Whether you've recently finished all of your schoolwork and graduated, or you've been working in the clinical laboratory industry for years, hopefully you feel inclined to start recruiting the next generation of laboratorians. Use these talking points to inform others about the benefit of a career in your field.
1. It's a meaningful, important job. Being able to contribute to patient care gives laboratorians self-worth. "Quality healthcare relies on the clinical laboratory and well-educated and trained laboratory professionals," said Rick Panning, MBA, MLS(ASCP)CM, vice president, Laboratory Services, Allina Hospitals and Clinics, Minneapolis; and former president of American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science. "We are and need to be an integral part of the healthcare team. Without the work we do, the rest of the healthcare team is operating 'blind.'"
"It's not just about handling specimens, pushing buttons or looking through a microscope," explained Scott Warner, MLT(ASCP), laboratory manager, Penobscot Valley Hospital, Lincoln, ME. "Doctors rely heavily on laboratory results and the judgment of laboratory professionals to decide how to treat patients."
|JOB SECURITY: Wherever there are patients to be diagnosed, laboratory professionals will be needed. ADVANCE photo
2. Ability to move up the career ladder. You can start as a bench technologist, move up to lab management and even to administration, if you choose to do so. "Opportunity for advancement or change for many is satisfying and rewarding whether financially or for other reasons," noted Dean Yoshimura, administrative laboratory director, Waianae (HI) Coast Comprehensive Health Center.
Panning added clinical laboratory scientists have the ability to move out of the traditional patient care arena and work for companies manufacturing and selling lab products and technology, or into academia, for example.
3. Laboratory professionals are needed everywhere. Whether you want to live by a beach in California, close to the big cities in the Northeast or somewhere in between, laboratory professionals are in demand from coast to coast. A laboratory professional can even get a taste of the entire country by becoming a traveling technologist and moving from place to place.
"It's no secret there's a national shortage of laboratory professionals," Warner told ADVANCE. "We're needed everywhere, and the need is only going to increase."
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