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July 2012 - Posts

Stepwise Success

Working with Nurses
July 30, 2012 6:11 AM by Scott Warner
When there is an error caused by a breakdown in a process, usually two things happen at a management level: blame is assigned and a fix is applied. The blame can be inside or outside the department, personal or systemic. If outside the department, the Read More...
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Contaminated Urines
July 25, 2012 6:02 AM by Scott Warner
Many laboratories have microscopic criteria to reflex to culture. Yours may include WBC and/or bacteria seen. You may also reject the sample for culture as contaminated if there are too many squamous epithelial cells (e.g. greater than 10 per LPF). How Read More...
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Lab Order Sets
July 20, 2012 6:12 AM by Scott Warner
Traditionally, an inpatient medical record contains handwritten physician orders that are a mix of transcribed orders (e.g. a doctor telephones a nurse to request lab tests), free text orders written in a stream of consciousness style, and printed forms Read More...
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Explaining Errors
July 16, 2012 6:03 AM by Scott Warner
Nurses are often go-betweens for doctors and lab techs, speaking for either. For the laboratory, it usually doesn’t matter if the nurse represents the doctor (“He wants a STAT potassium on the patient in 12”), but is the reverse true? Recently, for example, Read More...
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Rude Doctors
July 11, 2012 6:07 AM by Scott Warner
A surgeon storms into the manager’s office and screams at the top of his lungs with patients within earshot. An OB gets in the face of a tech and tells her she almost killed a patient right in a patient waiting area. A pediatrician complains to a patient Read More...
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Sins of Age
July 6, 2012 6:19 AM by Scott Warner
She’s rude. She’s too bossy. He doesn’t want to work. She doesn’t respect her elders. He doesn’t have a clue about email. We work in interesting times, in which three or four generations of techs may create conflict in your lab. Many of the social “sins” Read More...
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Hoods and Shields
July 2, 2012 6:19 AM by Scott Warner
Many years ago I worked in a little STAT lab beside a draw station with a pass-through window. Hematology specimens were handed through the window to where a colleague and I set up sed rates, ran blood counts, made smears, etc. We were always busy. Our Read More...
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About this Blog


    Scott Warner, MLT(ASCP)
    Occupation: Laboratory Manager
    Setting: Critical Access Hospital
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