The Veterans Memorial Health Care Foundation recently agreed to donate nearly $8,000 to the hospital for the purchase of a new microscope for the hospital’s Laboratory. The current microscope had been in use in the lab for many years and had been updated making repairs or parts difficult to obtain.
The microscope is a crucial piece of equipment to the laboratory. This new microscope is used to observe different types of blood cells which can be counted, categorized, and checked for abnormalities. The microscope also aids in detecting cells, bacteria, fungi, and crystals in urine or other body fluids. The laboratory staff performs a stain on bacteria. After the stain, the microscope is an aid to the tech for determining the type of bacteria. The antibiotic choice used by the physician will depend on the type of bacteria causing the infection.
“We are very grateful to our hospital Foundation for their generous donation. Our Lab Techs directly handle samples from collection to reporting, giving them total confidence in the integrity of the samples they run since 70% of all medical decisions are based on Lab testing,” states Beth Fitzpatrick, M.T., Laboratory Supervisor. “Each of the Lab Techs at the hospital must be prepared to crossmatch and issue units of blood, spot leukemias, identify a urinary tract infection, describe an infection-causing agent or call a chemistry result to the ER indicating a heart attack. Having state-of-the-art equipment to do this is essential. This new microscope will assist all of us in efficiently reporting test results so our physicians can effectively treat our patients.”
The Veterans Memorial Hospital Laboratory has the ability to draw and locally run many of the lab tests regularly ordered by physicians. If a test is ordered that can’t be run at the local hospital, the Lab can draw the blood and send the sample for more advanced testing, saving the patient valuable time and money.
Veterans Memorial Hospital Laboratory is open in the very early morning for those fasting labs. Lab technicians are on site for a blood draw before a patient goes to work.
“We try to make the testing times very accessible for all of our patients,” adds Fitzpatrick. “Our staff enjoys the fact that in this small town hospital, they get to know the patients whose sample they are running, as well as be there to answer any questions. Additionally, working in a small hospital lab gives these Lab Techs experience in many specialties.”
Specialists from out of town will often require blood work prior to a patient’s next appointment and just automatically refer their own laboratory for the test. Sometimes that can require another day of travel out of town or make the day of an appointment very long. Often Veterans Memorial Hospital can run those tests locally and send the results electronically to the specialist the same day that the blood is drawn.
Wellness Testing is also a convenience at Veterans Memorial Hospital at reasonable prices. Wellness testing is available Monday through Friday from 7 am to 2pm. All patients should call ahead for an appointment, then stop by the front desk of the hospital to order the particular tests they would like performed, or choose the whole wellness package for $45.
For more information, please call the Veterans Memorial Hospital Laboratory at 568-3411.