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  • Eat Breakfast, Work Smarter

    We employed a temp doctor who loved terrible breakfasts. During rounds we would stop by the dictation room to update her on cultures and other issues, and she listened while inhaling a fast food breakfast sausage muffin egg and cheese thing wrapped in a baby space blanket. I can smell it as I write about it. Lab techs aren’t any better, ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on February 5, 2014
  • Is Your Hospital Secure?

    The recent tragedy in Connecticut has spurred debate on topics related to public safety, which is good. Our most vulnerable citizens need protection. This includes children, the elderly and infirm, and patients in hospitals. That list includes healthcare workers, too. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on December 21, 2012
  • Are 12-Hour Shifts Safe?

    When nurses switch to 12-hour shifts, I wonder if back injury claims increase. Nurses and nurse assistants literally do the heavy lifting in hospitals, and patients aren’t getting smaller. Forcing fifty- and sixty-something people with a lifetime of cumulative spinal stress to lift an extra four hours a day seems foolhardy. The question was ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on December 5, 2011
  • Contagion: A Nice Nod to the Lab Community

    I just saw the blockbuster movie Contagion and must say I was pretty impressed. When I watch a medical-themed movie, I always look at it with a critical eye. How factual is it? Is it authentic in terms of scenarios, equipment, procedures and vocabulary?I look for how realistically roles are portrayed. For example I tend to roll my eyes and become ...
  • Our Noise Problem

    If you go to “Hospital Compare,” a site maintained by the US Department of Health and Human Services summarizing the HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) scores, you can find out how quiet the hospitals in your area are, among other things. Patients who report the area around their room is “always” quiet at ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on September 2, 2011
  • Obesity

    A large patient arrives at the laboratory after hours to have blood drawn. She slowly follows the only tech on duty down a short hallway and around a corner to a phlebotomy area. The tech hesitates as the patient studies a narrow drawing chair. She turns and wedges herself in the chair with some effort. The tech struggles with the tourniquet, ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on August 13, 2010
  • Americans Use Internet for Health Information

    According to a recent study by the Center for Studying Health System Change, Americans are increasingly using the Internet to get health information. In 2007, almost 58 percent of the U.S. population--or more than 122 million people--sought health information from sources other than their doctor, as compared to only about 38 percent or ...
  • MRSA-A Deadly Threat on the Rise

    The incidence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is increasing at an alarming rate. In fact, MRSA is now the No. 1 diagnosis in people presenting to U.S. emergency departments with skin and soft tissue infections. The infection is not entirely benign either; MRSA infections result in approximately 19,000 deaths ...
  • The Night Shift May Be Dangerous to Your Health

    Hospitals never close and most clinical laboratories operate 24/7 to provide essential diagnostic services. Most laboratorians have a shift preference; with a minority preferring third, or so called ''graveyard'' shift.  Whether it's a personal preference or a management requirement, at least some laboratorians must work third shift. We are ...