What drives decisions about an individual’s medical care? About two-thirds of the time, these critical decisions are based on the results of a laboratory test. An enormous volume of testing is needed to support patient care. According to AACC, about 13 billion lab tests are performed in the United States each year.
The laboratory science professionals responsible for delivering these tests results have extensive education in multiple areas of medicine. They aren’t as visible as other healthcare professionals simply because their workplace is inside the lab. Because of the extraordinary demand for COVID-19 testing, along with all other diagnostic tests, the critical work they perform is more challenging than ever before.
At this point in time, more than 277 million COVID-19 tests have been conducted in the U.S., and that number increases daily. In addition to the sheer number of tests that must be processed, ongoing supply chain issues have made it more difficult to keep up with demand. This has put a strain on laboratory professionals, as exhaustion from long hours and the demands of executing meticulous test processes while also protecting themselves from infection take a toll.
As this “invisible work force” diligently works behind the scenes, the influence of larger trends in education and employment means that there aren’t enough laboratory professionals to fulfill the needs of our healthcare system. The number of people entering the field hasn’t kept up with retirements. Employee burnout due to the demands of COVID-19 is now contributing to the shortage.
With all the devastating consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, it is, at least, bringing attention to the shortage of laboratory science professionals in the United States. Two articles were published recently that provide insight into the lives of these unsung heroes:
- ‘Nobody Sees Us’: Testing-Lab Workers Strain Under Demand brings visibility to the dedication and heroic efforts of the laboratory professionals running coronavirus testing.
- Who is doing all those COVID-19 tests? Why you should care about medical laboratory professionals discusses the challenges of testing for COVID-19 and the shortage of lab professionals, as well as sharing thoughts on how to solve this issue.
OTHER BLOGS YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN...
- How the i.C3® Event Log Supports Clinical Laboratory Compliance
- Clinical Laboratory Cold Storage for COVID-19 Testing
- What Are Best Practices for Selecting Laboratory Freezers?
- Video Highlights the Benefits of Saving Energy and Reducing Cost with GX Solutions
Helmer Scientific supports clinical laboratories, the patients they serve, and their efforts to ensure accurate test results. We would like to express our gratitude to all staff involved in the diagnostic testing that is critical for treating patients and saving lives. We are here to help you properly store your critical materials at all times and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For a complete list of Helmer medical-grade cold storage products designed to safeguard the temperature-sensitive materials used in diagnostic testing, download our Cold Storage for COVID-19 Testing Fact Sheet at the link below.