The lab's role in interpreting tests has expanded to collaborate more closely with doctors, nurses, patients and family members. Laboratory professionals find the unexpected. They "collect samples and perform tests to analyze body fluids, tissue and other substances," as described by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. But lab work isn't just drawing blood and pushing buttons. Results must be interpreted in quality and clinical contexts before reporting, leading to a richer understanding of patient care that makes bench work rewarding and interesting.
Isn't interpretation the job of the physician? Lab techs aren't trained to interpret diagnostic tests. They don't make treatment decisions, but physicians and other clinicians do using laboratory test results that they assume are reliable. To ensure that results are reliable (e.g., accurate and precise), techs must interpret values in an appropriate context-in many cases, with awareness of the clinical setting and possible treatment. In fact, this happens routinely in laboratories thousands of times each day.
Interpreting Hematology Values
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