This is Daniel and Mariel. They are medical laboratory technologists in the microbiology department.
“COVID-19 is, of course, the big thing that we’re mostly dealing with right now, but we are still doing our other roles in the microbiology lab. Processing blood cultures. We do sterile fluids and tissues. We do urine cultures and respiratory cultures. We identify any bacteria that grows, assess whether or not it’s significant, and then do sensitivity testing if need be.
We are being careful with dealing with samples and wearing PPE. But typically when we work on a microbiology sample, we follow a thorough procedure.
It’s not just pushing buttons and kind of getting results. Things can take days, even weeks at times.
I think COVID-19 has changed my family’s perceptions about what I do. My family is worried that I may potentially get this disease. It’s more stressful for them than it is for me even though I’m the one coming to work every day.
The bulk of our workforce are people that are getting close to retirement. We are almost at that period where we’re going to be in dire need of new hires.”
“A lot of our cultures are coming from suspected COVID patients. That requires a lot more work because we need to keep ourselves safe. Those plates need to be wrapped before they can be put into an incubator. We wear PPE to handle these specimens.
Each lab department has to work together cohesively. After a couple of weeks, we got into a rhythm.
It’s been a real learning experience to kind of work more together because usually we don’t even see each other.
I think a lot of my worry is bringing it home with me. I go home and my parents are there. They’re not that young.”