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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).
July 29, 2015 7:23 AM by of Stepwise Success

Laboratories have policies about what and when to call results to providers. Usually, these are critical values or those that significantly delay treatment e.g. a positive antibody screen in the blood bank. We all have at least one story about that time a provider on call couldn't be reached, was angry when he or she got the call, or claimed the patient belonged to another provider. As policies are written everywhere, ...



There are differences all around us: at work, in society, and even in our own family or circle of friends. We tend to focus on the differences a lot. Just look at the news and see how all of societal ills are being blamed ...

July 24, 2015 6:16 AM by of Stepwise Success

At a meeting our QI director at that time pulled out a folder and told me, "These are your troponin turnaround times." It showed hardly any times under 60 minutes, an industry consensus. Most of the times were over 90 minutes. When I returned to the laboratory to check the numbers from the information system, times were far lower.

In one study, ...

July 20, 2015 11:08 AM by Stephanie Noblit of New to the Lab

July is the time of the year when many MLS students are graduating and getting ready to enter the real world. While you may receive graduation gifts from friends and family, it's always good to buy a little something for yourself. The best investment you can make after graduating is joining a professional organization. Compared to all the other things you can buy, spending money on a membership ...

July 20, 2015 10:54 AM by of Stepwise Success

It makes sense for an employer to encourage employees to use their time off. It also makes sense to be as fair as possible. And here's where it gets interesting.

As a bench tech you may feel that your vacation time is arbitrarily denied or other techs are given preference. The same thing happens to managers. I've worked jobs where I could not have specific days off each month, no matter what, and others ...

July 16, 2015 6:11 PM by Michael Jones of ADVANCE Discourse: Lab

[*Editor's Note: The following is a guest blog post contributed by Biju Joseph, PhD, MT(ASCP), MB(ASCP).]

Patient-comfort oriented specimen collection techniques are vital for clinical laboratories for boosting customer base and revenue generation. The workflow could be less invasive, less painful blood collection devices and easy to ...

July 15, 2015 12:40 PM by of Stepwise Success

Vacation time - PTO (paid time off) or ETO (earned time off) - is a benefit offered by many organizations. There are no federal regulations regarding what employers should do, but most who offer it do so on a seniority scale. The longer you work at an organization, the more time you earn off, with a peak average of 27 days a year for 15 or more years,

July 13, 2015 1:50 PM by Irwin Rothenberg of CRI Lab Quality Advisor

One of the top priorities for every laboratory should be the safety of its employees facilitated by creating a culture of safety consciousness, education, organization and accountability. Managing safety is more than having a top-down list of dos and don'ts, viewing educational videos, providing protective wear and having policies for incident management. A safe lab environment requires an ongoing ...

July 10, 2015 10:55 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

Summer is hot, even in Maine. We do more outside, stay outside for longer periods of time, and sweat more. Employees may exercise by walking a lunch break or may sit outside during breaks and meals to enjoy the weather. Laboratory environments can be hot and humid, and changes in temperature between the laboratory and patient rooms can seem extreme. All this adds to a need to drink more water.

Lost fluids ...

July 7, 2015 11:54 AM by Stephanie Noblit of New to the Lab

On most job descriptions, the word "professional" usually appears. There is a lot of talk about professionalism, but what exactly does that mean? An occupation is considered a profession if it has specific criteria for education programs, an exam for entry into the profession, a professional organization, a body of knowledge and a code of ethics. For a professional to exhibit professionalism, ...

July 6, 2015 6:34 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

Catalase is an enzyme present in many living cells responsible for breaking down hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) into water (H2O) and oxygen (O2). It prevents peroxide, a byproduct of many reactions, from damaging cells. Catalase is also used in food and wastewater treatment industries.

The ...



 Proficiency Testing (PT) is just part of life for ...

July 1, 2015 6:13 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

Consultant Rebecca Mazin complains on the website All Business, "I have personally noted many examples of flagrant, highly inappropriate workplace texting." What about your laboratory? Chances are, it's happening regardless of policy enforcement. A 2011 Pew Research Center report


Have you ever found someone very difficult to work with no matter how you try? On the other hand you find others who consistently seem to adjust, cooperate and understand even if things don't go as planned.

June 25, 2015 3:55 PM by Irwin Rothenberg of CRI Lab Quality Advisor

The term, "creating a culture of." has become the cliché of the 2000s' ethos of competent management. It is no longer enough to lay down the rules, train your personnel and maintain documentation. Now, we must create an all-enveloping world of understanding, communication, compassion and comfort with the organization's operating standards. This new modus operandi applies to all organizational ...

June 25, 2015 6:00 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

Layoffs, cutbacks, mergers, downsizing, and outsourcing, common in business, have come to healthcare and laboratories. What used to be a secure job with plenty of opportunity now is filled with unknowns in an uncertain economy. According to Forbes the average worker is interrupted seven ...

June 22, 2015 5:27 PM by Stephanie Noblit of New to the Lab

Since the day I decided I was going to major in medical laboratory science, I have been explaining to people what that is. I dread small talk conversations about what I do for a living because it's never an easy conversation to have. I've never had the luxury of answering this question with a simple answer. While people might not know exactly what goes on in other professions ...

June 19, 2015 7:14 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

ABC News reports Medical Professional as right in the middle of the most stressful jobs in America, right behind working parents, deployed military personnel, and police officer. These types of lists vary from survey to survey, but the reason stress is high is the same: when the stakes are high, ...

June 15, 2015 4:10 PM by Michael Jones of ADVANCE Discourse: Lab

After winning the Nobel Prize1 in 2001 for his research in cell division, Nobel Laureate Tim Hunt recently made headlines for his attempt to prove the existence of foot-in-mouth disease while speaking at the World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ). According to an article

June 15, 2015 9:17 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

A recent study in Population Health Management shows a link between unhealthy eating and lower work productivity. Sleep deprivation and smoking are also linked to hits on productivity. According to the study those between 30 and 39 were most susceptible, while ...


Labs are used to being regulated. It seems they are always preparing for inspection by the state, CLIA or some accreditation agency-or two. Very often laboratories think inspectors are being too hard, ...

June 10, 2015 6:33 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

While on safety rounds in our pharmacy one day I noticed a switch on their biosafety cabinet for an ultraviolet light. Is this used? I wondered. Neither of us used UV, but we decided to check, since both of our hoods were due for annual maintenance.

According to one of my sources, these lights are used in pharmacies. According to the biotech guy, laboratories use them. Who is correct?

There is ...

June 9, 2015 4:33 PM by Stephanie Noblit of New to the Lab

It's that time of year again -- when MLS and MLT students want nothing more than time to go by faster so they can run up on stage and grab that diploma. At the same time, though, time is passing too quickly, because the closer it gets to graduation; the closer it gets to the BOC exam. Excitement and anticipation combine with Red Bull-fueled, anxious and panicky late ...

June 5, 2015 6:31 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

A full time employee easily spends most of his or her time at work, especially when you include prep time (rearranging personal schedule, laundry and ironing, shopping for uniforms, travelling, homework, and all the worrying behind the scenes. You might think your hourly rate is fair, but if you factor in the actual hours devoted to your job you'd be disappointed.

Why not make sure a job is a good fit?

As ...

June 2, 2015 1:04 PM by Michael Jones of ADVANCE Discourse: Lab

The global fight against HIV has improved dramatically in the past decade, but the results of a recent study could lead to an enormous change in the way the virus is treated moving forward. An article from the New York Times noted how the study ...



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