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Inside the Lab

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As labs take on an increasingly prominent role in healthcare, understanding what happens behind the scenes is almost as important as knowing what can be learned from your test results. The articles listed below have been prepared to give you a better sense of clinical laboratories and how they function.

Follow That Sample: A Short Lab Tour
Follow a blood sample and a throat culture in an online tour of what happens to your medical sample once it leaves you.

Who's Who in the Lab: Types of Laboratory Professionals
Learn about the roles and qualifications of the many skilled professionals who work in clinical laboratories, including technologists, pathologists, and other laboratorians.

Where Lab Tests Are Performed
Medical tests can be performed by hospital laboratories, independent clinical "reference" laboratories, public health laboratories, at the point of care and at home or through direct access laboratories. Learn more about where lab tests are performed.

Lab Oversight: A Building Block of Trust
High standards of quality for clinical laboratories are maintained by federal and state government, laboratory professional organizations, and individual laboratories themselves.

Transfusion Medicine
Learn about transfusion medicine and blood banking. Transfusion medicine is the branch of medicine that is concerned with the process of collecting (donation), testing, processing, storing, and transfusing blood and its components. It is a cornerstone of emergency and surgical medicine. Blood banks are sections of clinical laboratories that process, test, and distribute blood and its components.

Patient Blood Management
Patient Blood Management (PBM) is an evidence-based approach used by clinicians to optimize a patient’s current medical condition in order to ensure successful recovery. Its main focus is on preventing anemia and/or blood loss, but it also involves investigating and treating anemia when present.