Session Summary: This symposium, sponsored by the Committee on Professional Affairs in Microbiology of the ASM Public and Scientific Affairs Board, focused on current problems associated with staffing clinical microbiology laboratories. ASM has partnered with many scientific societies, and the first speaker, representing ASCP, discussed their recent wage and vacancy survey. This set the stage for a discussion of how to reconcile federal (CLIA) minimum standards with contradictory State laws and how to go about reassigning job duties between MLT and MT staff. The session expanded to examine the results of the recent ASM survey benchmarking productivity. This survey was undertaken in an attempt to allow different clinical microbiology laboratories to compare themselves with staffing levels in institutions of the same size and with similar extents of service. Finally, we examined alternative staffing pathways by looking at the use of robotics and novel programs that utilize on-the-job training of individuals with BS or MS degrees in microbiology who can subsequently sit for one of multiple professional certification exams.
Kory Ward-Cook, Ph.D., MT (ASCP), CAE, American Society for Clinical Pathology
Who's Available to Do the Work?
Vickie Baselski, Ph.D, University of Tennessee at Memphis
What Are the Personnel Requirements?
Roberta Carey, Ph.D, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
How Much Work is Someone Expected to Do Per Shift?
Alice Weissfeld, Ph.D., CEO, Microbiology Specialists, Inc., Chair, Committee on Professional Affairs
What Will Happen in the Future?