The Clinical Laboratory Workforce in the U.S.: Supply, Distribution, Education Pathways, and State Responses to the COVID-19 Emergency

Author: Natalia Oster, PhD, MPH | Grace Guenther, MPA | Bianca Frogner, PhD | Susan Skillman, MS

Topics: COVID-19, Data Collection

Research Center: University of Washington Center for Health Workforce Studies

June 14, 2021

The primary role of the clinical laboratory workforce is to collect and analyze biological specimens to provide patients and medical providers information for preventing, diagnosing, treating, and managing disease. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical role that the clinical laboratory workforce plays in the healthcare system.

This policy brief focuses on 6 clinical lab occupations (medical laboratory assistants, phlebotomists, histotechnicians, histotechnologists, medical laboratory technicians, and medical laboratory scientists) to provide a better understanding of the clinical laboratory workforce, as well as state responses to the pandemic for this workforce.

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University of Washington Center for Health Workforce Studies