Shout it from the Mountaintop

Even after working in the laboratory field for twenty years, I’ve always thought that one of the more interesting things I come across is how few people really know what we are and what we do. Laboratory Professionals Week is not only a chance for us to celebrate ourselves and the outstanding job we do every day, it can also be a prime opportunity to begin changing that worldly lack of knowledge about us. It’s a chance to Get the Word Out!

Here in Dallas we get creative every year for Lab Week. Each section of the Lab creates a poster board depicting what they do in their section. Usually we try to include both the usual, common things, as well as the things that non-laboratorians might not be aware of. Each part of the lab/pathology creates one. So we have not just Chemistry, Hematology, Microbiology/Virology and Blood Bank. We also have poster creations from our Metabolics Lab (inborn errors of metabolism testing), Client Services/Accessioning, Sendouts, Phlebotomy, Histology, Electron Microscopy and Advanced Diagnostics, our molecular diagnostic lab.

As those of us in the laboratory field know, laboratory professionals are really creative. We always end up with at least ten colorful and eye-catching posters depicting the whole range of services provided by the Laboratory/Pathology departments. During Lab Week, those posters are hung in the hallway coming into the Hospital. They are viewed daily for that week by hospital personnel and the public alike. It never ceases to amaze me when I walk past them, how many versions of “I had no idea they did that!” I hear, and how many times I hear it.

In our current healthcare climate, the Laboratory can no longer afford to be a hidden profession. With healthcare dollars becoming increasingly dear, we must make our worth known to other healthcare professionals and to the public. We need to keep ourselves situated as prominent and important players on the healthcare team. Laboratory Professionals Week can provide a wonderful time and place to begin working on those goals.

 

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-Patti Jones PhD, DABCC, FACB, is the Clinical Director of the Chemistry and Metabolic Disease Laboratories at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, TX and a Professor of Pathology at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

2 thoughts on “Shout it from the Mountaintop”

  1. After almost 30 years in this profession as a clinical pathologist and lab director, I am not proud of it. I was about to leave this field many times. ALL doctors believe that a lab director is the one who sits on his desk to sign reports. By the way these doctors do not the difference between accuracy and precision i.e. they do not know the difference between diagnosis and follow up!

  2. Thanks Patti!! Great Job and Great Blog!! Please, feel free to share this with your colleagues, friends, neighbors, etc….we are always trying to share what the laboratory profession is all about!
    Feel free to share it in your groups as well. This article is also an excellent reference to send out: http://www.elsevier.com/connect/the-hidden-profession-that-saves-lives

    and:

    We are trying to educate others about our profession and what exactly it is that we do!! Please share…HAPPY LAB WEEK! Dr. Rohde

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