from screening to water quality, strategic analyzes

The efforts made during each wave of the Covid-19 epidemic will not have been in vain. Alongside hospital pharmacy assistants and dieticians, paramedical medical laboratory technicians fall into category A, pursuant to decree 22 April 2022 n.2022-625.

A long-awaited recognition for their significant contribution to the implementation of Covid tests within the public departmental analysis laboratories (LDA) that employ them. “It is a real bonus for them, an enhancement of their skills, their work, which involves risks and their responsibilities”, welcomes Isabelle Martel, director of the Bouches-du-Rhône ADL (80 agents).

In tune with society

But recognition is limited to a small portion of the local laboratory technician workforce. Only those who deal specifically with medical biology are interested, while, in reality, according to Aurèle Valognes, director of the Mayenne LDA (50 agents) and president of the French Association of Directors and Managers of Public Veterinary Analysis Laboratories, “the mobilization of all agents, whatever their category, was necessary for the analysis of Covid tests by RT-PCR, while continuing to guarantee the other activities “.

Veterinary biology, food safety, water quality, plant pathology … the range of fields studied is wide in these establishments, some of which have come together within public interest groups. According to Isabelle Martel, the LDA of Bouches-du-Rhône, of which she heads, is “the only one to carry out, in addition to this wide range of activities, medical biology, in particular for the protection of the mother and childhood, or sexually transmitted disease and tuberculosis screening ”.

For these reasons, as a territorial laboratory technician, “it is an exciting job, in line with the aspirations of the company on the issues of health, the environment and food safety”, says Eric Gueneau, director of the Côte-d ‘ADL. Or (80 officers).

Possible developments

Yann Romera, a paramedic technician, graduated in a BTS in bioanalysis and controls, is satisfied to exercise a profession that has become “strategic”, “unparalleled weapon against the health crisis”, within the ADL of Bouches-du-Rhône. Being oriented towards food and water microbiology, he also processes samples from bathhouses, colleges, nursing homes, etc.

Despite everything, local employers encounter hiring difficulties due to competition from private and hospital laboratories and the constraints of the public service, provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. But, according to Aurèle Valognes, the territorial sector it offers great versatility and possibilities for development, towards positions of “environment and landscape” or “river quality” technician.

“I like the variety of tasks to be done”

Adeline van Rossum paramedic technician at the departmental analysis laboratory of Bouches-du-Rhône (LDA)

“With a“ biological and biochemical analysis ”DUT, I worked in private laboratories, which offered few possibilities for evolution, before joining the Bouches-du-Rhône ADL, in the“ serology, biochemistry, hematology ”department. I perform analysis of samples – blood, urine -, in collaboration with screening centers – for sexually transmitted diseases, cervical cancer … – and for the protection of the mother and child. I like the technical nature of my work and the diversity of tasks. Since the first confinement we have been in great demand for Covid tests, a little bit for the samples, especially for the analyzes. The health crisis has allowed us to highlight our public service mission. I go to category A, on the first step. This brings me better recognition of my diploma and an increase in my salary. “

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