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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Valerie L. Ng, PhD MD(Alameda County Medical Center/Highland Hospital)
Description: This is the sixth edition of a comprehensive, entry-level textbook of clinical laboratory science. The previous edition was published in 2007.
Purpose: It is designed as a very basic entry-level book on all aspects of clinical laboratory science. Given the sheer complexity of today's clinical laboratory, this is a very worthy objective.
Audience: This audience includes medical laboratory scientists or technicians, clinical laboratory assistants, medical office assistants, physician assistants, and others. I think it would be useful to anyone in the allied health professions wanting to better understand clinical laboratories. The author is renowned for producing many excellent general and subspecialty clinical laboratory science textbooks.
Features: This book is divided into two major parts: one with a broad overview of issues common to all clinical laboratories (e.g., safety, regulatory, quality) and one devoted to the various clinical laboratory subspecialties (e.g., chemistry, hematology, microbiology etc.). Chapters use a standard format that includes learning objectives, case studies, and multiple choice review questions. This edition has updated virtually every chapter to remain current with contemporary clinical laboratory science. Obviously a book this broadly focused cannot go into the level of detail of standard laboratory medicine textbooks, and this one hits the right tone and level of detail for students or practitioners early in their career. I'm surprised to see multiple references throughout the book to point-of-care testing glucose meters as "glucometers" (a trademarked brand name of a specific glucose meter manufactured by Bayer). One suggestion: It would be great to have a pronunciation (phonetic) guide accompany the common Spanish phrases useful to a phlebotomist. Just reading the Spanish phrases without an appreciation for the phonetics will mangle the Spanish; showing the phrases to the client to assist with the translation will not help when the client cannot read. The book has additional resources online through the Evolve website. Unfortunately, I was unable to locate "representative procedures written in the format suggested by CLSI" that were advertised in the foreword in either the online resources or the book. Inculcating students at an early stage of training to the desired structure of a policy and procedure is a commendable endeavor.
Assessment: This is a great companion book to accompany didactic or practical training of medical laboratory scientist training programs. It is very useful for anyone wanting a broad and basic understanding of clinical laboratory science.