Hip hip hooray!

April 1, 2011

This year, from April 24-30, MLO's readers will be celebrating themselves, and well they should. And so should we all ! In some “Fast Facts” from ASCP's website, we learn that:

  • More than 10 billion lab tests are performed in the United States each year.
  • 13% of the current laboratory staff is likely to retire in the next five years, according to the most recent ASCP Wage and Vacancy Report.
  • 12,200 new laboratory professionals will be required annually to meet the growing need of the world's population, but only 4,000 to 6,000 graduates will join the workforce each year (http://tiny.cc/leugv).

There is much to be said about the generations of laboratory professionals who have worked outside of the healthcare spotlight. They help produce the vital answers upon which physicians rely in order to make diagnoses and prescribe treatment for their patients. These modest lab professionals show up day after day, always willing to meet the challenge of finding the right answers to often-complicated medical questions. National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (NMLPW) is the one week a year that they pull out all the stops in recognition of their contributions to healthcare.

In spirit, the MLO team joins them in their revelry and offer our congratulations for a job more than well done !

  • Leland B. Baskin, MD, F(CAP):“The continuous improvement in laboratory methods highlights daily the importance of dedicated souls with inquiring minds. Without you all, the labs would be large repositories of expensive and sophisticated electronic plumbing equipment with no particular purpose. Thanks for all you do.”
  • Dennis Ernst, MT(ASCP): “This month, we celebrate phlebotomists and all who work to guarantee that every physician has accurate test results by which to treat, diagnose, and medicate their patients. Those who collect samples for laboratory testing are at the core of clinical diagnosis, and deserve special recognition for their dedication and diligence in delivering samples that accurately reflect their patients' health status. Three cheers for our preanalytical perfectionists!”
  • Brad S. Karon, MD, PhD: “Each year as we celebrate NMLPW, I struggle to find new ways to express my personal appreciation for all that laboratory technologists, technicians, and phlebotomists do for our laboratories and patients. Your role in providing healthcare is at times underappreciated by patients, the public, and other members of the healthcare team. It is wonderful that we take this week every year to recognize all of you, and the role you play in diagnosing disease and maintaining health. Please take this time to reflect on your role in healthcare, and be satisfied by the career choice you have made to be part of the team that provides much of the objective information necessary for the diagnosis, prognosis, and monitoring of disease. Happy Lab Week to everyone.”
  • Sharon M. Miller, PhC, MT(ASCP), CLS(NCA): “Congratulations to all of us for the remarkable diversity of jobs we perform and the exemplary way we accomplish our mission. Through interactions with our medical colleagues and our communities, we are at the forefront of change in healthcare delivery. Our analytical skills are in demand as we educate the public to use lab results to guide healthy living choices. We are high-tech super heroes using sophisticated equipment to extract information, unravel complex associations, and highlight connections that clinicians further develop for diagnosis, treatment, or monitoring. We are dedicated to providing quality healthcare in a multitude of venues, coupled with our absolute commitment to timely, quality data development and delivery. Day in, day out, usually under pressure, we do a fantastic job trying to perfect the process and learn the latest techniques … darn, we are good!  Reflect on that, especially as we celebrate NMLPW.”
  • C. Anne Pontius, MBA, CMPE, MT(ASCP): “What a great accomplishment! Congratulations for job well done. It takes lots of hard work and caring to bring a laboratory through these tough economic times. Good leadership and teamwork manifest in many ways … this is just one of them.”

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