Group predicts shortage in medical lab technicians

| April 25, 2008

Minnesota’s NBC affiliate KARE-TV (4/24) reported that on Thursday, "local college and university medical instructors gathered with representatives from the Allina health system to let it be known [that] there is a shortage in lab technicians and it will soon be dire." The conference attendees attributed the impending decline to the fact that "many schools [are] not offering the program due to budget cuts in recent years, and, the decline in overall interest because it’s in many ways a hidden field in healthcare." But "[l]ab professionals provide 70 to 80 percent of the objective data that physicians use to diagnose disease and treat their patients," said "St. Paul College instructor Michelle Brinski." Nevertheless, the "announcement of a 3.2 million dollar federal grant to boost the program at local colleges and universities" in Minnesota "was good news."

        College set to expand medical, clinical laboratory program. The St. Paul Business Journal (4/24) reported that "Saint Paul College will use a $3.2 million federal grant to expand its program for workers in the medical and clinical laboratory fields." Collaborating "with Allina Hospitals & Clinics, other providers and its partners in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system," the school aims "to help increase the number of trained clinical lab workers." Throughout the nation, "43 percent of the schools that trained such workers have closed, either due to the expense of the programs or the lack of industry partners willing and able to provide students with the required 720 hours of clinical training." Jane Renken, "manager of Workforce Planning/Sourcing for Allina Hospitals & Clinics," said, "It is truly a workforce crisis."


Category: Clinical Laboratories

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