CHI Oakes Hospital : Imagine better health.

1200 North 7th Street Oakes, ND  58474 (701) 742.3291

Services : Clinical Laboratory

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Clinical Labratory

The laboratory is staffed seven days a week. When there is not a tech in the building, there is one on-call.

The lab provides services for inpatient, outpatient, clinic, nursing homes and the Emergency Department. The lab collects urine samples for drug screen testing for local businesses. These samples are then sent to specialized laboratories across the country.

The lab runs tests on blood, urine, spinal fluid, and other different body fluids. Depending on the work load at the time, the tests can take anywhere from a few minutes to over an hour. Some of the more common tests are Complete Blood Cell Count (CBC) which show if a patient has an infection or if he/she needs blood among other things; Basic Metabolic Profile which tests for kidney function, lytes, and glucose; and urinalysis with microscopic which shows what is in the urine and if there is an infection in the kidney. Tests can also be run to find out if a patient has had a heart attack, is currently pregnant, and various other conditions. Whatever cannot be done in-house gets sent to our reference lab in Bismarck. Sometimes those tests are then sent to a lab in Washington.

Dr Linz, from Pathology Consultants in Bismarck, is the pathologist who oversees what is done in the lab. She also approves policies and procedures. Pathologists look at tissues that are sent to them. They look at the tissues, which have been cut into very small pieces, under a microscope to see what is potentially causing the patient’s problems.

The lab techs do not draw or perform tests on a patient until they receive orders from the provider. If the provider has ordered blood work, the techs then identify the patient and draw the blood into certain tubes. Each tube has a different coagulate that helps to stop the blood from clotting. The blue top tube is for coagulation studies which show how fast a person’s blood clots. The green top tubes are used for chemistry testing like cholesterol and glucose. Purple top tubes are used for hematology (CBCs) and the yellow top tubes are used for chemistry testing as well. Once the draw is completed, the tests that the provider has ordered, are run. The blood is kept for either a day or a week after the tests are run depending on the tube it was collected into. Purple and blue tops are usually discarded at the end of the day while the green and yellow tops are kept for a week.

The lab results that are reported out, help the provider to decide what treatment the patient needs. For example, whether the patient needs more of a certain medicine or what antibiotic to use to treat an infection. Radiology can use the results to know whether the patient is able to have a radiology exam. Pharmacy will use the results to decide whether the patient’s organ(s) can handle the medicine that is prescribed.

To work in the lab, a person must either be an MLT (Medical Laboratory Technician) which is an associate degree or an MT (Medical Technologist). An MT usually has a four-year degree and can be lab managers.

Our Lab is currently staffed by:

  • Michelle Fenske, MT (Technical Lead)
  • Bonnie Ptacek, MT (Full time)
  • Carrili Larson, MT (PRN)
  • Sheila Degenstein, MLT (Full time)
  • Darla McCann, MT (Full time)
  • Curtis Milstead, MLT (Temporary)

 CHI Oakes Hospital

1200 North 7th Street

Oakes, North Dakota 58474

(701) 742.3291

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