Why are Labs so Important in Health Care Degree Programs?


At Concorde Career Colleges, our mission is to prepare committed students for successful employment in a rewarding health care profession through high-caliber training, real world experience and student-centered support.

But what is high-caliber training? How do we achieve that regularly and to the highest standards? One, of many, ways we do that is by integrating simulated laboratory situations in our various programs. Whether you’re working toward becoming a dental hygienist or looking to bridge your LVN experience to an associates in nursing, you’ll encounter labs.


“A laboratory component is necessary for a full rounded student learning experience,” says April Rahe, Academic Dean at Concorde’s Kansas City, Mo campus. ”This type of learning allows students to first understand the knowledge base and theory, then apply them to real life situations. A controlled, instructor-driven environment helps facilitate learning by practicing before going into a real-life clinical setting.”

That’s the beauty of learning in a lab. We realize that adult learning, andragogy, is centered on information being relevancy-oriented, practical and collaborative. Labs, in essence, do just thatt.


“Lab time gives the students the opportunity to develop the confidence in their skills, so those skills can be transferred to the patient setting,” noted Tommy Rust, MEd., RRT, RCP, FAARC, Lead Program Director, Respiratory Therapy at our Dallas, Tx Campus.

“Our labs and facilities are unique, in that, they are built to simulate a true clinical experience through the setup and the materials needed to practice the skills. This allows them to develop the skills through practice, reflection and readiness,” said Rahe.

You can get a better idea of the set-ups of our labs in 360 degree tours in the lower right hand corner of each of our program pages.

“Each student is required to check off on each competency by their peers and the laboratory instructor before they go to clinic,” said Rust.


Labs also prepare students to successfully transition into working for employers in an ever-changing world of health care!

“It is important in healthcare standards to stay up to speed with evidence based practice, and this is integrated into the Lab skills. This is accomplished with the communication from our Program Advisory Committee (PAC) members, employers and our instructors,” said Rahe.  “Through our PAC members, we are able to make sure we are staying within the industry standards and adjust to employer needs and recommendations.”


For current students who may feel a bit overwhelmed by labs, our subject matter experts advise to approach lab learning the same as if you were eating an elephant: One bit at a time.

Rust finds that reminding students they are still in the learning phase helps to re-center nervous energy. “Labs are structured to allow the student ample opportunity to practice each skill until it is mastered,” he said. Open labs are also made available for individual tutoring or for self-practice.”

Rahe echoes similar sentiments. “The lab aspect is learned in time, and never all at once. But by the end of the program you will know your way around this lab and feel comfortable with all the materials.”

medical assistant

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Lucy Vang | Medical Assistant Graduate

“Concorde was one of my best vehicles that helped me gain the confidence I needed to change my life. … It all started with a vision, a will and Concorde.”

Davina Thomas-Clark | Medical Assistant, Vocational Nurse graduate

“I have taken the MA program and the LVN program. Concorde is a wonderful school. There is a difference between passion and a paycheck, and most of my instructors had a passion for what they do. The program was challenging but well worth it. I love this college!”

Marcus Streator | Respiratory Therapy graduate

“Without the support of certain instructors … I would not have pushed myself to grasp the concepts and pass my boards on the first attempt. Once I passed my boards, it was less than one month after that I landed my first Respiratory Therapist job where I am currently working with so much joy every day.”

Trenisha Jones | Dental Assistant Graduate

“I decided to go to school because I was tired of working dead-end jobs. … When I found out I was pregnant, I realized that I needed a better life for me, for my child, for my husband, and just to better myself.”

James Harkins | Nursing Graduate

“What I liked about Concorde was that there was nothing flashy. They were very up front, very simple, answered all my questions. They were more concerned with my education than tuition.”