Laboratory Staff: Where are they?
For those paying attention to the current decline in medical laboratory professionals, one could make numerous strong arguments against the reasons for these shortages. Whether the opinions are burn out, low salary wages, lack of recognition, glass ceilings for career growth, COVID19, the one ultimate factor is the lack of prospective students or professionals entering the field. No matter the turnover or current lack of employees, more and more students or people entering the field or education programs could assist with the issue. The only problem is, the medical laboratory programs offered by schools are diminishing and the number of students entering the programs is barren.
Fortunately, in my line of work I get to speak with these laboratory professionals daily. I learn of their current struggles, the changes in the field, and even their opinions on what could help. The common ground always seems to be creating more educational programs offering the exciting details of the laboratory space. The general laboratory technologist, or scientist, is not the only position being affected by the lack of programs. The real impact is on the specialists such as histotechnologists, cytotechnologists, cytogenetic technologists, these are some of the most important departments in medical laboratory diagnostics. Coming from working in the lab personally as a molecular technologist, I have a true understanding of the impact that laboratory professionals have in medical diagnostics. I also have an understanding that the main impact of these shortage will ultimately and most importantly impact the patients the most, which is every true medical professionals biggest concern, the patients.