Baptist Acknowledges National Medical Laboratory Week, Salutes Its Employees

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There are approximately 300,000 clinical laboratory science practitioners in the United States. The clinical laboratory professional has continued to play an increasing role in the diagnosis and prevention of disease since the 1920’s when this career group began. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics more than 10 billion lab tests are performed in the US each year. More testing will be required more frequently as Americans continue to age.

Without this precise and valuable information, medicine would simply become guess work.

For many people, laboratory testing is an invisible side of medical care. However, according to the American Society of Clinical Pathology, 60-70 percent, and by some estimates, up to 80 percent of health care decisions, from diagnosis through therapy and prognosis, are derived from clinical laboratory tests.

From April 23 –29, 2003, Baptist Medical Center will be celebrating National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week and it’s role in promoting and protecting your health.

“The clinical laboratory professional is a key member of today’s health care team,” said Pat Herrington, director of Baptist’s Laboratory. “Laboratory professionals have the skills to unlock important medical information that is pivotal to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease.”

Health care professionals depend on laboratory professionals to perform tests on body fluids, interpret the results, and help provide a complete picture of a patient’s health. Using modern biomedical equipment and complicated analysis, Baptist laboratorians can detect the presence of cancer, identify infectious viruses and bacteria, and measure glucose, cholesterol or drug levels in blood. Using a variety of modern biomedical equipment and complicated analysis, such as molecular methods, Baptist laboratorians can detect the presence of cancer, identify infectious viruses and bacteria, measure chemical analytes such as glucose or cholesterol and monitor drug levels in blood.

“Without this precise and valuable information, medicine would simply become guess work.” Herrington added. “This week can be used to educate the public on how important this occupation is for the health care industry. Internally, we are letting our Baptist lab professionals know how much we appreciate them.”

Baptist challenges students to look at clinical laboratory science as a profession. For more information, visit the School of Medical Technology on Baptist’s website at http://www.mbhs.org. Then, click on “About Baptist” and follow the left side links to the School of Medical Technology or call the Baptist Health Line at 1-800-948-6262 or 948-6262.

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