post-title Medical Laboratory Workers https://i2.wp.com/apex.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/three-cells-cropped.png?fit=671%2C421&ssl=1 June 28, 2017 yes no Posted by

Medical Laboratory Workers

What is a medical laboratory worker? Medical laboratory workers are registered health professionals who run laboratories and test, interpret and report laboratory results. They are trained to identify disease and abnormalities through studying blood, tissue and other bodily samples. Laboratory workers work ‘behind the scenes’, but remain an integral part of the health system whose work […]

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What is a medical laboratory worker?

Medical laboratory workers are registered health professionals who run laboratories and test, interpret and report laboratory results. They are trained to identify disease and abnormalities through studying blood, tissue and other bodily samples. Laboratory workers work ‘behind the scenes’, but remain an integral part of the health system whose work is vital to patient treatment. More than 90% of prescribed treatments require laboratory input to aid/confirm diagnosis or to monitor drug levels or disease progression.

Medical laboratory science is a bit like detective work. Workers look for answers to the disease ‘puzzle’ to help doctors diagnose and treat their patients. They answer questions such as: Are these cells abnormal? What do these blood cells tell us about this person’s health? How does it fit in with their other symptoms? How much of drug ‘x’ is in this person’s blood? Is it working effectively? What bug is making this person sick?

Medical laboratory workers take on a high level of responsibility, often needing to make important decisions under pressure. Emergencies can occur at any time, day or night, so laboratory workers have to prioritize and take the initiative, often without much back-up. If the doctor needs to know the answer, they have to deliver. Sometimes this means working through the night providing results while a patient fights for their life in another part of the hospital or a surgeon waits, mid-operation, for a phone call.

Responsibilities include developing, adapting and applying scientific methods of analysis and ensuring high standards of quality assurance. An understanding of the methodology and theory behind complicated, technical and automated equipment is essential, as are developing the skills necessary to identify and interpret abnormalities under the microscope or via other diagnostic technology. Laboratory workers are highly regarded and sought after worldwide. However, the current approach of contracting out laboratory services is undermining the effectiveness and integrity of community and hospital services. Older colleagues are leaving, and younger science students are choosing other careers. Laboratory science is the only professional health science degree where the number of places in university is greater than the number of students applying.

Read more about laboratory science here: part 1; part 2; part 3; part 4

Collective agreements

Pathlab-Whakatane-MECA-20-Jan-2017-to-19-Jan-2018

SCL CA 2016 – 2018 final

LSR-CEA-29-Feb-2016-to-30-June-2017-Final

Pathlab Lakes CEA 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018

TLab SECA 6 Sept 2015 – 5 September 2017

Northland-Pathology-1-July-2015-30-June-2017

NZMLWU DHB MECA 7 Sept 2016 to 6 Sept 2019

For more information on collective agreements, MECAs and SECAs, click here >

National and Local Laboratory Engagement Groups

For newsletters, workstream reports, papers and presentations coming out of the National Laboratory Engagement Group (NLEG), please visit our Laboratory Engagement Group (LEG) page. The page also houses the Local Laboratory Engagement Group (LLEG) participation toolkit.

National Pathology and Laboratory Roundtable

For newsletters, workstream reports, papers and presentations coming out of the National Pathology and Laboratory Roundtable please visit our dedicated page here >.

Secretariat and President reports

2017 Secretariat report

2016 Secretariat report

2016 President’s report

Current news

Labs frustrated by wait for information

Taranaki DHB misses OIA deadline

Laboratory Union slams DHB

Archived news

Click here to go to our news archive >, and click here to view past issues of the medical laboratory newsletter Under the Microscope

Your delegates

First name Surname Employer
Lynette Kilgour Auckland DHB
Phillipa Sarcich Auckland DHB
Helen Sweeney Auckland DHB
Stewart Smith Canterbury DHB
Grant Moore Canterbury DHB
Mark Lewis Canterbury DHB
Melissa Bloxham Canterbury DHB
Elaine Keith Canterbury DHB
Bryan Raill Counties Manukau DHB
Bernard Chambers Counties Manukau DHB
Karina Verdia Counties Manukau DHB
Linda Keat Counties Manukau DHB
Christine Henry Counties Manukau DHB
Michelle Masters Hawkes Bay DHB
Ann Green Pathlab Lakes
Karen King Pathlab Lakes
Ilona Gardiner Northland DHB
Gary Dow Northland DHB
Michael Herring Northland DHB
Jacqueline Wypych Northland DHB
Janine Soufflot Northland Pathology
Mijoo Kim Northland Pathology
Charlotte Vanhecke New Zealand Blood Service
Lloyd Rigby New Zealand Blood Service
Sarah Copedo New Zealand Blood Service
Belinda Reilly New Zealand Blood Service
Harold Barnes Pathlab Whakatane
Melissa Huizer Pathlab Whakatane
Justine Young SCL Canterbury
Danielle Hayne SCL Canterbury
Amanda Watts SCL Canterbury
Natalie Dick SCL Nelson
Spencer Walker SCL Otago
Carol Carruthers SCL Otago
Christine Hills SCL Otago
Lynda Hampton SCL Southland
Gerard Brandsen SCL Southland
Grant Cook SCL Timaru
Adrian Joshi SCL Wairau
Anna Odermatt SCL Wellington
Rachel Roth SCL Wellington
Sarah Hoedemaeckers SCL Wellington
Piepar Sean-Pierce SCL Wellington
Brice Thomson SCL Wellington
Anne Rush T-Lab Gisborne
Julia Armstrong Taranaki DHB
Glen Kuzman Taranaki DHB
Andrew Soepnel Waikato DHB
Duncan Thorpe Waikato DHB
Madhu Nahna Waikato DHB
Susan Brooks Waikato DHB
Jane Ashby Waikato DHB
Wendy Wakeling Waikato DHB
Pamela Easton Waikato DHB
Martha Peri Waikato DHB
Fiona Lowen Waitemata DHB
Lynn Brott Waitemata DHB
John Sheard West Coast DHB