It’s National Medical Laboratory Week. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Lab professionals at Stanton Territorial Hospital and across the territory have worked above and beyond to meet the needs of clients in the NWT and deliver accurate and timely results 365 days a year.
At Stanton, the Microbiology Laboratory team is responsible for specialized testing related to tissue samples, blood samples and more, and provide results that are essential for the diagnosis and treatment of numerous conditions. With the onset of COVID-19, the Microbiology team was required to do things differently, and had to change their routines and introduce new instruments required for analyzing PCR tests for COVID-19.
At peak periods of the pandemic, the Microbiology team processed over 300 COVID-19 tests per day, and in the past 12 months the team has processed over 25,000 COVID-19 tests. During this time, the team also had to balance this with their normal day-to-day microbiology testing. Despite challenges in staffing positions for these skilled professionals that are in high demand across the country, the team stepped up to meet the challenge.
“Just the normal microbiology portion of our work is significant on its own, and we had to balance this and the COVID-19 testing. We were doing a lot of overtime and working many days in a row. At one point over Christmas, we were down to just two of us,” explains Laura Steven, Technical Supervisor of the microbiology laboratory.
Across Canada there is a national shortage of medical laboratory technologists.
“The number of staff working would go down on the weekend, but of course the testing did not, so overtime was required. I just remember that we always had fun in what we were doing and would try to keep our spirits high.”
“We all know what needs to be done and work together to get it done. We are a real team in here. I think that is why we are successful – because we really work well together.”
Thank you to the many dedicated lab professional in the NWT. Learn more about these services: https://www.nthssa.ca/en/services/laboratory-services