Sunday, April 18, 2010

National Laboratory Week

I know some of you have no idea what I do for a living or in other buy the kibble! I am a Medical Technologist. I know. Many people have no idea what in the word this is. Or people in the medical field have no idea what this is, so it has been given a new name. We are now called Clinical Laboratory Scientist. That doesn't make sense either, does it? Basically what I do is work in a hospital laboratory performing all testing including things like checking potassium levels,doing CBC count to see if a person is anemic, has an infection, or has cancer. We check cholesterol, liver enzymes, monitor cardiac testing, do urinalysis testing, check for Strep throat, clotting problems, influenza, iron studies, thyroid studies, and never forget a very active Blood Bank. I do gram stains to help the Doctor know what type of infection a person has. I also check blood for Malaria. I do about everything you can imagine except Microbiology. If you think a laboratory is something like NCIS...WRONG! Also, we have different levels of staff working. I'm a Technologist (excuse me a Scientist, hard to change after 27 years) which is a Bachelor's degree. We also have Technicians which is an Associate Degree. We also have lab assistants, and don't forget the Pathologist who are MD specializing in laboratory medicine. So, I do many things along checking results, troubleshooting instruments and maintaining them, answer the phones for about every question you can imagine. I also train new staff. It is a very demanding job but since we are all in the laboratory, we are never seen by the public and most of the time are the forgotten professional. But we are vital. Without our service being performed the Doctor's couldn't diagnose problems. We are the invisible team of every person's experience in the hospital, the Emergency Room, the clinic, and the Doctor's office. This is OUR week.

Oh and like every place else, we like to laugh. And, this is my personal exposure. This is me after I dumped a container of stain all over the wall, the floor, and myself. I was waving my hands saying "I didn't do it!" but I was caught in the act, and my coworker was pointing at me to prove that yes, it was me that was the klutz. I still have the shoes with the stain, but the walls are painted.

Oh time to go to work. Enjoy the week & remember all laboratory workers this week.


abeadlady said...

You make me laugh, Dot. I did that kind of work in the mid-60's, and then switched to Histology in 69. That was back before you had to have all the education behind you.

Marty52 said...

Yea for Lab personnel! My sweet hubbie is an MLT (25 years)!