Laboratory Professionals Honored at DCMH During National Medical Lab Pros Week

Delta County Memorial Hospital is honoring some 35 hospital employees who are medical laboratory professionals. These hard working professionals work behind the scenes for the most part in the hospital laboratory performing critical testing for patients, using a number of complex and high technology diagnostic equipment. The DCMH lab is staffed 24-7 for emergency patients, as well as for in-patients.

Celebrating Medical Laboratory Professionals Week from April 22-26 this year is an opportunity to build awareness and appreciation for what medical lab professionals are contributing to health care. There are more than 300,000 medical lab professionals who play a vital role in every aspect of health and often times are working behind the scenes performing and interpreting more than 10 billion lab tests each year in the US. Since the development of this career group in the 1920's, it has become one of the largest industries in this country. For the 38th year, some 14 national clinical laboratory associations form a committee to coordinate Medical Laboratory Professionals Week.

Without lab professionals, patients would not be able to get accurate test results for their medical records and we would not have cures for a wide range of diseases. Medical Technologists know that 80 per cent of all diagnoses are based upon lab results. They work diligently to remain informed and trained on the latest technologies and competencies to assist in obtaining the most accurate and detailed test results for medical professionals in a time sensitive environment to help patients.

So what roles do medical lab professionals fill at the hospital? They are phlebotomists, those professionals who draw blood samples at health fairs, for in-patients and same day patients or patients and those coming to the hospital lab strictly for lab tests. The phlebotomists are responsible for the proper handling and processing of other fluids that arrive in the laboratory for testing. There are also Medical Technologists (MT- ASCP) who perform testing, manage quality control, competencies, continuing education, and supervise sections in the laboratory. The laboratory manager is a Medical Technologist who works with all of the employees in the lab, with the medical community, and with the Pathologist that directs the lab to manage the laboratory. There are medical laboratory technicians (MLT) who work "the bench" by running laboratory tests. There are couriers who transfer lab tests and blood samples to contractors who analyze the tests and samples and send the results to patient's physicians in a timely manner.

There are many different areas in the lab including hematology, toxicology, chemistry, microbiology, surgical pathology, blood bank, immunology, specimen processing, and phlebotomy.

Arvon Fredickson is the Lead Phlebotomist at the Delta County Memorial Hospital Lab, with over 8 years of experience. She has been with DCMH for the past 3 years.

Darin Bishop has worked the hospital lab for 21 years as a Medical Laboratory Technician MLT

Julie Mulford, Medical Technologist and the chemistry section supervisor, has worked at DCMH for the past 13 years.

Richard Coburn has been a courier for the past 10 years for Delta County Memorial Hospital.

With the public now demanding the assurance of quality health care and professional accountability, professional associations such as American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science have a responsibility to ensure that the public is well informed about clinical laboratory competency. The theme for National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week is "Laboratory Professionals Get Results."

See list of Delta County Memorial Hospital Medical Lab Professionals and number of years worked at DCMH