I recently graduated as a medical laboratory technologist. I entered the workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During this crisis, I am very grateful to offer extra support when needed, and that I am able to help people. It helps me stay in the present and take this pandemic day by day.
I have not found it changes the way I work in the lab. I think this is because our lab receives pathogenic and infectious samples routinely, so we are used to taking the proper precautions when handling all samples.
The biggest skill is being able to follow a chain of communication – because it is a pandemic, both negative and positive results have to be monitored as close to real time as possible. This is so we can treat people and track progression of the virus in our population. We communicate with other labs, hospitals, and public health bodies a lot more frequently then before – multiple times a day. At the beginning, it was quite busy, but as the region organized, it has come to a more routine pace. It is hard to say if that will last.
We still have to take care and manage samples of people sick, without COVID-19.
The hospital has become a lot quieter with less patients and visitors, which is weird and slightly unnerving to see.
I have messaged a couple of friends for contingency plans if I get sick. Making plans like that made me think “would I be safer if I wasn’t a healthcare worker?”
I am super proud and amazed at how my coworkers have responded and stepped up. I am very lucky to be part of this amazing team.