1887

The Impending Crisis

    Authors: Raymond L. Kaplan1,2,*, Thomas E. Burgess1
    VIEW AFFILIATIONS HIDE AFFILIATIONS
    Affiliations: 1: Quest Diagnostics, Tucker, GA 30084; 2: Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA 30912
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 20 December 2010
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Quest Diagnostics, 1777 Montreal Circle, Tucker, GA, 30084. Phone: 770-621-7372. Fax: 770-621-7421. E-mail: [email protected].
    • Copyright © 2010 American Society for Microbiology
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2010 vol. 11 no. 2 140-143. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v11i2.230
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    Abstract:

    When you are ill and consult a physician for his or her expertise, many times laboratory testing is part of the clinical workup. This testing is critical to the physician’s ability to diagnose the patient’s condition. What if testing was not available … Although seemingly far-fetched, this scenario could play itself out in the next ten years due to an impending manpower crisis in laboratory medicine. The profession of Medical Technology, also known as Clinical Laboratory Science, is experiencing a shortage of qualified individuals for a variety of reasons – not the least of which is the closure of almost 70% of the schools teaching this critical profession. Health care workers (HCW) rely on accurate and timely clinical laboratory results in order to make decisions for their patients. Because ∼ 70% of patient care decisions are based on clinical laboratory results, it is important to have a well-trained supply of laboratory professionals. This article will give an overview of the situation and the possible causes of this shortage, and pose challenges to our profession as to how this crisis can be averted. Visibility of this profession must be a prime focus of this effort in order for the population in general to be aware of the role Clinical Laboratory Scientists play in the health care consortium. This effort should begin early in the educational process, potentially as early as Middle School (junior high school), bringing awareness of the profession not only to students but to educators as well.

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References & Citations

1. American Clinical Laboratory Association 2007 The Value of Clinical Laboratory Laboratory Services Available from: http://www.clinical-labs.org/issues/value/index.shtml
2. Bennett A, Thompson NN, Holladay B, Bugbee A, Stewart CA 2008 ASCP wage and vacancy survey of U.S. medical laboratories LabMedicine 40 133 141
3. Forsman RW 1996 Why is the laboratory an afterthought for managed care organizations? Clin Chem 42 813 816 8653920
4. Hilborn L 2008 The other big workforce shortage Mod Healthc 38 22 23
5. Kibek P 2008 The worsening shortage of lab staff: What’s being done to turn it around? Clin Lab News 34 1 4
6. The Lewin Group The Value of Diagnostics Innovation, Adoption, and Diffusion into Health Care July 2005 Available from: http://www.socalbio.org/pdfs/thevalueofdiagnostics.pdf

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2010-12-20
2019-07-18

Abstract:

When you are ill and consult a physician for his or her expertise, many times laboratory testing is part of the clinical workup. This testing is critical to the physician’s ability to diagnose the patient’s condition. What if testing was not available … Although seemingly far-fetched, this scenario could play itself out in the next ten years due to an impending manpower crisis in laboratory medicine. The profession of Medical Technology, also known as Clinical Laboratory Science, is experiencing a shortage of qualified individuals for a variety of reasons – not the least of which is the closure of almost 70% of the schools teaching this critical profession. Health care workers (HCW) rely on accurate and timely clinical laboratory results in order to make decisions for their patients. Because ∼ 70% of patient care decisions are based on clinical laboratory results, it is important to have a well-trained supply of laboratory professionals. This article will give an overview of the situation and the possible causes of this shortage, and pose challenges to our profession as to how this crisis can be averted. Visibility of this profession must be a prime focus of this effort in order for the population in general to be aware of the role Clinical Laboratory Scientists play in the health care consortium. This effort should begin early in the educational process, potentially as early as Middle School (junior high school), bringing awareness of the profession not only to students but to educators as well.

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