It’s Lab Week! SEIU Local 1991 celebrates the Medical Technologists across Jackson Health System who work behind the scenes performing complex lab tests that aid in the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses. According to the CDC, 70 percent of today’s medical decisions depend on laboratory test results, showing the crucial role of med techs and clinical labs in the healthcare system. Jackson Health and SEIU Local 1991 are stronger because of our Medical Technologists.
Carlos Caruncho, a, SEIU 1991 board member and Med Tech who has worked at Jackson Main for 21 years, says he is proud to work alongside his colleagues.
“Over my 22 years at Jackson, I have had the privilege of working with teams of dedicated and tireless Medical Technologists,” Carlos says. “On a regular day, Jackson Health System med techs work behind the scenes performing lab procedures that help diagnose and inform patient care. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, they proved themselves to be the guardians of Jackson Health System. Despite the risks, they remained steadfast to their jobs and, for a time, tested every patient who entered our facilities. I consider myself a product of my amazing co-workers and my union. I am proud to represent Medical Technologists on the SEIU executive board.”
One microbiology Med Tech, Lori Laidler, is retiring next summer after 35 years at Jackson Main. She has been an SEIU 1991 member and steward since the union’s founding. Throughout her career, Lori experienced the AIDs crisis, the South Florida Ebola scare in 2014, the Zika outbreak in 2016. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lori and her colleagues processed hundreds of COVID tests a day. These events have been stressful, she says, but they have also strengthened the Med Techs and proven the importance of their work. Lori says the lab techs are like family
“A lot of people don’t know what the lab does,” she says. “In microbiology, if a patient has an infection, we let the doctor know what type and how to treat the patient. That’s a rewarding thing. What I love about my job is how we help doctors and nurses. We get results so doctors and nurses can treat patients and patients can get better.”