Thank a Laboratory Professional This Week!
This week is Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, and that means the Myriad Genetics team is celebrating! Now in its 45th year, “Lab Week,” as it’s affectionately known in the industry, honors the unsung heroes who toil in clinical labs to deliver accurate, reliable test results for patients.
In the past, Lab Week has been primarily celebrated within the clinical lab community. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the public is now much more aware of the important role of clinical lab teams. These are the same people who worked diligently in the past year, racing to develop, deploy, and scale tests to identify individuals infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Nearly every pandemic metric you’ve heard in the past year — positivity rates, new daily infections, emerging variants — is based on laboratory professionals carefully running clinical tests.
Here at Myriad Genetics, we are fortunate to have some of the best lab teams in the world running our broad array of genetic tests. As we honor them during Lab Week, we’d like to help you get a little more familiar with them. Here are three things you probably didn’t know about the people who run clinical lab tests.
- Laboratory professionals are more like doctors than scientists.
“We very much identify ourselves as part of the healthcare system,” says Dennis Cook, Director of Laboratory Operations for Myriad Women’s Health. Laboratory technicians might not visit a patient’s bedside in the hospital, but the results they generate are an integral component of healthcare. From confirming a diagnosis to guiding treatment selection or helping parents know what to expect when their baby is born, more and more of the decisions made in each patient’s care journey are directed by information gleaned from clinical lab tests.
- They’re the best kind of perfectionists.
“We have to maintain very high-quality standards for sample processing, because each sample that we process is a person,” says Kavita Bhat, Vice President of Laboratory Operations for Myriad Neuroscience. There is enormous scrutiny on sample integrity for every single one of the hundreds of samples we process in our labs every day — just as there is in clinical laboratories around the world. We treat each sample as precious, following quality metrics to ensure that we’re generating the best possible results from the best possible samples. “Everyone here goes through rigorous training programs before they can even handle a sample,” Bhat says.
- Consistency is their jam.
“People don’t recognize how difficult it is to do the same job over and over again and not make a mistake doing it,” says Jeffrey Trost, Senior Vice President of Operations at Myriad Genetics. “It’s an incredibly hard job.” Our labs operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, processing more than 1,000 samples each day. That’s a ton of repetitive tasks — from opening all those packages to pipetting all those reagents — that would send most people running for the exits. But laboratory professionals are so dedicated to serving their patients that they can handle the monotony with grace, ensuring that each test is run just as meticulously as the test that went before and the one that comes after.
This week, please join us in thanking laboratory professionals for their amazing skills and effort. We are all healthier and better-informed because of them!