WHY are our credentials being undermined? Is it our own fault or is it that we do not get enough media coverage/exposure about our job.
The aim of this post is not about pulling down the importance of nurses to “glamorize” our importance, but its about how we can maybe learn from our counterparts to bring more credit to our jobs.
Here are 3 points that I feel we are lacking in when comparing to the nurses. I have my ultmost respect to the nurses as they play an indispensable and noble role in healthcare.
For those of you who might know what this means; its medical testing done by nurses near the sites of patient care using either small hand-held devices or small bench analyzers. The goal is to collect the specimen and obtain the results in a very short period of time. There are numerous POCT kits that can do important medical tests such as HcG, INR, CRP, HbA1c, Urine Strips testing to name a few.
So the point I want to make is that, the nursing industry is seeking ways to improve themselves and coming out of their comfort zone to make their jobs more fulfilling and well-rounded. These are very beneficial improvements made to healthcare and will add on more credit to the nursing field.
So the question is, have we as laboratory professionals improved ourselves? Have we contributed to any value-added services to the healthcare? From what I have seen so far, what was I doing 5 years ago and 5 years later, its almost the same. I might be wrong and some of you might disagree with my sweeping statement. Other than technological advances, our job scopes have been very similar. This brings me to the next point...
Contributing innovations and laboratory improvements
In order to gain credit, we need to make good changes and provide more value-added services. Performing clinical tests accurately and meeting turn-around time has become a basic necessity as clinical laboratory professionals. If the nurses can come out of their comfort zones and acquire new knowledge to take up new skills, so can we. We should take initiatives to either think of improvements or ways to improve the healthcare too.
Now here is an example of how one of my seniors makes a beneficial improvement.PBMC isolationis a research test that constantly requires the removal of supernatant throughout the procedure to create cell pellets for storage for future research purposes. Previously, a Pasteur pipette is being used to slowly aspirate the supernatant which can be a very time-consuming and tedious task when you have to handle numerous samples. She took the initiative to look for an auto-aspirator that will perform this task more efficiently and this to me, this is an ingenious idea! This auto-aspirator is a commendable purchase which will help save time (and money because in a business point of view, time = money). She was eventually rewarded handsomely with awards and this brings me to the next point.
However in most countries, there is a lack of an association to represent our profession. I feel that this deficiency is causing a lack of coverage and recognition about our profession. In my opinion, having an association can bring about good advantages. It can be an avenue where alike professionals can come together to share experience and inspiration. Some people I know are not very proud about being a medical scientist/technologist and some even left to join a more “socially-acceptable” profession. This could stem from a lack of knowledge of how the career ladder of a medical scientist/technologist looks like. Even I don’t have a clear picture of how it looks like and still exploring. Hence having an association can address some issues like the ones I put forward.
The takeaway message is that I hope to create an awareness regarding issues about our profession so feel free to share your views and thoughts in the comments section. We can all learn more insights together and become better professionals.
Disclaimer: Any views or opinions presented in this post are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company or manufacturer. The author accepts no liability for the content of this post, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.