Faces of COVID

Alexander – Medical Lab Technologist

Alexander is a medical lab technologist whom we interviewed last year.

“The last year has been a whirlwind of events. For me, that has involved many changes in my career and my physical work environment since early in the pandemic.

I was working on virology testing for COVID samples at the hospital. The lab used to be small, but now the staff have increased tenfold and we’ve become a lot more organized and streamlined.

This time last year, I was just beginning my training and hadn’t even received my license. I had to start in my role right away. It really got me up to speed on being a lab tech, but it was stressful because you had to go through a lot of samples with limited resources.

I think it has made me a better technologist. I feel like I’m able to make better judgment calls. The pandemic has really challenged me and my field and it’s been an opportunity for me to really discover the areas that I love to work in. I’ve since stepped away from virology and moved back to the microbiology lab which I love. I get to use the critical thinking I learned in the COVID lab every day.

One takeaway from this experience is definitely to really focus on my work-life balance – when I should take a step back and relax so I don’t burn myself out. I also learned to take the time to enjoy my work.

I got into this field to do the science and the cool experiments, but also to help patients. I think it is important to step back and remember that too.”

Author’s Note: Alexander was one of the first people that I interviewed for Faces of COVID. Lab testing during the pandemic has been essential and was initially invisible labour. I also think it is important to highlight the experience of students in health disciplines as they have been resilient and flexible with their learning.

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Author

Nikita Singh

Contributor

Nikita was the former Audience Engagement Editor at Healthy Debate. She studied population health at the University of Toronto and is a student in the Master of Public Health program at the Public Health, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University.