Mary Johansen – Medical Technologist

What does a medical technologist do?mary-3

 A laboratory professional is responsible for collecting samples and running tests on body fluids which include blood, urine, cerebrospinal fluid, and synovial fluid. They also set up and read microbiology specimens and cross match blood for transfusions.   Along with this they are responsible for operating and maintaining complex analyzers and ensuring that lab results are accurate and timely.

When a person comes for a lab draw, what should they expect?

After proper identification and an explanation of what will be done, the laboratory professional will apply a tourniquet, locate a vein, cleanse the site, and then draw the required tubes of blood
for testing.

If I come to the HAMH lab, how do I know my blood sample won’t get messed up with someone else’s?

Before blood is drawn the patient’s identity if verified by at least two separate identifiers. Labels with these identifiers are immediately placed on the tube before testing is done. Automated equipment reads this information and prints out results with the name and sample numbers, thus eliminating any chance of human error.

What is the largest misconception you think patients have about hospital labs?

 I don’t think they realize how many tests can now be done on blood samples and the importance of these tests.

What do you enjoy about your job in the lab? 

I enjoy the fact that we play an integral part in the diagnosis and treatment of patients.

If folks wanted additional health information about what happens in a laboratory what are some available resources?

People should visit the ASCP website, resources on medical technologists and medical technicians, or schools that train and offer degrees in this profession.