StaffReady Blog

Managing the Winter Blues

For much of the northern United States, the winter doldrums have arrived. The post-holiday months of February and March loom before us, dark, cold and wet in some fashion. You arrive to work in the dark, and you leave work in the dark. Fluorescent lab lights artificially illuminate your life. Days are dark and vacation seems far away. After the holidays, people in almost all professions are ready to fast forward to April and skip this part of the year altogether. Are the winter blues a real Read More

Reduce Your Competency Burden

Define a Test System

Competency. Assessment. Are your hairs standing on end? Are shivers running down your spine? Hopefully not! It's not that bad, right? But managing your competency assessment program is most likely not your favorite thing about working in the lab. It's time-consuming, labor intensive, and sometimes...confusing. This might be a good time to take a minute and brush up on competency assessment and test system basics. Fortunately, there is a way to cut down on the sheer number of required Read More

Life in the Lab

Reality Vs Media Portrayal

Most Medical Laboratory Scientists agree that one of the biggest challenges they face is explaining exactly what it is we do. Adding to that challenge is the fact that the media portrayal of laboratories and laboratory testing in general isn’t very representative of our reality (cue every medical or crime-based TV series out there!). While I’m grateful some attention has been focused on this important piece of the healthcare puzzle, it’s unfortunate that most of what is presented is inaccurate. Read More

He said. She said.

Gender in the lab

I recently saw a meme posted in one of the laboratory Facebook groups where a man wearing a lab coat was standing in the middle of the lab holding his ears, as his numerous female coworkers “clucked” all around him. Picture a rooster in the barnyard with hens all around him. Women comprise nearly 73% of laboratory science workers." Whether you’re a man or a woman in the lab, this scene is probably somewhat familiar. As a female laboratorian, I have been surrounded in my career by many Read More

Life doesn’t have to be so hard.

Lean labs make life easier.

It’s so easy to get used to a certain way of life or be immersed in a particular culture, to the point that we are almost blind to alternate ways of doing things. This is often the case in the lab, where many of us have been there for years and years, and this is “just the way that we do things”. I remember being a student and hearing that exact phrase from older laboratorians when I would ask a question. I always took that answer as a challenge: What can we change? What can we fix? Now, as Read More