2011-02-09

Will your lab be ready when…

…the med techs are gone?

The Wall Street Journal raises the worrying fact that the shortage of laboratory professionals is expected to increase in the future. Factors behind this shortage is foremost the imbalance between recruitment and retirement. Hospitals say it currently can take as much as a year to fill some job openings. The American Society for Clinical Pathology, which certifies lab professionals, says average job-vacancy rates currently top 50% in some states.

A quote from an article in the Clinical Laboratory News states, “Not only will the sheer number of people retiring be enormous, but the collective years of knowledge that will be lost will be staggering. I try to use that as a selling point for students and tell them that the opportunities for advancement will be correspondingly huge.”

An area of the lab that is especially sensitive to the loss of knowledge gained by experience is in performing the manual differential. The nature of training a new Technologist on how to perform the manual differential requires many hours of working side-by-side with a morphology expert. It is these experts that are retiring at an accelerating rate.

What is your lab doing to prepare for the inevitable reduction in experienced cell morphology expertise?

2 thoughts on “Will your lab be ready when…”

  1. In New Zealand Medical laboratory Science is an undervalued profession with corresponding low earning capacity. Our government has had a very cavalier attitude to Medical laboratory Science, tightening funds and putting enormous emphasis on saving money in the health sector by cutting costs in the pathology arena. Unfortunately this corresponds to a downgrade in the quality of the results available. This has been paticularly apparent in community pathology throughout the country. Scientists who do train here inevitably leave our shores for better pastures overseas and no one can blame them. I have loved my carreer but I would not recommend it to any school leaver. One of our 3 universities offering the Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science no longer offers this course. The average age of Scientists in New Zealand is in the late forties. No doubt the government hopes if we all disappear they can save even more, their short sightedness beggars belief.

Comment on this blogpost

Your email address will not be published.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

Subscribe

Do you have an interesting story to share?