Medical Lab Tech, A1C Dorothy Barnett told us, “We get a patient, we sit them down, get them identified and we draw the tubes that they need.”
That’s a typical day to day routine for Airmen 1st Class Dorothy Barnett and other medical lab technicians the 82nd medical group.
SAFB Lab Officer, Lt. Manuel Moncada said, “We do behind the scene testing so whenever a patient comes in to get blood drawn or gets seen by a provider, we’ll go ahead and collect those specimens. It could be a body fluid such as a urine specimen or actual blood.”
Once the blood is drawn or the sample is collected, he added, “We have quite the variety of testing we can perform such as glucose testing, simple as a pregnancy test or as complex as detecting bacteria that can potentially cause an infection.”
Being able to detect infections is why Airmen Barnett got in the medical field.
“I really just wanted to work and help other people in any way that I could,” she told us. “Being in the lab field, I’m able to look at what’s wrong with somebody from the inside and not just the outside and if something’s wrong with them and help diagnose. We’re kind of the behind the scenes of the doctors.”
Testing for anything that they may prevent any airman from performing their duties.
Lt. Moncada finished by telling us, “We play a critical roll in making sure that our warfighters, our members, and their dependents are healthy. We make sure that if they need the medical care that they get the medical care that they need.”
Lab techs go through intense training before being able to do their jobs and go to their respective stations. The lab can test for pretty much anything, but if it happens to be a case that they cannot test for, they will ship the specimen to the hospital.
In next week’s Sheppard Profile, we spotlight students learning how to inspect engine components, and how to repair and replace system components, jobs very critical in getting aircraft in the air.