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ADVANCE for Laboratory is thrilled to welcome you to DeLABerations: A Medium for Lab Professionals and Managers, part of the Healthcare POV: Blog and Forum Community from ADVANCE. Our blogs tackle timely questions, offer advice and opinions about the laboratory field and connect professionals nationwide. We have provided tags to assist in locating topics of interest, a profile page to make uniquely your own and a list of our most active posts to keep you abreast of the latest discussions. We look forward to hearing more about your field from your Point of View (POV).
LATEST POSTS FROM EACH BLOG
May 27, 2015 4:40 PM by Irwin Rothenberg of CRI Lab Quality Advisor

As a laboratory procedure readily performed in physician office settings, the simplicity of urine drug screening belies its importance and impact as the test results can be used to monitor patients' medication compliance, detect drug abuse, provide evidence in legal/forensic cases and improve workplace safety.

Urine is the preferred specimen for drug testing ...


 
May 27, 2015 6:03 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

Customer service has its bromides: follow the Golden Rule (treat customers as you want to be treated); the Platinum Rule (treat customers the way they want to be treated); exceed, don't meet customer expectations, etc. But all this boils down to one simple assumption: the customer doesn't work for you.

Since laboratories are point of service businesses for outpatient customers, fast food restaurant experiences ...


 
May 26, 2015 12:29 PM by Christine Thompson of New to the Lab

This week, I began my blood bank rotation and was amazed by how many components (such as red cells, platelets and plasma) were dispensed for transfusion. Essentially, medical laboratory scientists are dispensing a biologic and providing care similar to that of pharmacists. Blood bankers verify the indications, contraindications and components being administered all in regards to a patient's history, ...


 
May 22, 2015 6:33 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

Saturday Night Live used to have this recurring skit about a rude computer technician played by Jimmy Fallon. He'd appear and respond to polite questions with snarking geek jokes, yell "MOVE!" and type the solution in a few keystrokes. "Was that so hard?"

There's more than ...


 
May 18, 2015 1:07 PM by Stephanie Noblit of New to the Lab

Earlier this May, at ASCLS-Pennsylvania's state meeting, I attended an educational session entitled, "When Professionals Meet: Bridging the Gap between the Laboratory and Nursing." Like most medical laboratory professionals, my opinion of nurses isn't exactly a positive one. So, I was intrigued to hear what the speaker had to say. The presenter was Lucinda Manning, who works in the immunohematogy reference ...


 
May 18, 2015 6:03 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

Lab techs typically think of "corrective action" as it relates to quality control. A QC point is out, the tech checks reagent levels, finds out the reagent level in the well is low, puts on fresh reagent, and repeats the controls. But was this really the problem? If the QC is in e.g. "corrected," we all assume yes.

Experience with methods teaches techs the most likely causes of error. It could be temperature, ...


 

 A little while ago I wrote a blog in which I referred to a great, balanced, intelligent article written about the medical laboratory  and printed in The US News and World Report. That article was remarkable by its rarity. I asked my readers to respond directly to the ...


11 comments  

 

Sometimes it seems like those of us in healthcare just love to hold meetings. We seem to even hold meetings simply to figure out how to plan more meetings. Not surprisingly, as busy professionals, always on some sort ...


 
May 13, 2015 6:01 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

Imagine two offices in different parts of the building, and you work in both of them. Many times you need to share information between the offices, a task complicated by the distance between them and the time it takes to move papers, telephone contacts, etc. from one to the other. If only you could someone connect both offices seamlessly, your productivity would improve.

That's what it's like to have two ...


 
May 11, 2015 11:44 AM by Christine Thompson of New to the Lab

I'm sure every medical laboratory scientist heard this more times than they could count during this year's MLPW. Obviously, we are all excited because it means food, festivities and laughs as we celebrated, but my question for you is: why aren't we chanting this motto every day in the lab?

Although our bright, white lab coats are necessary, it is our skills, ...


 

An ongoing debate within the medical laboratory science profession for several years now has been the idea of  patients having direct access to the laboratory.

A new law recently passed in Arizona allows patients to order their own laboratory tests legally. This law goes the farthest, that ...


2 comments  
May 8, 2015 8:28 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

Let's face it. So far the "Information Age," what futurist Alvin Toffler coined The Third Wave in 1980, has been a headache of electronic junk, slow computers, confusing software, extra work, and ergonomic nightmares. Geeks aside, computers are often more trouble than they are worth. But every now and then there are glimpses ...


 
May 5, 2015 10:37 AM by Stephanie Noblit of New to the Lab

Working in the lab now for nine months, I've come to realize that my co-workers have become my family. When you spend at least 40 hours a week with the same group of people, it is bound to happen. Over the months, I've learned about my co-workers' spouses, children and pets and their hobbies outside of work. In a similar fashion, I've opened up to them as well.

As ...


4 comments  
May 4, 2015 6:04 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

Viruses make the rounds during the winter months, and here in northern Maine with Spring finally here we're still seeing coughing, stuffy heads, and wheezing. Allergy season is fast on the heels of a winter season that never seemed to end.

I've not been sick, but coworkers have not been so fortunate. Some call in sick, others work out of guilt wearing a mask, and I've sent a few home because they were too ...


2 comments  
April 29, 2015 6:00 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

In the movie Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone a magical hat (what else?) decides where to place the young wizard students at Hogwart's. The hat almost places Harry with his arch enemies (Myers-Briggs isn't perfect, either). It's a great story, one which I read summer mornings on a playground bench while my children played nearby. That was nearly as enjoyable as summer afternoons at a laundromat reading ...


 
April 24, 2015 6:04 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

April is a busy month. It is Alcohol, Foot Health, Autism, Hepatitis, Child Abuse, Humor, Facial Protection, Minority Health, Occupational Therapy, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Sport's Eye Safety, and Woman's Health and Safety Awareness Month, according to one 2014 marketing brochure. During ...


 
April 20, 2015 3:04 PM by Stephanie Noblit of New to the Lab

It's the most wonderful time of the year for lab professionals.  Lab week 2015 is here! This year marks the 40th year of Medical Laboratory Professionals week.   The first lab week was held in 1975 under the title of National Medical Laboratory Week by the American Society for Medical Technology, which is now the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS).  ...


 
April 20, 2015 7:13 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

"Use it or lose it" is true in exercise, neuroscience, and our work lives. If a small laboratory doesn't use its micro department to its fullest, it could lose it. In my last blog I described how cultures are processed for the convenience of the laboratory, which neither serves customers nor impresses bean counters. Microbiology is relatively expensive; if there is no difference in treatment as a result ...


 

It goes without saying that we live in the world of social media. I am not ashamed to say (maybe I should be) that this not-so-young guy spends way too much time online. Among friends of my generation, I am the go-to guru for interpretation of social media terms and recommendation for the latest technology ...


1 comments  

It's time of year again we celebrate and acknowledge Medical Laboratory professionals (technicians, scientists, specialists, pathologists and others).

The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) website has a very concise history of this celebration which, like the profession it highlights, has experienced many ...


1 comments  
April 16, 2015 1:29 PM by Irwin Rothenberg of CRI Lab Quality Advisor

Concepts of what makes for effective quality control have continued to evolve since the original requirements were defined by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act of 1988, and became effective in 1992.   At that time the minimum requirement was established as testing two levels of external control materials each day of patient testing.  However, CLIA Interpretive ...


 
April 15, 2015 8:19 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

If your small laboratory still performs microbiology testing in house, competency and competition present stiff challenges. If only a few people on your staff do micro identification and susceptibility testing, that leaves a staffing gap you're forced to schedule around. If you use a reference lab to perform extra testing using methods such as MALDI, physicians may think your techniques are too primitive. And if you ...


 
April 10, 2015 6:05 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

When I took High School physics, we were not allowed to use calculators. This was just as well, since they were bulky and expensive. The Texas Instruments SR-50 sold for $170 in 1974, which is over $860 today. Slide rules were cheap. Pen and paper ...


 
April 6, 2015 12:45 PM by Stephanie Noblit of New to the Lab

I recently pasted the six month mark of my employment. With that milestone came my first performance evaluation with my manager. I was initially nervous about having to sit down one-on-one with my manager while she critiqued my performance thus far, but after talking to her for a few minutes, I realized that she was just like any of my other co-workers. Being new to the working world, I think ...


 
April 6, 2015 6:04 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

I became comfortable working up body fluids when I worked in a hospital with two pediatricians and several orthopedists on the medical staff. Every few days (it seemed) we received a septic joint fluid, synovial fluid for crystal analysis, or a septic workup cerebrospinal fluid. For me these became routine.

The problem with body fluids isn't those that arrive in the middle of the day when there are plenty ...


 

ABOUT OUR BLOGS

Glen McDaniel, MS, MBA, MT, CLS will encourage dialogue among clinical laboratorians, with the ultimate goal of not simply to commiserate, but to empower readers into full, rewarding practice; not simply to survive, but to thrive.

Join Scott Warner, MLT(ASCP), in exploring and sharing solutions. Scott's goal is to not just save time and effort but to also develop a team that discovers its own laboratory success.

The ADVANCE for Administrators of the Laboratory editorial staff will offer personal perspectives on issues in the clinical laboratory field and current healthcare environment.

COLA experts share their field experiences, insights and suggested resources to assist laboratories achieve a culture of quality patient care.

Perspectives from young medical laboratory professionals