Written by Akai Hunter.
“Just suck it up”
Whatever you do, if you mess up, just suck it up and start over! Usually, advice like this could seem harsh to say in the workplace, but in my line of work, this statement is actually comforting.
Today’s world seems so uncertain. With each day, we never know what’s going to happen next. Covid has entered the chat room and doesn’t seem like he…or she… will be ending their conversation anytime soon. So, since they are here, let’s talk.
COVID-19 has brought darkness to many families around the nation. My heart goes out to all the people who battled or are battling with this wretched virus. With so much death and dubiety, I know it can be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Lighthouse has shined a light on me and I am blessed to be a part of a company and team whose number one goal is to service the community.
Our Role in The Healthcare World
Working in the lab is the best job out there. I will say it because it just has to be said, but the lab family is the least appreciated in the health world! However, we have such a major role! The media has glorified nurses and doctors in the health field because that’s who usually takes the most care of the patients, and I have no argument against that. But what about the little people in the big lab coats…or the bigger people in the bigger lab coats!? Let’s just say, “if there’s something weird and it doesn’t look good, who ya gonna call?” (If you said ghostbusters, I love you, but you’re wrong! They are gonna call the lab!). Can we just take a minute and give a hand to our lab techs around the world?! *this is where you clap and scream* ahhh, shucks! Thank you, thank you. 😁 The lab family may not be seen but we are definitely heard!
A Glimpse Into The Lab Work
Let’s highlight a few things that your friendly neighborhood lab tech does. Well to start off, everything in a lab is a team effort. Accessioners, where ya at? *scans the room* I see you! Thank you, without you all, our lab techs and assistants would just be in a frenzy of tubes with no organization. You guys set the tone for how each day will be.
Personally, a good day for me is a day with many negatives. I know what you’re thinking, but let me explain. So each day we may see anywhere between 700-1000… or more samples. That’s a lot of people that are getting tested for Covid. A lot of people = a lot of pressure. I am responsible for ensuring that I handle each person’s sample as if they were a loved one or family member of my own. All my reagents have to be mixed accordingly. All my levels have to be precise. My technique has to be spot on. I never want any deviation in my work, because, at the end of the day, I want my true positives, absolutely positive (if there are any) and my negatives absolutely negative! That way, our fancy lab scientist can send accurate readings to your fancy doctor🙂 So, the more negatives, the better! Everyone likes good news, right?
Just Suck It Up and Start Over
But just like in any profession, an error will happen because we are humans (unless you can’t select all the traffic lights in the squares, then you, my friend, are a robot). Another beacon of light that I like to highlight is if I do mess up, I can just suck it up (with my pipette) and start over. Not many people in the health field have that much room for error, and even though we have the ability to retest without it causing immediate pain to the patient, our goal is to get it right the first time! Cause’ let’s be honest, lab material is NOT cheap and we NEVER want to waste a patient’s sample. I definitely don’t want to be the reason for having to ask that 6’7, macho bodybuilder to be re-swabbed (I heard he cried the first time, yikes!)
What’s Even More?
It doesn’t just end there, the lab family makes sure that even after a sample is tested, we keep it, just in case further review is needed. So when I say I’m going to get baby Eli out of the fridge, don’t be alarmed *no babies were harmed in the making of this post.* Lab techs check, and double-check, and tripped check- We are a stickler for accuracy! With Covid here and making our jobs and lives a little harder, the Lighthouse is definitely here to make your testing experience as smooth as possible!
So Covid, yeah, I see you, and I hear— huh? Oh, I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you, my KingFisher was on. Maybe next time!
-your friendly neighborhood techy!
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