RMC Recognizes National Lab Professionals Week
Roosevelt Medical Center is celebrating the 42nd annual nationally recognized Medical Laboratory Professionals week, April 19-25. While the usual fanfare of a pot luck gathering will not take place due to social distancing, RMC staff and administration are making sure the laboratory department knows they are appreciated through messages of thanks.
“Unlike any other time in history, the vital role laboratory professionals play in healthcare has never been more apparent or celebrated and we are thankful for our laboratory staff’s dedication to the job they do,” said Audrey Stromberg, CEO.
RMC currently has two medical technologists who have many years of experience and who work directly with the medical staff to assist in the diagnosing of patients. JoAnn Smith, of Culbertson, came to work for RMC in 1981 and Lori Monson, also of Culbertson, started in 1992.
Together, they have dedicated 66 years of service to the facility.
Nationally, there are approximately 300,000 practitioners of clinical laboratory science in the United States. Since the development of this career group in the 1920s, the clinical laboratory science professional has played an increasingly vital role in the diagnosis and prevention of disease.
Today, the clinical laboratorian is a key member of a health care team. As team members of one of the largest industries in the United States, the efforts of laboratory professionals sometimes go unnoticed by the general public because much of what they do takes place behindthe- scenes.
“I have always enjoyed knowing that I can make a difference in the lives of patients by working with their providers and helping to determine what is making them sick,” Smith said. Originally from Beach, N.D., Smith joined RMC after graduating from school in Minnesota and finishing her internship in Wisconsin.
Monson is originally from Bottineau, N.D, and received her associates of science degree in medical laboratory technology from North Dakota State University.
“I have stayed in Culbertson to be close to my immediate family,” Monson said. “Roosevelt Medical Center is like a second family to me. I enjoy working with everyone and I’m able to know my patients on both a
Left-right: Lori Monson, lab technologist, and Joann Smith, lab supervisor. Together they have a combined 66 years of service to Roosevelt Medical Center.
(Submitted photo) personal and professional level. Patients aren’t just a number here like they might be at a larger healthcare facility.”
The most common test performed in the lab is the complete blood count test which reveals viral and bacterial infections, as well as anemia.
Annually, the lab performs roughly 36,000 procedures comprised of about 60 different tests.
Today, RMC, like many healthcare facilities across the nation, faces the challenges of a healthcare worker shortage. “I think our greatest challenge is motivating the younger generation to embrace healthcare as a career option,” Smith said. “There is such a large need for workers in all different medical areas and as more people retire, that shortage is only going to increase.”