Pictured (left to right): Cindy Romero, Sabrina Winbush, Aminah Asghar, Diana Nguyen
Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (April 22-28) is an annual celebration of medical lab professionals and pathologists who play an important role in healthcare. It’s a great opportunity to increase public understanding and appreciation for the lab. Medical laboratory sciences involve the fields of clinical chemistry, clinical microbiology, hematology, immunohematology, immunology and phlebotomy. Their main role is to analyze blood, tissues and body fluid specimens which play a vital role in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of a disease.
In PSV's Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders (CCBD), the two major fields that the lab focuses on are hematology and chemistry. Diana and Sabrina, our phlebotomists, first draw and process the patients’ blood. Once the specimen is received, the technologists, Aminah and Cindy, run the complete cell count (CBC) on the XN analyzer. The XN analyzer uses flow cytometry technology to measure each red and white blood cell parameters. Once the CBC report prints out, the preliminary result is given to the physician and the medical technologist reviews the blood smear under the microscope. The medical technologist is the first set of eyes in determining any abnormalities in a patient’s blood smear. Throughout the three years that PSV's CCBD lab has become an independent lab we have witnessed challenging hematology cases that are not seen in a routine lab.
In chemistry, we use patients' plasma to run complete metabolic panels (CMPS), basic metabolic panels (BMP), and other tests on the Vitros 350. The Vitros 350 is a dry chemistry analyzer that measures analytes using colormetric methods. These tests measure glucose levels, levels of electrolytes, fluid balance and kidney function. These tests are vital in diagnosing patients. In addition to hematology and chemistry tests, the lab also performs urinalysis, pregnancy tests, and sedimentation rates.
Why is working in the lab important to me?
Cindy: Working in the lab is rewarding to me when I see the excitement of physicians when patients make counts. It gives me pride in providing the best patient care.
Aminah: I love being able to see firsthand how a patient is improving based on his/her lab results.
Diana: We deal with something most precious – human life. We strive for than just the bare minimum for these kids. It’s rewarding.
Sabrina: Just to know that I am a part of something so important means so much to me. My goal in life has always been to help others. Luke 6:38 says, “Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured to you”. So you tell me, what’s more rewarding than helping with the fight against childhood cancer and other blood disorders.
For more information about our Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, please visit: https://www.psvcare.org/specialty/cancer-and-blood-disorders.