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Stepwise Success

Do You Still Use a STAT List?
November 27, 2015 12:45 PM by Scott Warner
A STAT list is a relic of a time when it was common for labs to have call, labor intensive tests, and batch testing. If your lab has any of these, you may also have a STAT list. It’s a list of tests that your lab performs STAT, and anything not on the Read More...
Package Inserts or Procedures?
October 12, 2015 6:08 AM by Scott Warner
Laboratories spend a lot of time developing, writing, reviewing, updating, and maintaining procedure manuals. But it’s common to see a tech pull a kit from a refrigerator, remove the package insert from the box, and use that to run the test. CLIA standard Read More...
Please and Thank You
September 23, 2015 2:12 PM by Scott Warner
The Ghostbusters reboot has me chuckling over the original. There’s a scene where an EPA official asks Bill Murray’s character to see the ghost storage facility, and Murray refuses explaining, “Because you did not use the magic word.” In an expression Read More...
On Call Providers
July 29, 2015 7:23 AM by Scott Warner
Laboratories have policies about what and when to call results to providers. Usually, these are critical values or those that significantly delay treatment e.g. a positive antibody screen in the blood bank. We all have at least one story about that time 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...
Texting at Work
July 1, 2015 6:13 AM by Scott Warner
Consultant Rebecca Mazin complains on the website All Business, “I have personally noted many examples of flagrant, highly inappropriate workplace texting.” What about your laboratory? Chances are, it’s happening regardless of policy enforcement. A 2011 Read More...
Interviewing at the Bench
June 1, 2015 6:04 AM by Scott Warner
It’s easy to forget that interviewing is about buying and selling. It’s easy to be so focused on getting a job that you forget the importance of getting the right job. The wrong job (if you haven’t had one yet, just wait) can be miserable and all-consuming. Read More...
Customer or Self Service?
May 27, 2015 6:03 AM by Scott Warner
Customer service has its bromides: follow the Golden Rule (treat customers as you want to be treated); the Platinum Rule (treat customers the way they want to be treated); exceed, don’t meet customer expectations, etc. But all this boils down to one simple Read More...
When Are You Too Sick To Work?
May 4, 2015 6:04 AM by Scott Warner
Viruses make the rounds during the winter months, and here in northern Maine with Spring finally here we’re still seeing coughing, stuffy heads, and wheezing. Allergy season is fast on the heels of a winter season that never seemed to end. I’ve not been Read More...
The Lab Week That Was
April 24, 2015 6:04 AM by Scott Warner
April is a busy month. It is Alcohol, Foot Health, Autism, Hepatitis, Child Abuse, Humor, Facial Protection, Minority Health, Occupational Therapy, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Sport’s Eye Safety, and Woman’s Health and Safety Awareness Month, according Read More...
A Better Cell Count Calculation
April 10, 2015 6:05 AM by Scott Warner
When I took High School physics, we were not allowed to use calculators. This was just as well, since they were bulky and expensive. The Texas Instruments SR-50 sold for $170 in 1974, which is over $860 today . Slide rules were cheap. Pen and paper was Read More...
Get Out of the Basement
April 1, 2015 6:25 AM by Scott Warner
Critical access hospitals should be just that for communities. But USA Today reported last November in a story called “Rural hospitals in critical condition,” “Since the beginning of 2010, 43 rural hospitals — with a total of more than 1,500 beds — have Read More...
When Should You Upgrade?
March 9, 2015 2:13 PM by Scott Warner
Your laboratory is probably a mix of old and new technology. You may have refrigerators decades old, small centrifuges that were purchased used and still run strong, a coagulation analyzer at the end of its five year contract, and a chemistry analyzer Read More...
Surviving Micromanagement
February 13, 2015 6:56 AM by Scott Warner
Working for a micromanager is demoralizing, and what’s even worse is when you can’t leave. Maybe you’re a new graduate and it’s your first job, you really like your coworkers, you need the money because you have kids that just started college, or there 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...


About this Blog

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