Blogs

Labvocates Unite

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By Stephanie Noblit, Esq., MLS (ASCP)CM What does it take to be an advocate for the clinical laboratory or a “labvocate” as we like to say in ASCLS? Honestly, not much. You do not need to know the regulatory process by heart or understand every minute detail in a piece of legislation. All you need is a passion for the laboratory and a story. On October 25, labvocates from around the country gathered together both in person in Alexandria, VA and virtually for the annual ASCLS Legislative Symposium. We spent Monday learning about the issues currently facing the clinical laboratory from a variety of experts. Then on Tuesday we took our message to Capitol Hill ...
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AP's Acting Out In DC

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Night walk around DC!
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By Ogechi Ohaeto, MT Imagine being a brand new technologist working by yourself in the middle of a global pandemic. And you are the one in charge of the most important test at the moment - SARS-CoV-2. Your training was rushed and every positive result causes you to panic, wash your hands, and change your gloves. Your coworkers are miserable and quitting to go work at other facilities because of the mandatory overtime your director has implemented, but only for those in the Microbiology Department. This was my life in 2020, and I ended up being one of the coworkers who eventually dropped down to PRN, then left to go to another facility where I felt ...
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Patient Care Through the Kaleidoscope of the Laboratory By Jessica Lawless MLS(ASCP) CM   I sit here on my back patio looking at my colorful Tibetan prayer flats and my rainbow pride lights, and I am reminded of how beautiful diversity can be. I have been working on ASCLS projects quite a bit lately, to prepare for JAM 2021 in a couple of weeks. My mind is swirling around how important it is to recognize and celebrate all the various perspectives that exist in the laboratory world. Each department attracts a different type of skill set and even different personalities.   Hematology scientists tend to be very intuitive and determined. They look at ...
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Bridge Builder: How I navigated my first year as a laboratory scientist during a pandemic. By: Jasmine Belton, MLS(ASCP) cm The builder lifted his old gray head; “Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said, “There followed after me to-day A youth whose feet must pass this way. This chasm that has been as naught to me To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be; He, too, must cross in the twilight dim; Good friend, I am building this bridge for him!”   Excerpt from The Bridge Builder by Will Allen Dromgoole   Growing up I always wanted to be someone's hero, as most of us do, right? Everything I did, and even my career path, ...
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The Medical Laboratory Science Program, Department of Diagnostic and Health Sciences, College of Health Professions at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) invites applications for a 12-month, full- time position (instructor or assistant professor; rank to be commensurate with education and credentials) non-tenure track to contribute to UTHSC's teaching, research, and service missions. Primary responsibilities include, but are not limited to, clinical microbiology course development, primary instruction of didactic courses using face-to-face and online delivery modalities; participation in student recruitment, retention, and admissions ...
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My Career Bookends and ASCLS in the middle? Demetra “Toula” Castillo, M.Ad.Ed., MLS(ASCP)CM Almost 25 years ago, I made the best decision ever when I started in a medical technology program.  I began working as a student in the hematology lab the summer after I started and landed a full-time position right after I graduated.  As I began training other students in their clinical rotations, I found my passion for teaching and transitioned into a faculty position for my alma mater. Fast forward 15 years later, I loved being in the classroom but missed the lab work, so I returned to the laboratory part time.  Then a little viral pandemic hit, and suddenly ...
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Funny Lab Week video

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https://woobox.com/d8exb2/gallery/l4FUN75faRM Enjoy some lab humor. Happy laboratory professionals week!
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The Most Common Questions I Face as a Traveler Cheyenne Reyes, MLS(ASCP) cm   “How is the travel life? I have always thought about it but can’t commit.” I have to be honest, my answer changes based on my mood at the time, but the answer is never bad. The pros have always outweighed the cons thus far, but I won’t act like traveling is never stressful. Overall, I love the freedom and control it gives me. I am not stuck to any place, and I can choose where I want to go next so long as I am willing to put in the work for any state licensure/requirements I may need. Generally, I can choose what shift I want to work and prioritize a department over others. ...
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Where are the Smudge Cells in this CLL??? Krystal Yu, MLS(ASCP) cm Patient X is a 58-year-old Caucasian female who went to her primary care physician complaining of back and shoulder pain. Before this pain occurred, the patient was active and able to walk four miles a day, three days a week.  CBC testing from this visit revealed leukocytosis, anemia with moderate polychromasia, mild anisopoikilocytosis,and 0-2 schistocytes per HPF, with marked thrombocytopenia. Differential showed lymphocytosis at 89% with approximately 60% of lymphs being slightly atypical.  _________________________ 1  Normal appearing lymphocytes 2 "Atypical" ...
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Hello Everyone, More Diagnostics, Inc. is recruiting for a Research and Development Scientist to join the team! The Research & Development Scientist, as the lead scientist at More Diagnostics, is a critical role for the company. This position will be responsible for directing new product development and managing existing products through design control. If you desire the opportunity to join a flexible and nimble business, based in the beautiful San Luis Obispo, California area, then keep reading. The ideal candidate will have a strong science background with a record of accomplishment in a laboratory production environment. Proven experience of success ...
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New Year, New Hope

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New Year, New Hope By Jessica Lawless MLS(ASCP) CM             Well, it is 2021. We survived the craziness of 2020 and are, unfortunately, continuing to push through the continuation of the craziness into this year. Despite some pretty significant political unrest (which I will NOT get in to), I am very hopeful for this year. I think that maintaining an element of hope is so important during these tumultuous times. I know. I know. Hope during COVID-19 is a scarce commodity, but I encourage you to find that hope in your heart because we haven’t fully pulled out of this pandemic at this time. We ALL need hope right now, so let’s go find it!           First, ...
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The Long Way Home

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The Long Way Home Heather Herrington, DVM, MLS(ASCP) CM   I started a new job recently, doing testing for SARS-CoV-2, and the person who trained me did not have a medical background. At one point, it seemed to hit him how big of an impact we could have if we got something wrong. Either a false negative or false positive could be devastating, and as I watched this dawn on him, my unspoken reaction was, “Well, duh.”   Medical laboratory science is actually my fourth career. I started off my adult working life as a veterinarian, doing primarily emergency and shelter medicine. For years, I have been acutely aware of how any mistake I made could be life-altering. ...
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How Has Being a Constituent President Helped My Career? By: Ali Nussbaum, MLS(ASCP) CM How has being a constituent president helped my career? Becoming a constituent president is a prestigious opportunity that can be extremely intimidating to young, inexperienced leaders. However, the benefits are boundless to those brave enough to accept the challenge. A constituent society president typically serves in a 3-year term.  During the first year they have the opportunity to learn from the current president, the second year they run the society and in the final year they help mentor the new president. This structure provides the maximum opportunity for ...
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The Red Queen Hypothesis- Dealing with the anxiety that comes with change. By: Maria Rodriguez, MLS (ASCP) CM "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!" explained the Red Queen to Alice during the Red Queen's race. As a kid, I was obsessed with Lewis Carroll's Alice Through the Looking-Glass. However, I never expected that a quote from my favorite bedtime story would be so relevant in my life.    For evolutionary biologists, the Red Queen hypothesis states that species must continuously adapt, evolve, and reproduce to survive. ...
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Healthcare Team

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Healthcare Team By: Kaylin Viccellio As Medical Laboratory Professionals, most of us are usually confined within the four walls of our labs, no windows connecting us to the outside world, and no face-to-face contact with patients during their time in our care. Sure, we may contact nurses for things such as hemolyzed samples and critical values, but beyond the crackle of phone connections our rapport with the rest of a patient’s healthcare team can feel nonexistent as if we have no interactive roll. However, we laboratory professionals are an integral part of the healthcare system and can make a difference in a patient’s outcome.  It is impossible ...
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Big Laboratorians Don’t Cry By Jessica Lawless MLS(ASCP) CM   Times are interesting during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. We are in a new world with many obstacles to navigate. One thing rings true with laboratory professionals, though. We are a resilient, hardworking, and flexible group of people. We have weathered so much already during these times and are continuing to change and improve every day. As a fellow laboratorian, I want you all to know that I see your efforts and hear your words. I want to point out that all of those emotions that seem overwhelming at times are okay.   What do emotions have to do with laboratory work? I believe that emotions ...
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Leadership in the lab… I believe that being a successful leader does not come always come naturally, it is learned activity that can be fine-tuned during your career and life. I wanted to know what some of my colleagues thought about leaders they encountered during their careers, and so I asked them 3 basic questions. Here’s what some of them had to say… Harry Ryttenberg, MLT generalist What does a good leader mean to you? A good leader leads by example, doesn’t micromanage as a rule, and is concerned with the well-being of not only the department, but his/her employees as well. A good leader communicates clearly and often and follows through on the ...
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Potential in a Pandemic By: Cheyenne Reyes                 COVID-19 has hit the United States like a brick. While many do not understand the importance of the laboratory in times like these, all of us in the laboratory profession cannot help but think about the struggle that many of our peers are facing. SARS-CoV-2 has created a whirlwind of confusion, fear, and general malaise. However, it has also blown open many doors to opportunity.               As a new graduate, I expected to be working full-time as a generalist for at least 2 years, but when the pandemic started to hit home, I realized I wanted to be more directly involved in the fight against ...
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I Like To Move It, Move It   By Jessica Lawless MLS(ASCP) CM Many students and new professionals find themselves stuck in one place and feeling restless. Wanderlust can contribute to burnout. Students are only allowed to travel when they aren’t in classes, and new professionals sometimes find themselves with limited vacation time or only small spurts of time off. How can we combat the natural curiosity of young people in our industry without losing them to something more mobile? There are a couple of ways to remain a laboratory professional and still scratch the itch of the travel bug. First, after you have gotten a little experience in the laboratory, ...
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