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Behind The Scenes - Laboratory Professionals

Sunday, April 22, 2018

April 22-28, 2018 - Medical Laboratory Professionals Week

What is it like to be a medical laboratory professional? The best part of working as a medical laboratory professional is being able to help providers diagnose and treat patients. Some medical articles state that laboratory records constitute approximately 70% of the average patient’s chart. Because most of the work done by medical laboratory professionals goes on behind the scenes, they could be considered the unsung heroes of healthcare. Like other professions in healthcare, medical laboratory professionals play a vital role in evaluating the overall health of a patient. The testing performed in the laboratory assists providers in diagnosing, monitoring disease, and evaluating general overall health. The laboratory sometimes knows what is wrong with a patient even before the provider does. There are more than 300,000 laboratory practitioners nationally who play a critical role in ensuring timely and correct diagnoses that deliver better patient outcomes. Eleven of those laboratory practitioners work at Clark Fork Valley Hospital.

One of the great things about working in the medical laboratory is that no two days are ever the same. There is very little predictability in how many patients will be coming in for treatment and the amount of testing that will be required. Hospital laboratories perform testing in the following areas: Phlebotomy, Urinalysis, Immunochemistry, Coagulation, Chemistry, Blood Bank, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology. An interesting aspect of working in a medical laboratory is that the technology changes very rapidly. New tests and instrumentation are being researched, developed, and implemented, expeditiously.

All of the medical laboratory professionals that work at CFVH are nationally-certified and licensed by the State of Montana. They are required to participate in annual continuing education in order to maintain their licensure.

May I please ask that you recognize and congratulate the hard-working staff in Clark Fork Valley Hospital’s laboratory? Your recognition of the staff and the work they do will be greatly appreciated.

-Quintin Schanck, MLS(ASCP)cm, Clark Fork Valley Hospital Lab Manager

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