Across the country, clinical laboratory professionals are hard at work developing innovative testing methods and performing complex diagnostic tests for COVID-19. Chris Burns, an instrument specialist at ARUP, is one of the many lab professionals helping to process ARUP’s COVID-19 molecular diagnostic test for patients each day.
In his role at ARUP’s lab in Utah, Chris has been a vital member of the team, first helping to get ARUP’s COVID-19 PCR test up and running and then continuing to monitor and adjust the lab’s high-complexity testing tools throughout the pandemic.
Chris and his team perform tests that are highly involved, requiring collaboration from a host of experienced technologists to deliver accurate results to patients and providers. While doctors rely on testing results every day to guide medical decisions and inform treatment plans, “most patients don’t see what goes on in a clinical lab or a big reference lab like this. Most of the time the patient just gets their blood drawn or gets their nose swabbed,” said Chris. But that’s just where the work begins for these lab professionals.
Chris is acutely aware about the impact his work has on patient health. “Everyone who’s a clinician knows that there’s a person behind each sample that comes in, or each test that’s ordered. And especially with this COVID-19 crisis, that’s been more apparent,” said Chris. With this understanding, lab professionals are committed to ensuring patients and providers receive the critical results they need. “We always strive and try our best to try and get these results out as soon as possible,” shared Chris.
When it comes to healthcare, and especially a public health crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors and experts rely heavily on clinical testing to provide critical diagnoses and surveillance. “It feels good as a clinician to say that ‘We’re here for you. We are working our best. We’re trying our hardest to make sure that you experience that fear as little as possible,’” said Chris.
Watch highlights from the interview with ARUP’s Chris Burns.