Clinical Lab Industry News / Diagnostics Industry / Lab News

Medical Laboratory Professionals Week appreciates lab professionals

Medical Laboratory Professionals Week appreciates lab professionals

It is that time of year when we celebrate Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (MLPW).  This week is an annual celebration of the laboratory professionals and pathologists who play a vital role in every aspect of health care. It provides the profession with a unique opportunity to increase public understanding of and appreciation for clinical laboratory personnel.

MLPW, which takes place the last full week in April each year, is coordinated by a collaborative committee with representatives from 14 national clinical laboratory organisations, including ASCLS. Now it’s now in its 38th year.

It is important to reflect on the influential history of Medical Laboratory Professionals Week. It originated in 1975 as National Medical Laboratory Week, or NMLW, under the auspices of the American Society for Medical Technology, now called the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS). In subsequent years, other organisations have served as co-sponsors and campaign supporters.

Focus on those doing the hard work

In 2005, NMLW was changed to National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (NMLPW) to emphasise the person whose expertise is needed in the performance of laboratory testing. Beginning in 2010 the organisers decided to “brand” the event by using the same theme each year: Laboratory Professionals Get Results.  In the summer of 2012 organisers deleted “National” from the title for brevity, and it became Medical Laboratory Professionals Week.

There are approximately 300,000 practitioners of clinical laboratory science in the United States. Since the development of this career group in the 1920s, the clinical laboratory science professional has played an increasingly vital role in the diagnosis and prevention of disease. Today, the clinical scientist is a key member of a health care team.

As team members of one of the largest industries in the world, the dedicated efforts of laboratory professionals often go unnoticed by the general public, as well as by the very institutions employing their services. With the public now demanding the assurance of quality health care and professional accountability, organisations representing practitioners of this critical science have a responsibility to ensure that the public is well informed about clinical laboratory competency.

Increase Awareness of the Profession

Beyond meeting this public need, the celebration of MLPW will help increase recognition for the profession as it improves the individual practitioner’s sense of self-worth. Further, as the various professional groups within laboratory practice work together on this project, the sense of unity and purpose necessary to further the goals of all scientists are reinforced.

Reference: www.ascls.org

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