Laboratory Technology at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center
Administrative Section Supervisor
Q: What makes your work
A: My interactions with the workers I supervise, with the nurses and other ancillary services workers, the doctors, and when I have the opportunity to venture out of the lab, my interactions with the patients. As corny as it sounds, trying to keep all of these interactions positive and productive gives me satisfaction in my job.
Q: Why did you choose
A: As a student in high school and in college I always liked the chemistry and biology courses. Medical technology (now called Clinical Laboratory science) seemed to combine both disciplines in equal measure. I also realized that I would be able to get a job with 4 years of college and 1 year of training. Jobs in this field were readily available in the mid-seventies. I figured that if I did not like the field for a life-long career I would at least have a job that would allow me to support myself while I prepared myself for something else. This career has proven to be rewarding enough, that I have not had to look for something else.
Q: Tell us how you used best practice medicine to enhance a patient's life.
A: Recently a young medical resident was admitted to the hospital. He was a hemophiliac (a hereditary blood disorder in which a person's system lacks a particular factor that helps their blood clot during a bleeding episode). I had to make several phone calls to physicians, nurses and to the commercial supplier of the product that the patient needed to take for this disorder. I had to reconstitute the product and deliver it to the floor for the nurse. I also had an opportunity to meet the patient and explain to him how the product had been prepared. It was very satisfying to have this young physician give me the thumbs up and thanking me.
Q: What exciting new technology, techniques or procedure(s) have you performed recently?
A: Since I spend most of my time performing administrative and employee support duties, I do not get a chance to have hands-on experience with a lot of procedures anymore. Recently in the Blood Bank I was trained on the Gel Technique. It is the current state of the art method for performing blood types and patient antibody screens for blood cross matching.
Q: What was your most rewarding day in the past year and why?
A: The day that I found out that the laboratory's Blood Bank department had been selected for the Department Applause award, based largely upon the service provided to a trauma patient who I had been directly involved in providing blood products to.
Q: What advances or continuing education programs have you achieved?
A: I have had my Masters degree in Medical Technology for quite a few years now. Because of working the hours of 11 pm to 7 am most of the continuing education courses I have taken have been via correspondence. I have learned quite a bit from them. I have taken courses in Bacteriology, Blood Bank, Hematology, Immunology and Endocrinology.
Q: Tell us about the dynamics of your team, the size, collaboration and
A: I supervise a group of 30 workers that cover the entire laboratory. This group includes Clinical Lab Scientists who perform the lab tests, phlebotomists that obtain the blood samples, and clerks that deliver reports to the charts. It is a racially/ethnically diverse group and I am proud of the fact that some of the people in my group have been under my supervision for over 15 years.