Laboratory tests play a significant role in detecting, diagnosing and monitoring diseases. Decisions on a patient's care are often influenced by laboratory test results. These lab results, for example, can indicate whether a patient is having a heart attack or needs a medication adjustment; whether a patient is a candidate for surgery or chemotherapy; whether a patient is healthy enough to return home from a hospital stay.
Here is a November 2020 story from CNBC on the staffing shortages medical laboratories are facing
While it is clear that the demand for medical laboratory professionals is growing, the number of new students graduating from clinical laboratory programs has been declining for many years. The nation’s labs need to fill more than 7,000 jobs annually, but U.S. clinical laboratory education programs are producing only about 6,000 qualified laboratory professionals each year, according to the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).
Since 1990, the number of laboratory training programs has dropped from 720 to 608, a decrease of more than 15%.
In 2020, the St. Louis region has many medical laboratory positions open and the need for this skilled professional will not diminsh any time soon.
Source: American Association for Clinical Chemistry
Since the early 2000's, hospital laboratory leaders have increasingly recognized the closing of hundreds of medical laboratory training schools and the decrease in the number of subsequent graduates. Efforts to address the shortage of trained medical laboratory professionals have generally been unsuccessful. In the past few years, some hospital and health care systems started developing comprehensive education and training programs to develop their own laboratory professionals.
These programs included tuition, stipends, insurance benefits, and part-time employment.
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