This week, we’re celebrating Lab Week by recognizing Medical Laboratory Professionals. If you’re curious about what the medical laboratory profession entails, you’re in luck! Lab Week is the perfect time to get better acquainted with these professionals who play a vital role in health care and patient advocacy.

What is Lab Week?

Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (also known as “Lab Week”) is meant to generate new awareness and excitement about the laboratory medicine profession and to recognize the hard-working laboratory professionals and pathologists who strive to improve the quality of patient care. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth of 13 percent is expected of medical laboratory professionals between 2016 and 2026. Interest in these important jobs are on the rise, and specialists with these skills are needed now more than ever.

Who are we celebrating during lab week?

Lab Week is all about recognizing Medical Laboratory Professionals, such as Medical Technologists, Phlebotomists, Medical Lab Technicians, and Clinical Pathologists. According to the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS), there are approximately 300,000 practitioners of clinical laboratory science in the United States!

What do laboratory staff do?

In general, laboratory medical professionals are highly skilled scientists who work to determine whether patients need medical attention and help physicians decide on the proper treatment. These professionals play a critical role in care because they gather information on treating cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other life threatening conditions.

Why are medical laboratory professionals so important?

Aside from helping to identify and treat life threatening conditions, medical laboratory professionals carry out a number of other significant tasks throughout the treatment process. From handling blood tests, to analyzing bodily fluids, all the way to assessing drug tests, these professionals are required to evaluate test results and help interpret them for the doctor. On top of that, the tests results are expected to be accurate and turnaround time to be as quick as possible!

This week is all about honoring the laboratory staff and pathologists who positively impact the healthcare industry every day. Medical Laboratory professionals, among other healthcare professionals sometimes go unnoticed because of the vast amount of positions within the industry. By taking time to understand the ins and outs of the profession, we’re helping to recognize a group of intelligent individuals dedicated to providing quality health care!

Do you have any Lab Week stories to share? Interested in learning more about this career path? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!