Is Lab Week Lame?
Today marks the beginning of National Medical Laboratory Professionals
Week. This year it runs April 18-24.
If anyone knows Mary Ann McLane, PhD, president of ASCLS, you'll know
-- and I say this with all due respect -- that she is obsessed with
"providing the face" of medical lab professionals. That is, use every
opportunity to get on your professional soapbox to explain the
otherwise invisible field. Everyone knows who and mostly what nurses
do. Laboratorians? Eh, not so much.
Having personally worked in the medical laboratory publishing field
for nearly a decade, I'm like Dr. McLane. I have a low to no tolerance
for people who complain about the low pay, lack of respect, black box
mentality that many in the profession sometimes blindly and
That in mind, I posted this as the status on our ADVANCE Facebook
page: Post as your status and start a dialogue: "It's National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week. Ask me what I do."
The first comment was one word: "lame."
Quickly, other Facebook fans expressed their dissatisfaction, reminding
the original poster why this week, of all weeks, is a good opportunity
to celebrate and, in my opinion, more importantly to educate. Some
even encouraged him to do himself a favor and leave the profession
altogether. Another wrote this: "I guess that I don't understand what is lame about it? Is is lame to be a laboratory professional? Is it lame to promote your profession? Is it lame to have lab week? Is lame lame to educate others about what you do? Is it lame that healthcare could not function without laboratory services? I guess that I am a bit confused about lame??"
Perhaps since it was my idea to suggest that people use their statuses
to educate and inform, I may be biased, but I hardly think my request
was lame. Hey, I thought it was clever.
Then again, I'm a glass half full kinda guy, so I hope our readers do
find a few chances this week to really slllloooow down and, even if
for a few minutes, to think about the importance of all of the
significant ways medical laboratory professionals contribute to
patients' ongoing health.
If that's a lame statement, then we will just have to agree to
disagree. Who's with me?