Pathologists, laboratory technologists and technicians are among the unsung heroes of medical health care.
During National Medical Laboratory Week, April 23 through 29, Payson Regional Medical Center honors those 20 professionals with a celebration and recognition luncheon.
"We are proud of the work we do," said Janet O'Donnell, laboratory director at PRMC. "We have to be painstakingly meticulous in performing our jobs to provide dependable answers to (patients') family physicians."
An estimated 70 percent of a patient's medical records are comprised of laboratory test results.
Those results often identify the presence of disease in its earliest stages, when the possibilities of a cure are greatest and when treatment is less costly.
PRMC's laboratory is fully accredited by the Joint Council on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments for high-complexity testing in blood transfusion service, serology (the study of blood serums), chemistry, therapeutic drugs, drug abuse screening, hematology, coagulation microbiology, urinalysis and blood gas analysis specialties.
The laboratory at PRMC is staffed seven days a week, 24 hours a day to support its inpatient, outpatient and emergency room. It is equipped with up-to-date instrumentation employing the latest technologies such as the Roche Integra Chemistry Analyzer.
All but five percent of laboratory orders are performed in-house, resulting in quick turn around, according to Cory Houghton, marketing director for PRMC.
In addition, the laboratory oftentimes is involved in outside community activities.
At the fall community health fair, in collaboration with Mogollon Health Alliance, they provide health screenings including a comprehensive metabolic profile and a lipid (HDL and cholesterol) profile.
"Throughout the year they provide the phlebotomist who does the blood draws at Payson Senior Circle for the hospital's health and wellness program targeting adults who are 50 and above, and then provides the lab results (to the patients)," Houghton said.
Medical laboratory professionals, who represent a variety of specialties including pathologists, medical technologists, clinical laboratory scientists, medical laboratory technicians, histotechnologists and technicians, clinical chemists, microbiologists, cytotechnologists and cytopathlogists, managers and educators, can be found at PRMC.