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clinical laboratory, health care workforce, management strategies



  1. Cortelyou-Ward, Kendall PhD
  2. Ramirez, Bernardo MD
  3. Rotarius, Timothy PhD


Most clinical laboratories in the nation report severe difficulties in recruitment and retention of most types of personnel. Other important factors impacting this problem include work complexities, increased automation, and a graying workforce. As a further challenge, institutional needs for clinical laboratory personnel are expected to grow significantly in the next decade. This article examines the current situation of the clinical laboratory workforce. It analyzes the different types of personnel; the managerial, supervision, and line positions that are key for different types of laboratories; the job outlook and recent projections for different types of staff; and the current issues, trends, and challenges of the laboratory workforce. Laboratory managers need to take action with strategies suggested for overcoming these challenges. Most importantly, they need to become transformational leaders by developing effective staffing models, fostering healthy and productive work environments, and creating value with a strategic management culture and implementation of knowledge management.