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Press Start: Lead an Empowered Life as a Clinical Laboratorian

New Laboratorian Excited About Profession

Published March 26, 2016 5:09 PM by Glen McDaniel
As our profession ages and many of us lumber towards retirement, it is often hard to be optimistic. Many are burnt out and never miss an opportunity to tell those just entering the profession what a mistake they are making.

I monitor social media quite a bit, partially to feel the pulse of fellow professionals. I am especially interested in, and curious about, what young professionals like and dislike.  When they compare themselves to friends, family and classmates who took a different career route, are they satisfied or dissatisfied with their choice? Do they believe the naysayers who say this is a dying profession where its members are underpaid and under-appreciated?

With that background, I was reading posts on a medical laboratory site on Facebook a week or so back and came up on a post by a young MLS professional; in fact she is still a student.

This is what student Amber Hill wrote on her timeline:

Today was the day that I knew undoubtedly that I have made the right career choice.
I am currently a student and I will graduate next year. I work at a local family owned grocery store part time. There were some bad storms today and the entire town is out of power but my store has a generator (pretty much the only place in town that is open).

The wife of one of the doctors from my local office walks in the front door with a rack of blood and a centrifuge. She asked if she could borrow our power to spin down some blood so that it could be sent off to the lab. I of course jumped at the opportunity to help! (She couldn't even figure out how to open it, let alone balance the thing).

 I was ridiculously excited for an entire hour and all I was doing was spinning down blood!
If something as simple as centrifuging blood puts a smile on my face, everything else is icing on the cake.

Within 72 hours Amber’s post had got  received 339 “Likes.”  That made me very happy.

We are members of a very noble profession. But it’s easy to forget why we chose this vocation. It’s easy to get sucked into all the negativity. Here is a young student recognizing she could use her knowledge to be of service, to contribute (even anonymously) to patient care; and she got excited about doing it. She felt a sense of pride.

Sometimes it takes the simple things to remind us to check our own attitudes. If we have more Ambers out there, this profession will be in very good hands for years to come.


Good post. I love  hearing good news.  All we seem to do as a profession is complain. We take it so far as to laugh at others who don't complain.

I salute this young professional and wish her well.

Melanie April 24, 2016 3:39 PM
Birmingham AL

It is great to hear about a young profession excited about this field that I love so much. I have been doing this for 38 years and I have good days and bad days. However even after all this time, I still feel proud of my contribution to health care. I know patients get better and survive because of what my colleagues and I do every day.

I am sad that anyone would see this young lady's statement as anything but youthful enthusiasm. Even if you are miserable do not let that bad attitude rub off on new professionals. These are the young people who will be performing tests not only on our families, but on US as we get older.

M. Tobias April 9, 2016 5:11 PM
Los Angeles CA

Thank you all for your feedback. As Stephanie stated some will find this hokey as opposed to inspiring which speaks to the cynicism among some.

Thank you Debbi for sharing that story. The profession is much better because of laboratorians like yourself. As you move towards a well-deserved retirement, thank you for all you have done, and continue to do every single day.

Glen McDaniel April 9, 2016 5:06 PM

I'm very proud to be a Medical Technologist.....going on 42 years now.

I always knew this was the right career choice for me, but it was reinforced after my mother passed away in 1995.  She had kept all of the letters I'd written home while off at college.  I reread them all and they were just overflowing with the excitement of what I was learning each week.  Best gift ever !  Yes, I'm getting closer to retirement and yes, there are days I just want out, but I know I'm in the right place and I am proud to have spent the past 42 years doing something I love.

Debbi Foltz, Lab - MT, COPC Lab April 6, 2016 9:48 PM
Columbus OH

Great story. The sad thing about it is how many  disgruntled people will laugh and make fun because they are so jaded. Some cannot remember a  time when they were excited about the profession. Their time is spent telling stories about how stupid nurses are an dhow badly they get treated.

It is very easy to live in that world so we think it is normal. Old burnt out complainers should welcome new, starry-eyed young professionals rather than try to infect them with pessimism.

Stephanie April 2, 2016 6:59 PM
Buffalo NY

Welcome to a great profession!

John , MLT March 28, 2016 6:17 PM
Baltimore MD

This is just awesome. I remember those days.

Justina , MTll March 26, 2016 9:29 PM
Chattanooga TN

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