Celebrating Medical Laboratory Professionals Week

The below blog was written by ACLA President Susan Van Meter.

The American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) is grateful to represent the nation’s leading clinical laboratories and during Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, to celebrate the dedication and expertise of laboratory professionals across the country whose work is foundational to informed clinical care for millions of patients.

As I have travelled the country visiting member laboratories in my first year as president of ACLA, I have been fortunate to see first-hand the expertise, commitment, and compassion of America’s laboratory professionals. I think often of one recent visit when I had the opportunity to speak with a cytotechnologist about his work. He has a great many years of experience and told me that over the course of a day he might review 100 slides, and every time he looks at a sample, he reflects on the person behind it, recognizing he has been entrusted with a vital part of their health care.

These demonstrations of expertise and expressions of compassion take place in laboratories across the country each day, where thousands of laboratory professionals deliver critical insights and data essential to patient care. In fact, 70 percent of health care decisions are based on the seven billion lab tests performed each year by laboratorians. The screening and diagnostic tests span from the routine to the cutting edge. On any given day, laboratorians are identifying cervical abnormalities that may turn into cancer without treatment, generating data to predict whether a patient’s kidney transplant will be successful, determining whether certain genes are causing a heart rhythm disorder, and so much more. Ongoing innovations in diagnostics are expanding the capabilities of laboratorians to help improve and save patient lives.

Beyond providing test results each day to clinicians and patients, laboratory professionals are also a central pillar of America’s health infrastructure, critical in times of public health emergency. In just the last several years, these dedicated professionals have worked around the clock to rapidly develop, validate, and test for novel pathogens while scaling capacity that allows access to communities across the country. They also do the critical work of providing surveillance on burden of disease, in addition to other efforts that support public health.

This Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, ACLA thanks America’s laboratorians, whose work every day improves and saves lives.

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