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Hospital lab technicians crucial to hospitals, unsung heroes

Posted at 8:22 PM, Aug 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-04 21:22:56-04

For more than a year now, the country has been honoring and highlighting the hard work doctors and nurses do for us every day but they're not the only ones at hospitals fighting for us.

Often forgotten are some of the folks behind the scenes like lab technicians and how crucial they really are.

We all see the work that doctors and nurses do every time we go to the hospital but if it wasn’t for lab technicians much of that work wouldn’t get done.

When you go to the hospital you are treated by nurses and doctors that oftentimes need some sort of testing done for your treatment.

To get those test results, doctors have to send the tests to the lab and that is where the crucial role of lab technicians comes in.

”So, they are extraordinarily important to the success of the system and also to the care that our physicians deliver to our patients,” said Dr. Ari Rao, Senior VP for pathology and lab medicine, Baylor Scott & White.

They are working behind the scenes and making sure that doctors have what they need to properly diagnose and treat patients and it’s all done by analyzing collected specimens.

"Blood specimen, any kind of specimen that needs any kind of analysis, and then we have to get those results out in a timely manner,” said Bob Pellerin, Administrative Director for Clinical and Anatomic Pathology, AdventHealth CTX.

Getting the results out as fast as they do can be a great undertaking, especially given the sheer volume of tests in a day.

"Volume differs a little over time depending on what time of year it is but, several thousand a day,” said Kimberly Walker, Manager of laboratory operations Baylor Scott & White Temple.

That high number is only testing, lab technicians are also the ones making sure that donated blood is stored properly and ready to use at a moment’s notice when and if a patient needs it.

"If you don’t have a blood bank in a hospital then you can’t have surgery, you can’t have an emergency room, you can’t have labor and delivery services, and there are so many other areas that you can not have,” said Pellerin.

Though most of us might not know how important lab technicians are, doctors, nurses, and most importantly the technicians do.

There are thousands of lab technicians in hospitals around the country working behind the scenes to save lives every day, truly making them some of our nation’s most unsung heroes.