Oswego Health’s more than 80 laboratory employees, who often work behind the scenes performing more than two million tests each year, that assist physicians in determining a patient diagnosis, are celebrating National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week April 20 through 26.
The theme of the week has been designated as “Laboratory Professionals Gets Results,” referring to the important role lab workers have in keeping their community healthy.
“We are very proud of the diagnostic work we do for our physicians and their patients in the community,” said Dr. Ahmad Al-Salameh, who oversees the lab and its employees.
“The staff is highly trained and works many hours to ensure our patients receive exceptional care,” he said.
The lab is accredited by the state Department of Health and Joint Commission.
Oswego Health’s main lab is located at Oswego Hospital and is a full-service clinical laboratory. The department provides testing in hematology, general chemistry, blood gases, urinalysis, coagulation, therapeutic drug monitoring, endocrinology, microbiology, blood banking, histology, cytology and pathology.
Common patient blood tests may include a complete blood count (CBC), cholesterol, glucose and a test that monitors blood thinning therapy.
Other testing may include a urinalysis, throat culture or blood typing. After a surgery, the pathology department may be called upon to examine tissue sections.
All departments work together to help the physician diagnose disease and treat conditions.
The department that community members may be most familiar with is the blood bank department.
The hospital works with the American Red Cross to constantly have an adequate supply of all blood types on hand.
The hospital also partners with the Red Cross and hosts four blood drives each year, with the next drive being from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 29.
More than 1.2 million specimens were processed through the laboratory’s Central Receiving Department in 2013.
The specimens arrive at Oswego Hospital’s main lab, which was recently renovated and features state of the art equipment such as an automated track system that delivers specimens to various analyzers.
Each lab department is dedicated to performing specialized testing that assists in the diagnosis of various diseases.
Community members can utilize one of Oswego Health’s nine convenient lab draw stations located throughout Oswego County, including the Oswego Health Services Center, the Central Square and Fulton Medical Centers, the Mexico, Oswego, Parish, Pulaski and Phoenix Health Centers, as well as Port City Family Medicine in Oswego.
For more information, including hours, please visit oswegohealth.org