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The Laboratory

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Rhian Owen, 940th Aerospace Medical Squadron laboratory technician, places a sample under a microscope at Beale Air Force Base, California, Sept. 24, 2019. Exploring patient samples helps lab technicians ensure that they are giving accurate information to primary care providers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Taylor White)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Rhian Owen, 940th Aerospace Medical Squadron laboratory technician, places a sample under a microscope at Beale Air Force Base, California, Sept. 24, 2019. Exploring patient samples helps lab technicians ensure that they are giving accurate information to primary care providers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Taylor White)

Senior Airman Rhian Owen, 940th Aerospace Medical Squadron laboratory technician, examines a sample at Beale Air Force Base, California, Sept. 24, 2019. Lab technicians are responsible not only for drawing blood, but for chemistry examination and more. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Taylor White)

Senior Airman Rhian Owen, 940th Aerospace Medical Squadron laboratory technician, examines a sample at Beale Air Force Base, California, Sept. 24, 2019. Lab technicians are responsible not only for drawing blood, but for chemistry examination and more. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Taylor White)

A patient clenches theirfist during a pre-deployment blood drawing at Beale Air Force Base, California, Sept. 24, 2019. Pre-deployment medical appointments are standard to ensure proper care of all Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Taylor White)

A patient clenches theirfist during a pre-deployment blood drawing at Beale Air Force Base, California, Sept. 24, 2019. Pre-deployment medical appointments are standard to ensure proper care of all Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Taylor White)

Airman First Class Miranda Batemen, 9th Medical Group laboratory technician, draws blood from her patient at Beale Air Force Base, California, Sept. 24, 2019. Laboratory technicians use multiple different types of needles to ensure proper blood flow from patients. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Taylor White)

Airman First Class Miranda Batemen, 9th Medical Group laboratory technician, draws blood from her patient at Beale Air Force Base, California, Sept. 24, 2019. Laboratory technicians use multiple different types of needles to ensure proper blood flow from patients. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Taylor White)

Within the 9th Medical Group is a shop many Recce Town Airmen visit for a variety of reasons, The Lab.

They help Airmen with their pre-deployment requirements, gather more information regarding their overall health for their primary care provider, and ensure that Airmen are staying up to date with basic health information, like HIV tests. However, lab technicians are responsible for more than just the act of drawing blood.

“So many people think that we are just phlebotomists”, said Staff Sgt. Victor Mendez, 9th Medical Group laboratory supervisor. “The truth is, we’re responsible for so much more. We handle the chemistry, hematology, urinalysis, and repository samples”.

Lab technicians at Recce Town are trained on how to test for samples, such as:different vitamin deficiencies, sodium panels, and blood disorders. This is just a small portion of what they test for and is known as chemistry and hematology.

“It’s rewarding to know that I am directly impacting a persons’ health,” said Mendez. “By giving their provider accurate information and helping diagnose them, the treatment identified through our tests could drastically improve a patients’ quality of life.”

Beyond the testing itself, lab technicians ensure quality control of their tests by reviewing their results every day.

“If our tests don’t pass, we don’t give the results to the provider until we are sure that we have an accurate reading,”said Mendez. “Even if this means we send the sample off base, we will not give back a failed test until we have a result for the patient and their provider”.

Through the diligent work of Recce Town’s laboratory technicians, Airmen and their families can be confident that their health, wellness and readiness to execute the Beale mission, will continue with the aid of technicians that take pride in keeping our community fit to fight.

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