Health & Safety

April 19, 2013

Laboratory professionals get results

Tags:
Tech Sgt. Elizabeth Ehrnschwender
99th Medical Support Squadron

Tech. Sgt. Elizabeth Ehrnschwender, 99th Medical Support Squadron NCO in charge of microbiology, isolates colonies of bacteria for identification purposes April 10 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. April 22-26 is Medical Laboratory Professional’s Week. Since laboratory professionals often work behind the scenes, few people know about the medical testing they perform every day.

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Lab rats, bloodhounds, and vampires … these are a few of the nicknames laboratory technicians hear on a daily basis.

To recognize and celebrate the work that goes on in this often underappreciated and overlooked medical field National Laboratory Professionals Week is April 22 -26.

When people think about the medical laboratory, they picture having their blood drawn; however, there is so much more that goes on behind the scenes.

The laboratory at Mike O’Callaghan Federal Medical Center has eight distinct departments that include chemistry, hematology, blood bank, and microbiology. A team of 60 active-duty service members and civilians staff the laboratory, which is the busiest in the Air Force.

The staff performs approximately 1.1 million tests per year, utilizing high-complexity analyzers valued at more than $2.5 million, and serves a patient population of more than 48,000.

Adam Wen and Senior Airman Aleza Chan, 99th Medical Support Squadron hematology technicians, analyze pictures of white blood cells April 10 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The photos of white blood cells are analyzed to check for any abnormalities that may be present. Abnormalities in white blood cells can indicate different types of diseases.

Because the laboratory staff sees patients of all ages, staff members receive specialized training in a variety of specimen collection techniques. During their 13-month technical training school, laboratory technicians-in-training perfect their phlebotomy techniques, as well as learn how to operate state-of-the-art laboratory equipment, perform quality control, and become experts in processing dozens of different sample types.

In addition to taking care of patients, the laboratory staff also works hard to support their other customers, the hospital’s 480 plus medical providers.

The laboratory is able to give doctors vital insight into their patients’ health and wellness by offering and performing a wide variety of tests in house. According to Maj. (Dr.) Mark Hubbell, medical director, doctors make about 70 percent of their treatment decisions based on lab results; their work is essential to confirming diagnoses.

Laboratory testing can diagnose a variety of ailments, from common issues such as urinary tract infections and high cholesterol to more serious problems like leukemia and other cancers. Because of the critical nature of this work, the laboratory is subject to inspection by several national agencies including the College of American Pathologists and the Food and Drug Administration making it one of the most-inspected and regulated areas of the hospital.

Medical laboratory technicians perform critical testing behind the scenes every day. Let this week be an opportunity to recognize their dedication to their patients and their commitment to excellence. The theme of this year’s Lab Week sums it up well — “laboratory professionals get results!”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Adawn Kelsey

Continued education inspires new Creech tradition

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Adawn Kelsey Master Sergeant Bryan Teeples, 15th Reconnaissance Squadron first sergeant, takes a selfie with Col. James Cluff, 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing commander, and Chief Mast...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo

F-35 and F-22 combine capabilities in operational integration training mission

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo F-22 Raptors from the 94th Fighter Squadron, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., and F-35A Lightning IIs from the 58th Fighter Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base, Fl., fly in formation...
 
 

Our quest for zero

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – Day in, and day out, we try to keep up with the hustle and bustle of the Nellis AFB mission; from the airmen basic replacing a sink facet to a colonel flying a training sortie, we all have some part in fulfilling this mission. The question is, how safe...
 

 

Airmen Powered by Innovation program launches new site

WASHINGTON — Fellow Airmen, Your enthusiasm and ingenuity continues to be our Air Force’s number one weapon system! In April we launched the Airmen Powered by Innovation program aimed at turning your ideas into real cost savings for our Air Force. Since coming online API has received and reviewed more than 2,400 ideas and that...
 
 
DoD
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler

Raptor demo team soars into sky

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE Nev. — Just as they do at many airshows across the nation, the F-22 Raptor Demonstration and Heritage Team from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, showcased the capabilities of the F-22 in the skies ...
 
 

Social well-being vital to Airman wellness

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — In order to accomplish the Air Force mission, and remain resilient to adversity, Airmen must maintain high levels of physical, mental, spiritual and social fitness. This quarter, the 99th Air Base Wing will focus on social fitness, by participating in events that focus on this Comprehensive Airmen Fitness pillar...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin