I Used to be a Lab Tech
At dinner a few nights ago, I met the CEO of a local healthcare organization and his wife. He quickly let me know he practiced medicine for years. His wife told me they met while she was a nurse at a local hospital and was therefore pretty familiar with healthcare administration, she emphasized.
I was made aware once again how quickly nonlaboratorians identify themselves with their primary profession even years after a career change. It seems laboratorians who have left the laboratory setting will proudly associate themselves with their current profession. With prompting, they might admit, "I worked in the lab," "I used to be a lab tech" or "I was a med tech back then." Why is that?
If physician-CEOs and nurse-administrators wear their clinical training as a badge of honor, why don't we?
In my forays outside of the laboratory and moving up the administrative ladder, I have always proudly proclaimed my clinical laboratory origins. I have also drawn on certain valuable skills such as the ability to ingest and simplify large amounts of data, cope with change and meet regulatory requirements without blinking an eye--skills which I learned in the laboratory.
Besides, I have also noticed laboratorians apply a sort of critical thinking not universal among administrators with a purely business or healthcare management background. We really should be proud of our origins.