What are the expectations for the laboratory workforce in the future?
Laboratory workforce shortages have begun in many localities as the wave of people who joined the field in the sixties and seventies, a period of extraordinary growth, are now retiring. About 40 years ago, people flooded into the field to help with the exciting new tests and technologies that were becoming available. Many of today's laboratory professionals are babyboomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) and have now approached retirement age. Currently, there are not enough new college graduates to take their place.
What does the government say about the clinical laboratory workforce shortage?
The Health Resource and Service Administration (HRSA), stated in their Allied Health Workforce Projections that the demand for medical and clinical laboratory scientists/technologists and technicians is projected to grow by 19 percent.
What type of job opportunities are and will be available for laboratory professionals?
An increasing need for laboratory professionals can be found in:
Academic Research Laboratories
Veterinary Hospitals and Laboratories
Pharmaceutical company research and development laboratories
Diagnostic company research and development laboratories
Armed Services Hospitals, Ships, Medical Units and Research Institutes
Food product development and safety laboratories
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Public Health Laboratories
Scientific and research Foundations and Institutes
World Health Organization
Health insurance companies
Assisted Reproductive Technology Laboratories
Crime Scene Forensics Laboratories
Since Pap tests are going to be decreasing since the HPV vaccine is available, will there be a future in cytotechnology?
The decline in the Pap test is unlikely to fully affect the United States for 10 years or so. The cytotechnologist is involved in many other areas of the laboratory, including screening and interpretation of non-gynecologic cytology. Less surgically invasive procedures, such as Fine Needle Aspirations (FNAs), lend themselves quick and accurate diagnoses by certified cytotechnologists working with cytopathologists using standard microscopic techniques as well as their expanded roles in molecular testing and other image-based studies. Cytotechnology is a field with many opportunities for growth and development.
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