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Press Start: Lead an Empowered Life as a Clinical Laboratorian

Happy Labor Day

Published September 6, 2010 2:26 PM by Glen McDaniel
 

Today is Labor Day which is the last major holiday of the summer season. According to the US Department of  Labor (DOL),Labor Day, the first Monday in September is a creation of the union movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.

It is meant to be a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. It is like the National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (NMLPW) for workers, except celebrated by the entire country because of the perceived importance of "the worker."

In the early years of this celebration going back to the 1880's, the form that the observance of  Labor Day took was clearly outlined even in the first proposal of the holiday - a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor  organizations" of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day for many years.

My father was a union man, a shop steward, and he never tired of explaining to me how vital labor was to the prosperity and vitality  of the country. "Labor is the cog that turns the wheel, the oil that lubricates the engine, " he would say.

These days most see Labor Day as simply a welcome day off from work, the culmination of  a long weekend of road trips, barbeques and picnics. It also marks the initiation of certain  rituals: public pools close, women are not allowed to wear white without risking  social ridicule, and the planning for Thanksgiving begins.

To those of us in healthcare, including clinical laboratory science, Labor Day is just another day to work, to serve. Some are lucky to be off, but the show must go on because patients are depending on us. We take it in stride as a given; an obligation. Gratitude and kudos to all those who are working today while the rest of the country gets to play.

When one provides a vital service such as CLS, many of the rules do not apply. Is it a coincidence many CLSs proudly wear white all year round?

 

posted by Glen McDaniel
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2 comments

In the lab every day is labor day. I dont mean to be funny. But we do work hard all year round, we do all do extra shifts, we do stay late. And it's not all about the money. I have stayed late to fix an instrument or work up an antibody. I cant pick up my kids, dinner is late, my schedule is all off that evening. Then my boss ask me to leave early the next day so I dont get into overtime. So we work hard and make sacrifices every day. We just dont get the credit. Thanks for remembering that it might not be physical labor but we too work hard.

Merle Mt September 12, 2010 1:38 PM
San Antonio TX

I am off today and spending time with my grandkids. But in the many years I have been in thsi profession, I ahve worked many a Labor Day or Christmas or Thanksgiving. It is just something we do because of the calling we have.

Janice MLT (ASCP) September 6, 2010 4:23 PM

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