Although you may never see them, the clinical staff who work in our laboratory are fighting on the front lines of medicine. They may be the first to see the cancer cell or to detect the HIV virus in your body. They process the blood that will run through your veins if you need a transfusion. They perform the test to help physicians determine which antibiotics will cure the staph infection in your leg or they will be looking to identify the parasite you contracted while hiking in Yellowstone. Clinical Laboratory Scientists touch your life in a thousand different ways—yet you never see them. They are essential to the detection, diagnosis, treatment, and study of disease.
Portneuf Medical Center’s Clinical Laboratory, along with 20,000 other laboratories across the nation, is celebrating National Medical Laboratory Week, April 23-29th. Pathologists, histotechnologists, cytotechnologists, phlebotomists, and clinical laboratory scientists are the variety of men and women working behind the scenes in the laboratory at Portneuf Medical Center, 24 hours a day, and seven days a week.
Laboratory personnel are under enormous pressure; yet when you talk to them, they take great pride in their work and know that their findings have a direct impact on one’s medical care. Laboratory results constitute 70 percent of the patient’s medical records and are vital to the diagnosis and treatment of illness and disease. Clinical laboratories work in the world of blood cells, DNA, forensics, body fluids, infectious disease, and tissues every day; a world that very few ever have seen…yet it exists in our own bodies!
Yet for all their importance, the people who work in clinical laboratories are rarely heard or seen. The next time you have blood drawn; think of the unseen clinical laboratory scientists who are working to help you receive the best medical care you can receive.