Updates from Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and Hospital Foundation
Medical Laboratory Professionals Week originated in 1975 as National Medical Laboratory Week, or NMLW, under the auspices of the American Society for Medical Technology, now called the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS). Please join us in honoring the amazing work the lab team at Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital does on behalf of our community.
There are approximately 300,000 clinical laboratory professionals in the United States. A clinical laboratory conducts tests on specimens in order to get information about the health of a patient pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease.
Clinical laboratory includes clinical microbiology which encompasses bacteriology, virology, parasitology immunology and mycology. Clinical chemistry follows analysis of blood components, enzymology, toxicology and endocrinology. Hematology consists of the analysis of blood and body fluid cells. Clinical transfusion services provide replacement of blood and fluids during extreme blood loss.
There are a variety of highly skilled and educated laboratory professionals who, as a patient, you may never see face-to-face although they play a very important role in your health. Clinical Laboratory professionals use specialized instrumentation and techniques to analyze patients’ samples, such as blood, urine, body fluids and tissue, and stool. They may work in a lab located in the hospital, clinic, or physician’s office or they may be at a reference laboratory located hundreds or perhaps thousands of miles away. Most of us have come in contact with a phlebotomist, another important individual who draws blood for diagnostic tests.
A pathologist is a physician that oversees clinical laboratory performance. They specialize in interpretation of diagnostic laboratory tests to determine changes caused by diseases. They work with the clinical lab and the ordering physicians to guide patient care.
Because they produce results that impact the health care you receive, laboratory professionals are specially educated and highly trained for the functions they perform and have a clinical license for their position. Clinical laboratory Scientists are required to have a bachelor degree, work a year in the laboratory before qualifying to take and pass a board certified examination. Those in supervisory roles, with extensive training and many years of experience, oversee the testing being performed in the laboratory. They also ensure that strict quality control and quality management systems are followed.
U.S. clinical laboratories are regulated by the government under Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA). Passed by Congress in 1988, the regulations for the CLIA established quality standards for laboratory testing to ensure results are accurate, reliable, and timely. They include standards for the education and training of laboratory personnel so that you can be confident in their ability to process your specimen, perform the tests, and report accurate results.
One way to be of service to your community is to give blood. Not only can giving blood transform someone’s life, but it has great benefit to you as well such as identifying health issues of which you are unaware. While we don’t handle blood donations at the hospital, Vitalant in Grass Valley is available by appointment.
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