Piecing Together the Puzzle: Lab Professionals Play Critical Role in Delivering Patient-Centered Care

Caring for patients is the family business for Stephanie Peterson, an operational technical specialist for Mayo Clinic Laboratories’ Hepatitis/HIV Molecular Lab. Stephanie’s father was a personal trainer and her mother served on the frontlines as a nurse. From an early age, Stephanie developed a passion for health that only grew when she joined her mother for Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day and saw patient care firsthand.

“Seeing all the different tools that they [health care workers] would use — that made me really curious about the hospital, and then later on, the lab,” recalls Stephanie.

In Mayo’s Hepatitis/HIV Molecular Lab, Stephanie focuses on assessing transplant assays, or helping patients receive the organ transplants they need in a safe and timely manner. “It’s oftentimes people who have been waiting on a list for weeks, months on end, and they have a phone call that they receive,” says Stephanie. “And they have X amount of hours to be able to get that organ transplanted, to be present where it is and get that testing done to make sure that before this organ ever touches that body, all the necessary tests are taken and made to make it to them.”

Throughout a given day, Stephanie helps her team by ensuring that laboratory workflows run smoothly. She provides insights from her previous laboratory experiences and works to identify new, innovative ways to help her fellow technicians at Mayo perform their roles with greater ease. That can include finding ergonomic techniques for lab technicians to physically do their work, or making sure they have the resources they need to get the job done.

Stephanie and her team’s commitment to the job translates to an even greater commitment to patients. “No matter if you’re just test-tube number one or test-tube number 201, we’re going to treat you with the utmost care, making sure that we’re checking all items,” she explains.

Communication is key to bringing it all together to best serve patients, says Stephanie, who emphasized the focus on teamwork in everything the lab does. “Coming to Mayo, I feel I know that each time I’m doing my job, I’m not only helping myself, I’m helping those patients,” she shares.

Watch the video below to learn more about the critical contributions that lab professionals like Stephanie provide each and every day.

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