I am a Medical Laboratory Scientist but, I often wonder if my friends, family, the general public, and even my other healthcare colleagues understand what it is we do and why we matter to your health.
What We Do
Have you ever wondered who conducts the detailed laboratory testing for your annual exams (such as cholesterol and glucose levels) and analyzes the results? Or, who conducts specialized testing for genetic disorders like sickle cell disease?
How about those who identify an antibiotic resistant infection like Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and determine which antibiotic is required to save someone’s life?
Well, if you thought that it was your physician, or perhaps a nurse or someone else you see at your doctor’s office or in the hospital, you would be incorrect.
When I ask almost anyone in the general public who we are (medical laboratorians) and what we do, they typically don’t know the answer.
Since we are often doing your important and critical medical laboratory work, you do not see us in the immediate healthcare environment (bedside, family physician office, etc.).
You see the physician, the nurse, the respiratory therapist, the physical therapist and others. These healthcare professionals may even take blood from you or other types of specimens for analysis. However, most people do not know what happens to their specimens (blood, sputum, urine, etc.) once they arrive in the laboratory.
They don’t know that medical laboratory professionals will conduct some of the most complex and important work on those specimens, and that knowing the results of that work may very well save your life.
Medical laboratory professionals provide up to 70 percent of the medical laboratory results/data for physicians and others to make informed decisions about one’s diagnosis and treatment plan.
Here are just a few (very few ) of the important types of testing we conduct:
We type and match blood during emergency and routine surgery.
We provide life-saving diagnoses regarding genetic disorders, healthcare associated infections (HAIs) such as MRSA and C.difficile .
Medical laboratory professionals provide answers to life-and-death decisions every day.
We detect sickle cell disease, as well as diagnose and monitor your cancer or diabetes results.
This article was culled from ‘ Zone 3 Medical Laboratory and Diagnostic Services’ facebook page . Check them out HERE.