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Stepwise Success

Do Older Techs Really Hate Change?
February 5, 2016 5:33 PM by Scott Warner
Do older techs hate change? It’s a cliche that an old dog can’t be taught new tricks. When someone is “resistant to change,” ageism inevitably follows. “She’s old and close to retirement,” I’ll hear. Conversely, young people are assumed to be champions Read More...
Confrontation Rules
January 4, 2016 6:04 AM by Scott Warner
No one like confrontation. I get it. We come to work, we do our work, we have pleasant conversation with co-workers, and we go home. But of course it isn’t that easy. Even Gilligan’s Island wasn't that easy. Confrontation is necessary because unspoken Read More...
That Pesky Charge Master
December 16, 2015 6:01 AM by Scott Warner
Charge masters are unruly beasts that must be tamed to ensure we get paid. How labs do this varies with each information system and who has access to what. These days, a laboratory manager has to either understand databases and Excel or have someone on Read More...
Scheduling By The Numbers
November 18, 2015 6:00 AM by Scott Warner
Laboratories are so complex that no two are ever alike. There are so many choices in meeting test menu needs: instruments, personnel, vendors, physical layout, workflow choices. Do phlebotomists deliver work to workstations, or do the techs retrieve specimens Read More...
Strengths and Weaknesses
October 30, 2015 6:24 AM by Scott Warner
In The Office David Wallace asks Michael Scott about his greatest strengths, and Michael replies that his greatest weaknesses are actually strengths. It’s funny but like all good comedy has an element of truth. We all have strengths and weaknesses. No Read More...
Do You Still Email at Work?
October 7, 2015 7:04 AM by Scott Warner
In 2008 I blogged “Big Brother Has Mail,” about justified paranoia that employers may be reading the emails of employees. I didn’t read email then, since, or now. It’s a waste of time when a manager is doing a good job. But hospital environments are changing. Read More...
What to Ask a Salesperson
September 18, 2015 8:25 AM by Scott Warner
I once stopped at a local Dodge dealer to buy a truck. No matter how direct I was the salesperson insisted on steering me toward a different vehicle. I even said, “Look, you’re not the only game in town. I want that truck,” pointing to one. Inexplicably Read More...
Making the Deal
September 14, 2015 6:09 AM by Scott Warner
I was going to blog about handling sales people, but it’s complicated by both parties wanting the best deal. And making the deal is harder than it looks. As a bench tech many years ago I enjoyed booths at trade shows, but I was only a shopper. No matter Read More...
Why Do You Switch Methods?
September 9, 2015 6:10 AM by Scott Warner
One of the challenges in laboratory medicine is keeping up with technology while reducing cost or keeping budget neutral. This isn’t easy, since the amount of information grows daily from emails, websites, trade magazines, scientific magazines, physician Read More...
Scheduling Vacations
July 20, 2015 10:54 AM by Scott Warner
It makes sense for an employer to encourage employees to use their time off. It also makes sense to be as fair as possible. And here’s where it gets interesting. As a bench tech you may feel that your vacation time is arbitrarily denied or other techs Read More...
How Many Vacations?
July 15, 2015 12:40 PM by Scott Warner
Vacation time - PTO (paid time off) or ETO (earned time off) - is a benefit offered by many organizations. There are no federal regulations regarding what employers should do, but most who offer it do so on a seniority scale. The longer you work at an Read More...
Are You Micromanaged?
February 9, 2015 5:11 AM by Scott Warner
Merriam Webster defines micromanage as “to try to control or manage all the small parts of (something, such as an activity) in a way that is usually not wanted or that causes problems.” While managers are sometimes labeled as such, micromanagement is Read More...
Collecting Good Data
January 26, 2015 6:00 AM by Scott Warner
As professional data collectors, lab techs are poor data collectors, at least when it comes to quality assurance. I’m not sure why this is. It could be a flaw in the collection method, distractions that take priority, measurement interference with the Read More...
No More Monthly Meetings
January 21, 2015 5:58 AM by Scott Warner
One of my management resolutions will be easy to keep in 2015, because it’s already happening: fewer meetings. The monthly, boring department meeting is so entrenched in corporate culture it’s difficult to imagine work without it. But once gone people Read More...
To Change Culture, Change People
January 16, 2015 6:01 AM by Scott Warner
A work culture defines how things are done. Susan Heathfield defines this as a workplace personality - a good definition - writing it “is made up of the values, beliefs, underlying assumptions, attitudes, and behaviors shared by a group of people. Culture Read More...


About this Blog

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