"Getting a test at PathWest"
About: PathWest Laboratory Medicine WA PathWest Laboratory Medicine WA Nedlands 6009
Posted by lillypad (as ),
My doctor gave me a referral to PathWest to get a blood test to see if my baby possibly has genes for Coeliac disease. She advised us that the test was non invasive as it was a cheek swab, and therefore required no needles. I stopped in at the testing center at Beaconsfield; the technician told me it was a blood test and didn't know about the cheek swab. I called one of the PathWest branches (Fremantle) to ask if they knew about it and if they had facilities for it. The person answering at first didn't know about the cheek swab, but then transferred me to another person in the hospital. That person did know about the cheek swab, but said that Fremantle didn't have the facilities for it, but Fiona Stanley did. I went to FS and the technicians there also didn't know about the swab. They insisted it didn't exist, that they've been doing this job for x number of years etc. They got their supervisor who also repeated this, I asked her why my GP would refer us to get a test that didn't exist, and why Coeliac Australia referred to it on their website. The supervisor finally called someone else. The end result is that the cheek swab test for coeliac does exist, but many people at PathWest didn't know about it. Basically, the technicians at FS talked me out of it (saying it was complicated and precise) and we got a blood test anyway. I felt that, since the technicians clearly had no training with doing the swab test that it was best that they didn't administer it.
The overall demeanor of every technician I spoke with was of irritation, in my opinion, as if I was a stupid patient/parent who was wasting their time - a lot of loud exhaling and an air of exasperation. Then when it turned out they had been mistaken, there was no acknowledgment.
I'm not trying to waste anyone's time, but the fact is, the swab test did exist, they just didn't know about it and no one was accountable for all the miscommunication and runaround. It is very likely that my GP will refer more patients to get the same test for their very young children, and I'd hate for them to experience the same thing I did.