This is Sarah. She is a medical laboratory technologist in hematology.
“It’s hard to explain my job if you’ve never set foot in a lab before. Some people probably just see us as button pushers, but it’s a lot more complicated than that.
The bulk of our testing includes processing complete blood counts and coagulation testing. We do microscopy, including body fluid cell counts & differentials. We are considered frontline in that we are exposed to the specimens. We also go to the patient care floors to assist with bone marrows.
I had been away on vacation right before all of this happened. When I came back, there were a lot of changes to policies and procedures, and a lot of emails going around about COVID-19 – it was a bit dizzying, to be honest. The core lab quickly got 2 new BSC’s (Biological Safety Cabinets). Some staff were redeployed to help with COVID-19 testing. We had to hire and train new staff. Our shift and break times have been staggered to help with social distancing. Being that we do a lot of ‘open tube’ work, we’ve been forced to reexamine all of our processes. We use the BSC’s for all open tube work now, and are wearing PPE more often.”