👋🏼 Hello! My name is Andrew, and I work as an “unsung hero” at a hospital (my badge says I’m a Medical Laboratory Scientist)

I wanted to share a little 🧵about what the COVID pandemic has been like as an MLS 🙏🏼
First and foremost, the handling of this pandemic has been a resounding failure that has left >250,000 Americans dead. The lack of guidance from hospital management and political leaders has made an unthinkable situation worse for those who are on the frontline.
In the early months of the pandemic, the hospital I work at was STILL handling respiratory specimens for Flu, RSV, and Strep A testing at the bench, NOT under a hood.

It took an MLS to bring it to managements attention that we should be handling these specimens differently
At first there was pushback, but eventually they transitioned to testing under the hood.

Next, the masks. When I decided that I felt more comfortable wearing one, management said they didn’t advise or condone my personal choice bc the CDC hadn’t suggested it (yet)
Here’s the fun part: working in the lab.

We handle all the specimens that are sent and we make sure that we provide quality work to help the providers best treat the patients and here’s some numbers.
We play a crucial role in medicine, but we are often overlooked.
*There is a CRITICAL shortage of laboratory professionals and the demand is GROWING.
*BLS projects employment will increase by 14% thru 2026.
At my facility, we have 10 openings on the evening shift. People are in one day and out the next. We keep adding analyzers and tests, but we don’t have the adequate staffing. To compensate, we work hard and we are treated poorly.
When we ran out of PPE, we had to regularly ask for permission to obtain a new lab coats. When those ran out, we were given coats that weren’t liquid resistant. When concerns we raised, we were told we could double up.
I’ve been working in blood bank, so I’ve seen the serious increase in demand for COVID convalescent plasma (CCP), and the core lab, where I’ve seen the outrageous testing volume for covid. IT. IS. A LOT. It is not slowing down. We now have 3 ANALYZERS for COVID testing.
We can all do our part:
1. Please #WearAMask
2. Practice #SocialDistancing
3. #StayHome
4. If you have been exposed, please look into donating plasma!

Thanks 💙

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