Week to highlight laboratory contributions

By Jennifer McCabe

This week has been slated as National Medical Laboratory Week to highlight the laboratory work done behind the scenes to diagnose health problems.

“The importance is to help people understand what gets done in a medical laboratory,” said Linda Jennings, an administrative assistant for University Health Service.

This year’s slogan, “Your Laboratory, Where the Investigation Begins,” will be the emphasis of the week.

“The importance is to help people understand what gets done in a lab and the slogan is to show the first step in diagnosing the problems that patients have,” Jennings said.

Some past slogans included “Clinical Lab Science—A Career that Gets Results” and “Our Mission: Your Good Health.”

NIU’s laboratory will be highlighted Thursday when a spokesperson from Abbott Laboratories sponsors a workshop for University Health Service employees and lab attendants. The speaker will be addressing interpretation of automated differential histograms, which are used to find complete blood counts.

The day will include a special luncheon hosted by Abbott Labs and will end with a reception for all of the University Health Service and laboratory employees.

The workshops will be attended by the head lab supervisor of Kishwaukee Community Hospital (KCH), the head lab supervisor at the DeKalb Clinic and the pathologist for KCH, the DeKalb Clinic and NIU.

“The top lab people in the community will be together in one room. It will be very impressive,” said Christine Ewald, medical technologist supervisor for University Health Services.

National Medical Laboratory Week is celebrated across the country in different ways. “It is left up to the individual labs. Some run tours and most involve the media to promote awareness among the community,” Ewald said.

Ewald said she just wants NIU students to become aware of the quality of the lab service on campus. “I would like them to feel assured by that,” she said.