JL321. Use of Flow Cytometry in Clinical Practice
Dawn M. Betters, PhD, RN, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
Advanced practice nurses have played a vital role in progressing and enhancing clinical practice. They have collaborated with many disciplines, including, but not limited to, medicine, biology, sociology, and psychology. These collaborations have allowed them to broaden their skills and fields of study. Advanced practice nurses have begun incorporating basic science methods into their clinical theory for the benefit of health promotion and education. Flow cytometry is a well established and powerful method used for effectively measuring attributes of cells in disease and other health conditions. Examples of flow cytometry uses include cancer diagnoses, identification of biomarkers for disease, and immune function of caregivers. Flow cytometry has proven to be an important tool in both the clinical and research setting. For over sixty years, this method has aided clinicians and researchers in the ability to diagnose, treat, and monitor disease activity. The importance of understanding flow cytometry and its methodology is valuable to advanced practice nursing. A broad overview of flow cytometry and its experimental design will be reviewed. This overview will include the fluidics that contain the cellular suspension of interest, the laser that detects the fluorochrome-labeled cellular suspension, the electronics that convert the photons into interpretable data, and lastly, the computer interface which generates the data. As advanced practice nurses continue to progress and develop more specific and valuable roles as healthcare providers, it is important for them to understand scientific methods used in clinical settings for patient reporting and testing. This understanding will allow advanced practice nurses to anticipate the treatment, understand the implications of the results, and prepare and educate the patient.
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