its role in the health care industry.

As to those who will take the next board exams, having the strength to find courage is her first advice as it is a “necessity.”

“Read your books! The board exam is book-based. Pay attention to the small details. When it gets hard, pause. Cry. Sleep. Whatever will make you feel okay again,” she added.

“Tao lang din tayo at napapagod. Answer as many review questions as you can. When you’ve done all you can, pray for guidance. Remember! The harder you work, the luckier you are. Best of luck future RMTs!”

Copyright 2019. University of Santo Tomas - Legazpi