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Press Start: Lead an Empowered Life as a Clinical Laboratorian

Bring it!

Published November 29, 2009 11:43 AM by Glen McDaniel

This morning as I engaged in one of my weekly rituals, watching the Sunday morning political shows, I realized once again how often reality and fantasy blur. Just because someone holds a strong opinion it does not mean that it is backed up by facts or substance.

Take 2 of the topics this morning. First, the now-infamous couple of reality-show aspirants who crashed a White House State dinner, and were able to mingle with dignitaries including the President and Vice President without being detected. In fact their caper came to light only after they proudly posted on their Facebook page several pictures of themselves posing with various guests.

Belated investigation of this couple shows that they have a largely manufactured background based on fantasy, and the desire to be famous. They are not willing to put in the time and work that would result in recognition based on achievements and substance.

The other hot issue related to healthcare reform. On various shows, those not in support of the healthcare plan as presently proposed, included a former presidential candidate turned talk show host. Instead of a substantive debate they parroted talking points of a government take over, massive deficits and the death of the free enterprise system.The ex-presidential candidate even totally mischaracterized The Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA). including what the acronym stands for. He called it the Tax Equity and Family Relief Act (emphasis added).

One gentleman referenced the recent controversial recommendation by U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) against routine screening mammography in women between the ages of 40 and 49. He suggested the initiative is a "sneaky government ploy to limit access to healthcare in order to save money." This is just the first step in a very orchestrated plan by the Obama administration, he claimed. How bizarre.

I have long advocated a vocal, proactive stance by clinical laboratorians to rehabilitate our image and educate others about the importance of our profession. But in order to truly "bring it" we have to come from an authentic position  based on facts, strength and truth, unlike the examples above.

Bring more than talk. We have to be able to not just talk the talk, but also walk the walk. We have to not simply repeat platitudes, but be competent, educated and current enough to know what we are talking about. We must be able to produce what we claim we can do.

Bring a current position. Referencing historical facts brings context. But other than using it as a point of reference or as an example, what is past and done with is of no significance. We have to live in the present, with new facts, the latest science, the current realities.

Be prepared. It takes more than passion to articulate a position, to convince someone and to succeed. In order to succeed you must be able to cogently explain your position and back it up with verifiable facts-not half truths, not wishful thinking, not fantasy.



Thanks for your comments. I think your second to last pargraph says it very well.

You said " that we should not just talk, we have to be prepared too. In other words we cant claim to be smart professionals if we dont keep up with the field and know what the facts are for real."

By the way, congratulations for doing what you can-and doing it exactly where you are right now.

Glen McDaniel December 14, 2009 7:55 PM

All I can say about that is that we all need to do what we can. We all need to do something. If you cant look in the mirror and honestly  say you are doing something to help the  profession  then you have no right to complain. If you are not helping then you are HURTING the profession.

I have taken on pathologists who try to treat techs especially females like children or as if they are less than. That is not acceptable to me. If a doctor asls a question or a nurse asks about a test, I am not going to play dumb just so they feel better about themselves. Telling them what I know makes me feel better about myself, helps the entire image of the lab and also helps the patient. You rather stay silent and have  a patient suffer??

What I think Glen means by bring in (and he can correct me if I am wrong) is that we should not just talk, we have to be prepared too. In other words we cant claim to be smart professionals if we dont keep up with the field and know what the facts are for real.

I dont feel like Efren at all. I gotta be part of the solution.

Anthony Ramsey December 5, 2009 1:56 PM
Pensacola FL

By the way Efren, I have the opposite attitude. I am very hopeful and exceited by my job in a hospital clinical laboratory. While I certainly have "bad" days, I am challenged and satisfied at least 90% of the time (and I have been in the field 30 years).  If you aren't challenged and satisfied then it is each individual's right and duty to him- or herself and to collegues to change the situation by seeking a better fit in another organization. Sorry, I couldn't resist a rebuttal.

Marjorie Merkey December 1, 2009 5:07 PM

Glen you are right that we need to get invloved and be educated. But most lab professionals will be okay to sit back and watch the healthcare reform debate and take whatever comes. That is just reality, not negativity. But there are always some (albeit a small percentage of the whole) who desire to be part of change and have the drive and time to get invloved. Thanks to those who lead and to those who follow as well.

As for image, if you are knowledgeable and thoughtful and current on relevent topics then you will be respected if the people whose respect you seek are worthy. There is nothing negative about pointing out that many people want the glory without the hard work. I know several people personally who expect to be promoted without having done anything at all except get a higher degree or have a Laboratory Director title. Stop complaining and get in the game! It's a lot more fun.

Marjorie Merkey, Laboratory - Assoc. Director, CJW Medical Center December 1, 2009 4:46 PM
Richmond VA

Well put Glen, we do need to walk the walk.  No one else can or will do it for us.  Also, we do not have any control over what other people choose to do.  Therefore, we must take responsibility for ourselves.  If we want things to change, we must first change ourselves.  

Stephanie Schaible, Transfusion - MT December 1, 2009 1:03 PM
Ogden UT

Efren I have to say I agree and isagree with you at the same time. I agree that we CLS/CLTs, MT/MLTs tend to whine and complain withoyt lifting a finger. We will never get better or fell better if we always want someonelse to do the hard work for us. On the same pint I also agree that if we do the best and take care of patients we cant go wrong there.%0d%0a%0d%0aNow, how I disagree with you is that you seem so pessimistic about everything. If we all just sit back, aint nothing ever gonna change and we gotta change it.

Janice A., MLT November 30, 2009 5:20 PM
Atlanta GA

Glenn, same song, different page...... You will get maybe 20 responses on the same 5 bloggers, maybe 10 the most if you get lucky, out of thousands of laboratorians in the country. What a pity, so go figure! Very sad....very, very sad... I said it before and I'll say it again this time. The plight of our profession is hopeless! You guys hear that? Hopeless! Did I say that loud enough? Hopeless! You can deceive yourself all you want and yes, the truth hurts. To be inspired to work?.... dedicate your sweat to your patient's welfare instead and leave the rest to the JUDGE! No further arguments entertained....

Efren Ventura, MT (AMT), CSMLS (RT), RMT (PAMET) November 29, 2009 5:26 PM

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