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Labs Are Vital teams up with Facebook.

Facebook--an online network that connects young people with friends and other peers who work, study, and live around them--is being used as a tool to educate high-school and college students about career opportunities in the clinical-laboratory-science profession. A Facebook page, sponsored by Labs Are Vital, will enable interested, career-minded high-school and college students to meet clinical-lab-science students or recent graduates, and learn about the benefits and challenges of the profession from their peers.

"Social media have been used successfully by Fortune 500 companies in highly targeted recruitment efforts, and we think it is an innovative way to address the labor shortage we are facing in the clinical-laboratory sciences," says Paula Garrott, EdM, CLS(NCA), chair, Coordinating Council on the Clinical Laboratory Workforce. "The primary benefit of Facebook is the peer-to-peer outreach that puts clinical-lab-science students and professionals in contact with students who may not be aware of the exciting career opportunities in clinical labs, public-health labs, and transfusion medicine."

As part of the Facebook initiative, the Labs Are Vital collaboration is also offering an online scholarship contest for college and high-school students. The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Sciences, the Association of Public Health Laboratories, and Blood Systems Inc. support Abbott in this effort. These and many other professional organizations have joined Abbott in the overall Labs Are Vital program, including Clinical Laboratory Management Association, American Society of Clinical Pathology, American Medical Technologists, American Association of Bioanalysts, American Association of Clinical Chemists, and AABB.

Contest entrants must submit a video, advertisement, or T-shirt design that encourages others to consider careers in laboratory medicine. Submissions selected for the semifinalist category will be available to view online where Facebook members will vote on those that most creatively illustrate why clinical-lab science is cutting-edge and how laboratorians make a difference. The deadline for contest participants to submit an entry is March 7.

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Other recruitment activities include the launch of a student-focused website, www.LabScienceCareers.com, where students can find information on career opportunities and educational programs in clinical-lab sciences. The website also features personal stories from clinical-lab scientists who have dedicated their lives to the field.
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Title Annotation:Special report to MLO
Publication:Medical Laboratory Observer
Date:Feb 1, 2008
Words:355
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