Licensing of laboratory professionals has been a controversial issue for the individuals working in these professions for many years. In New York State (NYS), licensing of laboratory professionals has been debated for over three decades and did not become law until 2005. The NYS licensure law stipulates specific educational requirements that include course work as well as curricular content areas. In addition to these educational requirements, the licensure law stipulates successful completion of a certification examination for new licensure applicants. To determine if the new legislation in New York State (NYS) has had a demonstrable impact on the ability to recruit qualified laboratory professionals, a survey tool was developed to gather baseline data for a longitudinal study on the same topic. A 20 item survey (Table 1) along with a letter of explanation and a self addressed return envelope was distributed by mail to managers and /or supervisors of laboratories in 150 hospitals that ranged in size from small community hospitals to large medical centers across the state of New York. Questions were created addressing each of the following categories: day to day laboratory staffing, increased cost of recruiting to the facility after licensure law, impact on ability to cross train and staff evenings and weekends, and impact on patient care. It is apparent from the survey results that the employers have already started experiencing difficulty to staff certain laboratory vacancies especially for Clinical Laboratory Technologists (CLT) and fear that this trend might continue over the years not only pertaining to CLT but also to other laboratory vacancies such as Histotechnologists/Histotechnicians and Cytotechnologists. The impact of the NYS licensure law on staffing, facility costs, patient care, and laboratory professionals are discussed.
The Journal of Allied Health is the official publication of the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP). The Journal is the only interdisciplinary allied health periodical, publishing scholarly works related to research and development, feature articles, research abstracts and book reviews. Readers of the Journal comprise allied health leaders, educators, faculty and students.