Diagnostic tests are performed to confirm or rule out diseases and disorders. Your doctor will need vital information for a precise diagnosis before developing a treatment plan, which a diagnostic test can give. There are currently approximately 110 diagnostic tests and treatments in use. They are either used to detect disease or to track its course. Furthermore, diagnostic instruments and equipment guide treatment and assess its success.
What laboratory diagnostic tests are there?
As previously mentioned, there are over 100 diagnostic tests in use. However, we are going to focus on those that involve the laboratory. Here are a few of the most commonly used tests and why they are used:
- Blood tests – Blood tests are commonly utilized in clinical practice. They might be general, such as a complete blood count (CBC), or specialized, such as thyroid function tests, which detect thyroid hormone levels in the blood.
- Biopsy – A biopsy is a process that involves removing a piece of tissue or a sample of cells from your body to be analyzed in a laboratory. A biopsy may be performed if you are experiencing particular signs and symptoms or if your doctor has discovered an area of concern. For example, a biopsy can tell you if you have cancer or another illness.
- Genetic tests – A genetic test is a medical test that identifies a change in chromosomes, genes, or proteins. Genetic testing results can confirm or rule out a suspected genetic ailment or assist in determining a patient’s risk of getting a congenital disease. Over 77,000 genetic tests are currently in use, with more being developed.
- Kidney function – The urinary system includes your kidneys. The kidneys are behind your rib cage in the back of your abdomen. They assist your body in filtering waste materials and excreting them as urine. Kidney function tests are urine or blood tests that determine how well your kidneys function. The majority of these tests assess the glomerular filtration rate (GFR). GFR measures how well your kidneys remove waste from your system.
How do these tests work?
Clinical lab specialists play an increasingly vital role in today’s healthcare system, as lab tests lead to more than 70% of medical choices, and customized treatment opens new doors to wellness. Clinical lab testing is critical to improving healthcare quality and reducing long-term health expenditures, from early disease detection and diagnosis to tailored treatment regimens based on a person’s unique genetic composition. But how do they work? Let’s use a blood test for this example. Blood is an enthralling substance. A small quantity can reveal so much and aid in detecting and diagnosing thousands of health conditions. So, what happens after your blood test when is sent to the laboratory?
The blood sample is labeled before being collected and transported to the laboratory. The details of the pieces are examined and recorded on our computerized lab system as they are passed across, which keeps track of them throughout their tenure in the lab. Blood tests can be used for various purposes, including determining cholesterol and blood glucose levels – these aid in monitoring your risk of heart and circulation problems and diabetes management. Chemical and protein tests can reveal how well your liver and kidneys operate. A troponin test can assist in diagnosing a heart attack, and a brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) test can help diagnose heart failure. If you take warfarin, your INR level (a measure of how rapidly your blood clots) will be checked regularly to ensure you are on the correct amount.
Who conducts these tests?
You may never meet many experienced and trained laboratory experts as a patient. These professionals, however, play a critical part in your healthcare. Clinical laboratory workers perform tests that give vital information for identifying, diagnosing, treating, and monitoring disease. Using sophisticated instrumentation and procedures, these specialists evaluate patient samples such as blood, urine, bodily fluids and tissue, and stool. They could be working in the lab at the hospital, clinic, or doctor’s office where you are being treated or at a reference laboratory hundreds or thousands of miles away.
A clinical laboratory offers a wide range of medical testing jobs. The roles are organized in a hierarchical order depending on talents and education. Directors, supervisors, laboratory scientists, and personnel are typical structure members. Some more highly specialized roles could also be included. We will conclude by highlighting a few of these roles and describing what the role entails:
- Laboratory director – Laboratory directors give overall guidance and direction in the laboratory. In addition, they uphold the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) requirements and ensure the quality of the work and medical equipment used.
- Laboratory manager – Laboratory managers keep a lab running efficiently by scheduling employees, replenishing supplies, and adhering to all security rules and requirements. They are in charge of everything at the lab, including tracking and monitoring equipment, keeping an eye out for personnel, monitoring and restocking supplies, software security, and event recording. They use administrative skills and lab safety knowledge to guarantee that laboratories are safe and continue to run smoothly.
- Laboratory nurse – Laboratory nurses are laboratory team members who provide clinical testing services to patients to assist physicians and other medical professionals. They work directly with patients in one or more laboratory disciplines, such as blood banks or chemistry. This includes helping prepare patient samples for testing by pathologists, medical technologists, or other laboratory specialists. In addition, lab nurses prepare specimens for clinical testing and regularly monitor patient samples during testing to ensure reliable results to support disease diagnosis. These nurses tend to have comprehensive knowledge of pathophysiology, completing courses such as the University of Indianapolis DNP-AGNP program, which offers an overview of relevant screening and diagnostic laboratory evaluative methodologies for advanced primary care nursing practice.
- Laboratory scientist – A medical laboratory scientist (MLS), often known as a medical technologist or clinical laboratory scientist, examines biological specimens. They are responsible for doing scientific tests on samples and communicating the results to physicians.
- Laboratory technician – A laboratory technician is a scientific and technical worker who works in laboratories to support scientists. This frequently entails working with sophisticated systems to aid in the operation of scientific processes and projects, properly document the results, and assist in the everyday tasks in a laboratory.