Recognize and Celebrate
The other day a staff person said, “I’ll bet the nurses don’t like coming to the lab. This is our turf, and it’s us against them when that happens.”
Most nurses love coming the lab if they are greeted with warm smiles and pleasantries. It’s ironic that we laboratory people will stay inside our “black box” and complain when our work isn’t recognized. We don’t see ourselves in the mirror if we never bother to look.
And here’s the thing. It’s impossible to be recognized when you’re invisible. The laboratory is away in the basement, off in a corner, or tucked down a hallway. Lab people stay to themselves, go to break together, go to lunch together, and participate in few interdisciplinary teams. Ours is an insular profession that attracts introverts; it is the nature of the work that keeps us isolated from “direct” care givers.
Each year at this time, National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week is a chance to celebrate our achievements and who we are. It’s a chance to be visible and be recognized for our hard work and invaluable contributions. And it’s a chance to invite other people in the hospital to celebrate with us.
If your lab is short staffed, that’s a tall order. When people are exhausted and burned out, the last thing they want or need is more work to prove how hard they are working. A simple pot luck luncheon can do the trick.
And celebrating your success openly -- say, with an ice cream social and cake in the hospital cafeteria -- can let people know you on a personal and professional level. The more visible you are as a group, the more likely it is that others will recognize what you do. With recognition comes a personal sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. It’s great when the boss tells you, “Great job!” but it’s just as good -- maybe better! -- coming from a peer.
So invite others to celebrate your success and be recognized this week. They’ll be happy you did!
NEXT: Looking at Charts