Critical Values July 2015
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Archive of Workforce Articles

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Read dozens of archived stories about the serious shortage of laboratory personnel in the US, and what the ASCP has been doing to fight the problem:  

Students preparing for high-demand medical careers
May 2011—If you've ever had lab work done, you might know how important it is to allow your doctors to deliver a diagnosis. In fact, the American Medical Association says lab results point to nearly 80 percent of all diagnoses. And soon, there's expected to be a shortage of the lab workers that perform those important tests.   Read more...

ASCP Publishes 2011 Vacancy Survey and 2010 Wage Survey
March 2011— The ASCP has released its 2011 Vacancy Survey and 2010 Wage Survey. According to the American Society for Clinical Pathology’s 2011 Vacancy Survey of U.S. Clinical Laboratories, blood banking and transfusion medicine laboratories are experiencing the highest overall vacancy rate at more than 11 percent. Histology departments also struggle with staffing, with a reported vacancy rate of almost 10 percent. And according to the 2010 Wage Survey, laboratory medical scientists can raise their income by 14 percent if they become certified.  

ASCP Leaders Discuss Workforce Shortage in Northbay Biz 
March 2011— Crisis: You (or your child, or someone you love) are stretched out on a gurney, awaiting lab results that will determine the diagnosis and set the course of life-saving action. As your diagnosis—and your life—hangs in the balance, your urgently needed lab results may be held up because of a workforce shortage that’s been building over the last 10 years. This raises the question: In these days of high unemployment and with “job creation” the clarion cry of practically every political campaign, how can laboratories, now or in the future, basic as they are to accurate medical diagnoses, be understaffed? Read more at the Northbay Biz Website.

Best Careers 2011: Laboratory Technician - US News and World Report
December 2010— According to, Laboratory Technician is one of the 50 Best Careers of 2011, and should have strong growth over the next decade. Job growth is expected to be faster than average, with the number of clinical lab workers rising about 16 percent between 2008 and 2018, adding about 25,000 jobs. more...

California's Allied Health Workforce
In 2010, California Hospital Association (CHA) surveyed hospitals statewide to gather recent data regarding the effects of the economy on the demand for allied health professionals in the short term and to identify hospital workforce needs and concerns in the long term—over one, three and five years. Allied health professions include clinical laboratory scientists, radiological technologists and respiratory therapists, among many others. According to the report, its findings “validate longstanding claims that the shortage of clinical laboratory professionals must be addressed statewide.”  

Scholarships for Clinical Laboratory Students
September 2010— In an effort to encourage and support individuals interested in the laboratory professions, the ASCP is pleased to offer scholarships to students in their final clinical year of study.

Innovative Academic Partnership Saves Medical Laboratory Science Program at Arizona State University
September 2010— Two years ago, Arizona State University was on the verge of closing its Medical Laboratory Science program, initially in response to projected cuts in funding. Community leaders, however, urged ASU administrators to find another solution because of the demand for more laboratory professionals in the area.  

Hospital Lab Workers Play Critical Role in Medical Decisions
June 2010—The pathology laboratory is critical to determining a diagnosis for patients in any hospital. It takes a team of doctors, chemists, histologists, pathologists, biologists and technicians to perform tests for analysis and diagnoses of disease and infection. Carol Schmoll, administrative director for pathology at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, where about 3.2 million tests are performed annually, said the type of people needed in the hospital laboratory are those who can accurately perform testing under time constraints, have good analytic and decision-making skills, and have the ability to handle a large volume of specimens with a high degree of accuracy. Read more . . . .

Laboratory Science Workforce Shortage Affected By Baby Boomer Exits
ASCP weighs in with position and survey
June 2010— ASCP President Mark H. Stoler, MD, FASCP, comments on the laboratory workforce shortage in the newest issue of the Western Pennsylvania Hospital News & More. “The average age of the laboratory workforce is about 50 and each year steadily increases,” said Dr. Stoler. “ASCP is taking steps to mitigate the baby boomer exodus from the profession. We are raising awareness in the media and on Capitol Hill, National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week recognizes the superb work being done in the labs across the country and our new Ambassador Program taps newer professionals to share their passion for the profession with pre-college students.” Read more on page 20.

UNLV Eliminates Clinical Laboratory Science Program
June 2010— The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) lost a half dozen departments and programs when the Nevada System of Higher Education board approved a pared-down budget June 3rd at a meeting in Reno. Among those eliminated was the university’s clinical laboratory science program. "This is a sad moment not only at UNLV, but in Board of Regents history," said Teresa Jordan, professor and chair of the educational leadership department.
Read more about the UNLV program cuts.

Complexity of Laboratory Workforce Mirrors Nation’s Job Crisis
Multi-Tiered Approach Needed to Make Inroads

June 2010— As the nation continues to grapple with soaring unemployment and the demise of many industries, the laboratory has been addressing its own workforce issues. There are overarching problems that have led to a divide between supply and demand. For example, as most current laboratory professionals retire, trained personnel are not available to fill those posts. Yet in other parts of the nation, training programs are thriving but there are no available jobs upon graduation as many already in the field are choosing to work longer, perhaps due to the impact of the economy. ASCP has worked on numerous fronts to replenish the nation’s laboratory workforce.

How the West Virginia University CLS Program Was Saved
April 2010—In 2003, the clinical laboratory science (CLS) program at West Virginia University, Morgantown, faced a perfect storm. Enrollment had dropped to 23 students in their junior and senior years, but the program had five faculty members and was running a huge deficit. The state budget was in crisis, and the university faced large budget cuts. The CLS program was one of the programs slated to be cut. Fortunately, the program had several factors working in its favor. Read more on page 16.

Help Wanted: Shortage in Medical Laboratories
March 2010— Unemployment in the Charlotte, NC region is at 10.5 percent. There is a place, though, where qualified applicants are in demand. Charlotte’s local NewsChannel 36 was given access into the medical laboratories at Carolinas Medical Center, where the shortage of laboratory professionals is expected to increase in the next four years. Watch the video or read the story. Read more.

Announcing the 2009/2010 Scholarship Recipients
March 2010—As part of the continuing effort to combat the laboratory workforce shortage, the ASCP recently awarded 70 scholarships to the nation's top medical laboratory students as part of the Society's yearly Student Scholarships program. In addition, Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, in partnership with ASCP, awarded an additional 110 scholarships. The total amount of this year's scholarships was $184,000. 

UNLV CLS Program Discussed on TV
February 2010—ASCP is working to save the clinical laboratory science program at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, as state budget cuts threaten its existence. Program Director Janice M. Conway-Klaassen, MT(ASCP)SM discusses the potential closure on "Face to Face with Jon Ralston," an NBC-affiliate public affairs program in Las Vegas. Click on Feb. 11, block 4 to see Klaassen's portion of the segment.

Laboratory Technologists and Technicians Are Among Top Jobs for Next Decade
January 2010— Clinical lab technicians and technologists are very much the unsung heroes of the healthcare industry according to U.S. News & World Report. Laboratory technologists and laboratory technicians are on the list of top 50 careers for 2010. The lab technologist career is third in the healthcare category. See the entire U.S. News & World Report list here. In a similar survey commissioned by and reported in the Jan. 5 Wall Street Journal, Medical Technologist ranked 30th in the list of Top 200 Jobs of 2010. Medical Laboratory Technician ranked 37th. See the list here.

Las Vegas Laboratory Program in Limbo
January 2010— The University of Las Vegas (UNLV) is the latest university whose clinical science program (CLS) has been threatened with closure. As most states experience tight budgets, state university funds are being reduced, and administrators are looking for ways to trim costs. Unfortunately, for UNLV, their CLS program is high on the University’s list of programs to close. 

Labs Are Vital Launches FaceBook Page
Facing a massive shortage of scientists, the medical diagnostics industry has turned to viral advertising. Supported by Abbott Laboratories, the Labs are Vital campaign has started a scholarship contest that challenges students to make their peers aware of jobs in clinical science. To further advance their cause, the same organization created a facebook group that extols the virtues of working in a medical laboratory.

Short-staffed? Tips to keep lab quality from deteriorating
September 2009— ASCP spokespeople Lucia Berte, MA, MT(ASCP), SBB, DLM and Irina Lutinger, MPH, FACHE, MASCP, MT(ASCP)DLM discuss how to streamline a short-staffed laboratory.

Swine flu highlights a hot job: medical technologist
More people are needed to work in labs, identifying diseases.
July 31, 2009— This year's ever-increasing surge of swine flu cases is highlighting a rarity in today's economy: an in-demand job. Medical technologists, scientists trained to identify diseases and other conditions under a microscope, face a more than 10 percent vacancy rate nationwide, according to the American Society for Clinical Pathologists.

Medical technologists wanted
May 13, 2009—ABC affiliate in Topeka, KS, KTKA-TV reports on the lab workforce shortage: A hospital needs more than just doctors and nurses. "I wouldn't have gone through the schooling, made it through, if I didn't love this," said medical laboratory technician Lilli Martin. Martin spends her days in a lab running tests. Hospitals like Coffey County Hospital are having a tough time finding people like her.

ASCP in Wall Street Journal - Staff Shortages in Labs May Put Patients at Risk  
May 13, 2009—Three ASCP leaders are quoted in this Wall Street Journal article reporting on the laboratory workforce shortage and its impact on laboratories’ ability to keep up during the swine flu crisis.

ASCP President McKenna addresses swine flu and the workforce shortage
May, 2009 –ASCP President Barbara J. McKenna, MD, FASCP, addresses the swine flu crisis and the laboratory workforce shortage in this video.

ASCP Advocacy Efforts Focus on Developing the Workforce
May, 2009 –Each year, advances in laboratory medicine add significantly to the already lengthy menu of tests available to aid clinicians in their practice of medicine. The emerging field of personalized medicine alone promises to add thousands of new complex assays to the mix. Physicians and their patients rely on access to accurate and timely laboratory results to determine the most effective course for treatment. Having an adequate supply of well-trained laboratory professionals to staff our nation’s clinical laboratories is critical if we are to continue to be able to offer high quality health care to our citizens.

ASCP Advances Advocacy Agenda on Capitol Hill – Society Shares Issues of Laboratory Workforce, Physician Self Referral
May, 2009 –Mounting a display of political prowess, members of ASCP’s Commissions on Public Policy (CPP) and Membership as well as the Institute Advisory Committee participated in the Society’s third Annual Capitol Hill Day. Participants were asked to address the following issues with staff and Members of Congress: the laboratory personnel workforce shortage, physician self-referral and fixing the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR).

ASCP in US News and World Report
April 30, 2009—Irina Lutinger, MPH,MASCP, H(ASCP)DLM,FACHE, speaks to U.S. News and World Report about career opportunities in the laboratory. In the article, Lutinger says an impending worker shortage has been slowed by the recession, but there is still a minimal number of incoming lab technologists compared with the retirement rate.

ASCP's New Ambassador Program To Raise Awareness of Laboratory Science Field
April 20, 2009 –The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) launches National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week by announcing a new program to raise awareness of the laboratory profession among high school students. The ASCP Ambassador Program will select up to 10 newly certified laboratory professionals to share their personal stories about why they became laboratory professionals.

Tackling Every Clinical Lab’s Medical Laboratory Scientist Recruiting & Retention Challenge
April, 2009 –Probably the single most publicized trend in laboratory medicine is the shortage of medical technologists (MTs), clinical laboratory scientists (CLS), and medical laboratory technologists (MLTs). This shortage prevents many clinical laboratory managers from keeping their laboratories staffed at authorized levels.

The Current State of Medical Laboratory Staffing With Certified Versus Noncertified Personnel
April, 2009 –While studies have been conducted to track general staffing trends in the medical laboratory, no data exists regarding staffing at the laboratory department level. In 2008, ASCP initiated a survey to study this for the first time. This study represents an important first step in measuring how different departments may be affected by overall laboratory budget cuts, new technologies, and the implementation of management strategies, such as cross-training and part-time hours staffing.

ASCP Enhances Efforts to Tackle Lab Professional Workforce Issues
April, 2009 –Stimulus Money Available But Will Require Community-Based Efforts
Part I: MT/CLS School Closures - Several Large Programs Slated to Close
The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) recently expanded its efforts to tackle the laboratory workforce shortage by advocating to prevent the closure of several Medical Technology/Clinical Laboratory Science training programs.
Part II: Stimulus Money Available but Requires Cooperation and Community Work
MT/CLS schools at risk or programs seeking to expand should proactively seek money available in the stimulus package. Dollars are earmarked for health care professions training, and funds are available through community-based programs that address the training and retraining of the workforce.
Part III: ASCP Legislative Strategy to Address Workforce Revised
Given the availability of money in the government's stimulus package, ASCP has revised its legislative strategy to advocate for a robust appropriation for the Department of Labor's Community-Based Job Training Grants that would be in addition to the $250 million that will be available in the next few months. 

Announcing the 2008/2009 Scholarship Recipients
March 27, 2009 – As part of the continuing effort to combat the laboratory workforce shortage, the ASCP and Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics recently awarded a total of 92 scholarships to the nation's top medical laboratory students as part of the Society's yearly Student Scholarships program. The total amount of this year's scholarships was $162,000. ASCP and Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics are pleased to announce the names of the 92 scholarship recipients.

Laboratory Workforce Shortage Reaches Crisis
March 3, 2009 – Half of all laboratories nationwide struggle to hire laboratory personnel. Increased competition for qualified staff and lower compensation for laboratory work were cited as major issues among others. Published in the March 2009 issue of LabMedicine, the American Society for Clinical Pathology’s (ASCP) Wage & Vacancy survey provides current wage data and information about the distribution of personnel within the nation’s clinical laboratory workforce and is conducted every two years. 

Jobs in a Tough Economy
February 2009 – One of the tell-tale signs of a recession are dips in the gross domestic product, or GDP, the total market value of goods and services produced by a country’s economy. Kathleen Doyle, PhD, MT(ASCP)CM, this year's ASCP Member Excellence in Education Award recipient, was quoted in this story that appeared in the AABB News. more...

ASCP Partners with Abbott and Channel One to Highlight Laboratory Professional Careers
Feb. 24, 2009 – In today’s environment, jobs that are in high demand, pay well, and have flexible hours should have long waiting lists of people ready to apply. But people cannot apply to jobs they are not aware of in professions they may not even know exist. The Chicago-based American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) has teamed up with Abbott Laboratories and Channel One to sponsor the first-place winner of a contest aimed at raising awareness of the clinical science and laboratory professional field among pre-college students.

ASCP Battles Shortage on Many Fronts
October 2008—Medical laboratories are facing a severe workforce shortage. The profession has been sounding the alarm for many years, and now is the time for action. This issue of Critical Values outlines the many ways ASCP is addressing the shortage and suggests many ways you can help. more...

Workforce Shortage Center Stage as ASCP Addresses Group of State Health Officials
October 2008—Last month, the American Society for Clinical Pathology was invited to address the Reforming States Group (RSG) of the Milbank Memorial Fund about the laboratory workforce shortage. The Milbank Memorial Fund is an endowed operating foundation that works to improve health by assisting decision makers in the public and private sectors acquire and use the best available evidence to inform policy for health care and population health.

The Silent Killer: Lab Workforce Shortage
June 2008—The laboratory workforce shortage has gone largely unnoticed by the public and even by many who work in healthcare, because its full impact has yet to be realized. ASCP President Lee H. Hilborne, MD, MPH, FASCP, DLM(ASCP)CM talks about the many dimensions of the shortage in Modern Healthcare magazine. more...

The Worsening Shortage of Lab Staff
May 2008—Money Magazine recently ranked lab technologist as one of the best jobs in America, pointing to an average salary of $51,502 and 10-year job growth of almost 21%. Yet positions in clinical labs remain unfilled, the number of educational programs has plummeted, and the field has suffered an accompanying, precipitous decline in the number of young people entering it. On top of these problems, the profession is nervously anticipating a mass exodus of its members as a generation of current lab professionals retires in the coming years. more...

Colleges, Hospital Team Up to Train Lab Techs
May 2008—Most people have heard that Georgia needs more doctors and nurses. But they may not be aware that there’s also a serious shortage of allied health workers. more...

Higher Ed, Allina Team to Solve Critical Medical Lab Tech Shortage
April 2008—But Clinical Laboratory Technicians (CLT) and Clinical Laboratory Scientists (CLS) are becoming scarce commodities for health care employers. 43 percent of the schools in the U.S. that have trained them have closed due to the high expense of running the programs and lack of sites willing and able to provide the 720 hours of required clinical training. "It is truly a workforce crisis," says Jane Renken, manager of Workforce Planning/Sourcing for Allina Hospitals & Clinics. more...

CCCLW Addresses Growing Workforce Shortage
April 2008—The Coordinating Council on the Clinical Laboratory Workforce (CCCLW), a broad-based coalition of national laboratory associations, industry partners and other health care organizations, held a two-day strategic planning session to discuss the serious workforce shortage facing the clinical laboratory profession. The purpose of the meeting was to develop strategies to increase the number of qualified professionals in the field. more...

Cytotechnology Schools Under Threat
February 2008—ASCP is part of a consortium lobbying higher education and hospital administrators to keep cytotechnology programs open. A letter signed by all eight organizations involved in the consortium in early January 2008 went to specific higher education administrators at the schools under threat to inform these decision-makers about the continued need for cytotechnologists and the importance of keeping their programs active.

The Persistent Problem of Personnel Shortages
February 2008—ASCP President’s Message by Lee Hilborne, MD, MPH, DLM(ASCP)CM, FASCP, FCAP Unfortunately, patients rarely know the names, much less see the faces, of pathologists and other laboratory professionals who perform the tests that make early detection of disease possible or enable physicians to diagnose the cause of medical symptoms.

ASCP ePolicy News: Special Edition on the Laboratory Workforce Shortage
December 2007—On November 27, 2007, ASCP and the Connecticut Society of Pathology co-sponsored a forum on the medical laboratory workforce shortage. The event, held on the campus of Yale University, New Haven, CT, brought together a variety of stakeholders, including pathologists, laboratory directors and managers of acute-care hospital laboratories as well as reference and public health laboratories, hospital administrators, and state legislators.

Health Care—It's the Hot Field to Find a Job In
November 2007—A story in the Nov. 6, 2007 San Francisco Chronicle says, "Employment demand for technical and college-educated health workers in the state is expected to grow by 26 percent over the next seven years, compared with an overall job growth of 16 percent, according to a study released Monday..." "... According to the report, the greatest need for current demand was for clinical laboratory scientists, followed by physical therapy assistants, dental hygienists and pharmacy technicians." more...

ASCP Addresses the Laboratory Workforce Shortage
November 2007—Recruitment and retention of well-trained medical laboratory professionals is becoming increasingly more difficult for laboratories across the country. The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that by 2014, an additional 81,000 technologists and technicians will be needed to replace retirees and 68,000 to fill new positions. ASCP will be co-sponsoring a forum with the Connecticut Society of Pathologists. This summit will bring together a wide variety of stakeholders, including pathologists, educators, laboratory managers and practitioners, hospital administrators.

UTT Offers Laboratory Science Degree
October 2007—Clinical laboratory scientists/medical technologists are in short supply nationwide. The shortage is expected to worsen with about 58,000 new positions projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics by 2014 and as members of the laboratory workforce, whose median age is 50, begin to retire in the next decade. more...

Pathologist Shortage Hits Small Towns Hard
October 2007—According to the Chicago Tribun, families endure anguished waits for autopsy results. 'Maybe if you're fortunate enough to die in a bigger town, you might get your autopsy results quicker,' one relative says.

ASCP's Lab Week Press Release Focuses on Lab Worker Shortage
April 2007—An ASCP press release promoting the 2007 Lab Week pointed out that "nearly 44% of laboratories report they are currently experiencing difficulties recruiting or hiring medical laboratory personnel."

Obviate Personnel-Shortage Problems Using Lab Orientation to Retain Essential Support Staff
March 2007—A Special Feature from the Medical Laboratory Observer. more...

Newly-Released 2005 Wage and Vacancy Survey of Medical Laboratories
August 2006—This report collects current wage and vacancy data for medical technologists (MT), medical laboratory technicians (MLT), phlebotomists (PBT), histotechnicians (HT), histotechnologists (HTL), and cytotechnologists (CT). more...

Trends and Management Challenges of the Changing Workforce
May 2006—Workforce shortages are affecting the medical laboratory sciences. According to the American Medical Laboratory Scientists, United States hospitals and other health care facilities face a critical shortage of qualified clinical laboratory personnel. Over the past 10 years, one-third of medical technology schools have closed due to low student enrollment. Stombler wrote that the medical laboratory workforce shortage is being recognized by bills such as the Medical Laboratory Personnel Shortage Act, the Allied Health Reinvestment Act of 2005, the Allied Health Professions Reinvestment Act of 2005, and the Public Health Preparedness Workforce Development Act of 2005.

ASCP's Campaign to End the Medical Laboratory Personnel Shortage: Take Action Today
May 2006—In a little over a year, active ASCP members have written over 3800 letters to their representatives, urging them to cosponsor legislation that would work to alleviate the medical laboratory personnel shortage. The result—46 members of the House of Representatives have signed on as cosponsors of H.R. 1175, the ASCP-sponsored Medical Laboratory Personnel Shortage Act.

Lab Tech Shortage Leaves Public Health Vulnerable
April 2006—The capacity of Canada's public health laboratories to respond to an influenza pandemic and other emerging infectious diseases is compromised by a shortage of medical laboratory technologists. The Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) warns that losing almost 50 per cent of medical laboratory technologists (MLTs) to retirement in the next decade, combined with a lack of adequate training resources to bring new people into the profession, will make an already-stretched laboratory system even more vulnerable. more...

Med Techs In High Demand
April 2006—From—All Diana Mass, MA MT(ASCP) wanted was to educate more people to properly analyze blood and body fluids. But the university said it didn't have the money. So the head of the medical-technologist training program at Arizona State University passed the hat herself and raised $44,000 to expand the program. Shortages of nurses, physicians and pharmacists have been well-publicized, and now hospital administrators are worrying there won't be enough people to work in the labs.

Getting 'Stuck' as Phlebotomist is a Good Thing
March 2006—Most of us aren't too crazy about needles—as in drawing blood and administering medication as opposed to knitting. However, it's a necessary part of our personal healthcare at times and those trained as phlebotomists work hard to lessen the discomfort associated with "getting stuck." For students studying in the medical assisting program at Florida Career Institute, the intense training in phlebotomy means greater employment opportunities at places like physician offices, clinics and hospitals. more...

Attention Program Directors and Professors!
January 2006—Are your students interested in learning more about careers that can help prepare them for crime scene investigation and fighting bioterrorism? Are you interested in adding cutting edge technology to your lesson plans that will grab the attention of your students? Do you want to help build a stable laboratory workforce that will help strengthen your healthcare system and homeland security? If you answered yes to any of these questions the ASCP would like to introduce you to the Diagnostic Detectives CDs developed by the Michigan Association of Laboratory Science Educators (MALSE). more...

The Crisis In America's Laboratories: It's Every Physician's Business
August 2005—Dr. LoAnn Peterson, 2004-2005 president of the ASCP, is featured in a Medscape Video Editorial in which she speaks about the shortage of laboratory professionals. (You may be asked to "register" as a Medscape user to be able to see the videotorial, but it's a simple—and free—process. Once you've registered, you'll also have access to all the information on the ASCP/Medscape Pathology and Lab Medicine section.) more...

ASCP Participates in CCCLW Strategic Planning Session
July 2005—ASCP participated in a strategic planning session of the Coordinating Council on the Clinical Laboratory Workforce (CCCLW).The CCCLW is a coalition of laboratory associations (including ASCP), federal entities, and manufacturers that have come together to improve responses to the shortage of clinical laboratory personnel.

MT Programs Restructuring to Survive
July 2005—Medical technology and related educational programs are in transition. No single reason can explain the pressure on university programs to restructure or close, but here are a few that educators cite: budget constraints, high cost of programs, lack of support from local professionals in some areas, and declining program enrollments stemming from the demands of a rigorous science curriculum that are rewarded by relatively low salaries. more...

Face-to-Face: Student Ambassadors Make Great Recruiters (p 326)
June 2005—Recruiting students to enroll in medical technology programs must go beyond the traditional job fairs and MTV-style videos. Testimonials from current students and recent graduates, delivered personally to college freshman and sophomore biology students, can make a difference.

No Silver Bullet for the Lab Shortage, ASCP President's Message (p 197)
April 2005—Like the weather, everybody seems to be talking about the shortage of laboratory personnel. Also like the weather, it sometimes seems we can't do anything about it.Well, I believe we can do something about it and we can do it now.

Bill Targets Medical Technician Shortage*
March 2005—Medical laboratory personnel work behind in the scenes, rarely seen by patients as they run the tests to help doctors diagnose illnesses and make decisions about patient treatments. Illinois U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, introduced a bill that he hopes will help alleviate the medical technician shortage by making training for the job more financially accessible to students. *This news item was written by the Belleville News-Democrat, not the ASCP.

2003 Wage and Vacancy Survey of Medical Laboratories
January 2005—In 2003, the ASCP Board of Certification (BOC) conducted the ninth in a series of surveys to provide the profession with current information about wage scales and staff vacancies. Routinely conducted every 2 years, the BOC scheduled this special survey to track the rapid changes in these areas. We found a continuation of the trends that were identified in 2002; despite wide regional and practice setting differences, wages were increasing across all staff position categories and vacancies were decreasing. This report highlights the findings of the 2003 survey. These findings, however, may mask the difficulties that many facilities are still experiencing. To add perspective, we have profiled of the experiences of laboratory managers in recruiting and retaining qualified staff.

Strategic Laboratory Workforce Planning—You Cannot Afford Not To Do It by Michele Best, MT(ASCP)
August 2004—Pathology and laboratory medicine services play a vital role in patient care by providing millions of laboratory tests annually for the diagnosis and treatment of patients. Qualified laboratory staff are essential for the accurate performance and interpretation of these critical tests. Bureau of Labor statistics predict that the demand for laboratory services will triple by 2010, partly due to the aging population.

ASCP Reaches Out to Science Students: Key to Future Lab Professionals
August 2004—In order to raise awareness of the laboratory profession and interest young people in the career, the ASCP continually reaches out to other organizations. Most recently, the ASCP has worked with the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) and HOSA, the Health Occupations Students of America.

Hospitals Encounter Med Tech Shortages
July 2004—Hospital patients rarely see the people who run tests on their blood. But a growing shortage of those lab workers could increase their profile by lengthening hospital stays and driving up costs, lab managers say. A combination of retirements and a lack of new workers to replace them has some medical technologists and laboratory technicians concerned about how bad the shortage will be five years from now. more...

NMLW-"Celebrity Bob" Makes It Big
July 2004—Getting the word out about laboratory careers is "job one" when it comes to solving the staffing shortage. Thanks to ASCP member and laboratory manager, Bob Johnson, MT(ASCP), PHM, his laboratory made a big splash during National Medical Laboratory Week this year.

Keeping Our Profession Alive
July 2004—According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2000 census, an additional 106,000 laboratory technologists and technicians will be needed by 2010 to meet the needs of a growing and aging American population.

Survey Results Show Improvement, But Larger Staffing Problems Loom
July 2004—While vacancy rates have stabilized and wages have made moderate gains, the next decade will put the laboratory profession to the ultimate test with an aging population and a retiring workforce, according to Kory Ward-Cook, PhD, MT(ASCP), CAE, executive director of the ASCP Board of Certification and lead investigator on the 2003 ASCP Wage and Vacancy Survey. more...

Allied Health Legislation Introduced in House of Representatives
June 2004—Congressman Cliff Sterns (R-FL) recently introduced HR 4016, the Allied Health Professions Reinvestment Act of 2004. The measure, which was cosponsored by Congressman Ted Strickland (D-OH) when it was introduced on March 23, 2004, would increase federal funding for allied health education and training. Like HR 623, the Medical Laboratory Personnel Shortage Bill (introduced on behalf of ASCP), the measure seeks to increase congressional attention on the growing shortage of medical laboratory professionals and other allied health personnel. Of the 13,500 medical laboratory professionals needed annually, the United States is producing only 5,000. ASCP supports HR 4016 and is working in coalition with other allied health professions group to generate support for the legislation.

CSI Star William Petersen Salutes Lab Professionals During Lab Week, Addresses Shortage
April 2004—Petersen asks people to consider a career as a laboratory professional - a field that is experiencing a serious shortage. more...

Meeting the Challenges of Laboratory Staffing: Long and Short Term Solutions
February 2004—Presented by the ASCP, AACC, and ASCLS, June 3, 2004 in Washington, DC. Attendees learned how to successfully manage staffing issues and how to turn the tide on the staffing challenge. more...

Automation Advances, Information Systems Help Labs Meet Demand
September 2003—The clinical laboratory market, which includes a broad spectrum of laboratories in hospitals, physicians' offices, clinics and a widening array of other sites such as pharmacies and nursing homes, is experiencing increasing demand for testing services, while simultaneously facing a growing shortage of resources to cope with the rising workload. more...

ASCP Student Scholarships Program
August 2003—We're looking for the nation's best students. Do you know any exceptional medical laboratory students? In a continuing effort to draw young people into the laboratory profession, the ASCP is offering $1,000 scholarships to outstanding students enrolled in their final clinical year of study medical laboratory programs.

ASCP Reaches Biology Teachers: Key to Future Lab Professionals
August 2003—The ASCP Board of Certification has been working with the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) for many years in order to increase awareness of the laboratory profession in the classroom. An ASCP ad promoting careers in the laboratory appears in the August issue of NABT's American Biology Teacher magazine and in the program book for NABT's October meeting. An ASCP representative will distribute information at the NABT meeting again this year as well. more...

ASCP Releases New Wage and Vacancy Report on Clinical Laboratory Workforce
June 2003—The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) released its initial report on the state of the clinical laboratory workforce. The report is based on an analysis of the ASCP Board of Certification (BOC)'s 2002 Wage and Vacancy Survey, the 12th in a series of biennial surveys conducted by an independent agency for ASCP. The full report will be published in the September 2003 issue of the ASCP's Laboratory Medicine.

Can You Hear Me Now? How About Now?
June 2003—Susan Besaw's Chair's Message, June 2003. We tell the public over and over again about the laboratory's role in providing quality healthcare, and we stress the need for qualified laboratory professionals. Improving the public and professional image of laboratory professionals has long been a concern of ASCP members. We know that the image we project has a direct impact on such things as student recruitment and on the willingness of health insurers to adequately reimburse laboratory services. Here is just a sampling of the latest ASCP media efforts.

ASCP Testifies Before Congress on Workforce Needs
May 2003—Representing ASCP, Phyllis Thornton, MD, MT(ASCP) testified on May 7, 2003, before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies on the laboratory workforce shortage and the need to fund educational grants that will assist medical technology programs. more...

ASCP Scholarships Boost Lab Careers
May 2003—As part of the continuing effort to combat the lab worker shortage, the ASCP recently awarded thirty $1,000 scholarships to the nation's top medical laboratory students as part of the Society's 2002/2003 Student Scholarships.

Spreading the Word About Lab Careers
March 2003—Erlo Roth, MD, MBA, FASCP, of Hinsdale Pathology Associates in Hinsdale, Ill., recently visited Niles West High School to tell students about careers in the laboratory. Dr. Roth spoke about his role in the laboratory, his medical training and his love for the profession.

Major Increase for Allied Health Programs: ASCP Efforts Lead to Big Funding Boost
February 2003—On February 13, 2003, both the House of Representatives and the Senate approved the final fiscal year 2003 omnibus appropriations bill. In the bill, funding for the Allied Health Project Grants program was increased to $12 million, representing a whopping 26.4% increase over the fiscal year 2002 appropriation. This increase in funding was the result of ASCP efforts to discuss with key members of Congress the serious laboratory workforce shortage and to explain the importance of the allied health project grants program in combating this concern. more...

ASCP Moves Congress to Address Laboratory Workforce Shortage
February 2003—U.S. Representatives John Shimkus (R-IL) and Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) introduced on February 5, 2003, the Medical Laboratory Personnel Shortage Act of 2003 to address the serious shortage of medical laboratory personnel in the United States. more...

Medical Laboratory Organizations Take Action: Offer Solutions To Address Serious Laboratory Staffing Shortage
February 2003—A joint press release from various health care organizations about the shortage was sent to reporters to encourace them to write about this crisis. more...

Laboratory Profession, ASCP to be Recognized in Two Television Programs
February 2003—The ASCP is working to get the word out about the laboratory staffing shortage. A five to seven minute segment examining the harsh reality of the laboratory staff shortage will air nationally on the "Today's Family" series on ABC's Family Channel and locally on PAX-TV in February or March 2003.

Clinical Laboratory Sciences Workers Shortage Study
December 2002—The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification (BOC), in cooperation with University of California, San Francisco's (UCSF) Center for California Workforce Studies has been awarded a cooperative agreement in the amount of $151,033 by the Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to describe the current status of the clinical laboratory workforce. more...

California Governor Signs MLT Bill Into Law
November 2002—California Governor Gray Davis (D) signed into law legislation licensing medical laboratory technicians. ASCP applauds Governor Davis and State Sen. Michael Machado, who introduced SB 1809, for their leadership. ASCP hopes that the SB 1809 will help alleviate the shortage of qualified medical laboratory personnel by allowing medical laboratory technicians to perform testing in California. more...

MTs and MLTs Among Best Rated Jobs
November 2002—According to the sixth edition of the Jobs Rated Almanac by Les Krantz, medical laboratory technicians and medical technologists are very high on the list of best jobs. more...

ASCP Reaches the Skies
September 2002—ASCP talks about laboratory staffing shortages on Sky Radio. It will be heard by airline passengers flying American Airlines in October 2002. Senior Vice President Kory Ward-Cook, PhD, was interviewed on the growing shortage and what ASCP and CLMA are doing about it. more...

ASCP Writes to Universities about Medical Laboratory Career Advantages
July 2002—In an effort to address the closure of a number of laboratory personnel training programs, ASCP has been writing to colleges and universities about the critical need to train the next generation of medical laboratory personnel. more...

Rural Areas Struggle to Hire Lab Personnel
July 2002—According to the Denver Post, rural Colorado is suffering from a shortage of medical laboratory personnel, leaving small-town health care facilities struggling to keep up with lab services. If the squeeze continues, it could affect turnaround time for important laboratory tests.

Your Role in Reducing Workforce Shortages (May 2002)

Recruiting and Retention Strategies Presented at 2002 CLMA/ASCP Meeting (April 2002)