The practice of modern medicine would be impossible without the tests performed in the clinical laboratory. In today’s era of rapidly evolving medical research and application, medical laboratory technology plays an integral role in the health care system. In spite of this, the propensity of giving less value to the profession by certain health practitioners might reduce the health team mobilization which eventually could affect health service for patients. The aim of the present study was to describe the stance of health professionals towards medical laboratory technology. An institutional based cross-sectional survey was carried out among health professionals working in Jimma University Specialized Hospital (JUSH) and Training Health Centers (THCs), between February, 2014 and March, 2014. Anonymous self-administered structured questionnaire was used to generate data on: socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents and their attitude towards medical laboratory technology. Participants were asked to rate their response using 3-5 point Likert scale in order of importance. Out of 135 questionnaires that were distributed, 108 were completed and returned giving an overall response rate of 80%. The study revealed that 81 (75%) of the respondents showed favorable attitude towards medical laboratory technology. Specifically, 85.7, 81.3 and 72% of physicians, health officers and nurses, respectively, demonstrated favorable attitude. On top of this, 68.5% of subjects believed that medical professionals’ laboratory contribution to better patient management was ‘very important’. However, 12 (11.1%) of the respondents had unfavorable attitude and have indicated some unwelcome behaviors. Although, majority of the study subjects had a favorable attitude towards medical laboratory technology, the observed unfavorable response may affect team spirit and quality care received by patients. Promotion of team training may enhance team sprit among the health care members which ultimately improves the quality of patient care.
Key words: Attitude, medical laboratory technology, health professionals, Ethiopia.
HO, Health Officer; JUSH, Jimma University Specialized Hospital; MD, medical doctor; SPSS, statistical package for social sciences; THC, training health center.
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