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Shortage of medical lab professionals predicted

Health experts are worried about a growing shortage of medical lab professionals.

“Like the growing shortages of primary-care doctors and nurses, the shrinking ranks of skilled lab workers pose a potential threat to the safety and quality of health care, medical experts warn. Hospitals say it currently can take as much as a year to fill some job openings,” reported Laura Landro in the Wall Street Journal.

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And the outlook is not good, she said:

“Lab-science-training programs are expensive to run, and while some new degree programs have been started, a third of the training programs at colleges around the country have closed down over the past decade. That bodes poorly for hospitals seeking to fill job openings. The federal government estimates that 138,000 new lab professionals will be needed by 2012 to replace technicians expected to retire, but only 50,000 will be trained by that time.”

Wall Street Journal