Lab technicians are here to support Airmen
By Airman 1st Class Madeline Herzog, 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 20, 2019
ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- Laboratory technicians at the 48th Fighter Wing have an integral role in providing Airmen and their family members with a proper diagnosis and treatment to support the readiness mission.
On the surface, patients may only see them draw blood and take samples, but behind the scenes, they run a myriad of testing on blood, urine and cultures sampled from the human body.
“A lot of what we do is building the diagnostic picture, the doctor knows there’s something wrong with the patient and may have an idea, but we confirm their ideas or tell them what’s mistaken if it’s something else,” said Senior Master Sgt. Elizabeth Ehrnschwender, clinical laboratory and pathology flight superintendent.
Each year, the lab runs more than 268,000 tests and 200,000 of them are done at 48th Medical Support Squadron, while the others are done in the U.S. At the front desk, Laboratory technicians see about 100 patients a day for blood samples alone, which does not include Emergency Room, Labor and Delivery, or other hospital department samples.
“Airmen rely on our test results for deployments, temporary duty locations and for a permanent change of station. We’re not just helping Airmen, we are helping their families, their kids and everyone that comes to the hospital. It feels really good,” said Senior Airman Marissa Lewis, 48th MDSS medical technician.
The lab has eight different sections: hematology, coagulation, urinalysis, microbiology, chemistry, shipping, transfusion services and central operations. All of which work tirelessly to ensure the mobility readiness of every 48th Fighter Wing Airman, and providing quality care to their dependents.