Clinical Chemistry Rotation

(1 Week)

Clinical chemistry analyzes blood and body fluids for electrolytes, proteins, enzymes, drugs, toxins, and a wide array of metabolites. Results from this laboratory are used in all aspects of medicine in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Clinical chemistry plays critical roles in specialties such as cardiology, oncology, endocrinology, infectious disease, and obstetrics. Clinical chemistry also includes the toxicology laboratory where body fluids are analyzed for various drugs and toxins.

Chemistry Work
Here is a day’s work for a busy academic medical center’s clinical chemistry laboratory.
The blood gas analyzer is used to evaluate a patient’s oxygenation and acid/base balance providing critical information about the patient’s disease process.
Most methods of chemical analysis utilize sophisticated, automated technologies such as spectrophotometry, mass spectrometry and chromatography. The student will view these technologies and gain a basic understanding of how these tests are performed as well as the problems that occur that can give spurious results. The student will become familiar with many aspects of the toxicology laboratory, and will have opportunities to explore individual interests in the laboratory as well.
A vitamin D analysis can show deficiencies leading rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults and can provide valuable information in patients with a wide variety of disease processes.