Laboratory Professionals Get Results
It is that time of year when we celebrate National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (NMLPW). This is a week when the various, often competing, laboratory organizations join forces to honor the more than 300,000 medical laboratory professionals around the country who perform and interpret more than 10 billion laboratory tests annually. As stated in this year's slogan, whenever there is a medical dilemma or need, scientists, technicians and others in the medical laboratory get results.
In the past few years, I have challenged my colleagues to turn outward and use NMLPW to educate others about the value of the profession. Too few individuals, even those within healthcare, and many who interact with us realize the extent of our education and use of critical thinking in providing useful information to positively impact patient care.
If a profession can be compared to an individual, medical laboratorians are introverts, even reticent to choose one dominant professional organization and select a logical descriptive professional title. I am not a fan of
self- congratulatory slaps and feasting on free meals provided by vendors while we wear brightly colored tee shirts emblazoned with slogans, and play games behind closed doors in the lab. I still feel that way, but this year, maybe it's time to gloat a little.
We are as a nation riveted and saddened by the disasters and acts of terrorism in the news. With attention concentrated on these matters, NMLPW is even more likely to be overlooked. Ironically laboratory professionals are among the heroes working long hours, going the extra mile and drawing on their unique skills to provide information to diagnose, treat and monitor those who have been hurt.
As our hearts go out to those affected directly and indirectly, as we commend first responders and our colleagues on the healthcare team, we can also smile with pride at the part medical laboratorians are playing. Medical laboratory professionals are there and not just for disasters and heinous acts of terrorism. I for one am glad medical laboratorians are there serving 24/7, 365 days a year. Yes, you, take a bow. Thank you and happy National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week!