“It's a magical time in the hospital at night. It's a time that you can learn and a time that you can kind of have some independence ... with a small group of people that you trust, that are very good, just doing your job.” —Dr. Cathy Cooper
Have you ever considered working the night shift in the medical laboratory? As with anything, there are pros and cons to working nights as a laboratory professional. If it’s a good fit for your personality, the night shift affords the opportunity to learn to trust yourself, to think critically, and form strong bonds with your small team.
On this episode of Inside the Lab, our hosts, Dr. Dan Milner and Ms. Kelly Swails are joined by Ms. Angela Abbott, MLS(ASCP), Nightshift Supervisor of Laboratory Services at University Hospital in San Antonio, Texas, Dr. Nataliya Sostin, MD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine and Laboratory Site Director at St. Raphael Hospital, and Dr. Cathy Cooper, MD, Anesthesiologist and Anesthesia Representative to the Blood Utilization Committee at Virginia Commonwealth University, to share their experiences working the night shift in the lab.
Our panelists discuss what a typical night shift in the lab looks like, describing the most challenging night shift experience they’ve faced and how they dealt with the situation. They explore what hospital administration can do to support less experienced third shift bench techs and explain how to recruit and retain lab staff on the night shift. Listen in for insight on making decisions when you feel like you need backup and get advice for laboratory professionals, technicians, and pathologists considering a night shift position.
· How to navigate handoffs when coming on shift
· The most challenging night shift experience our panelists have faced and how they dealt with the situation
· What hospital administration can do to support less experienced bench techs on the night shift
· What we can do to recruit and retain night shift lab staff
· Being called on to make decisions when you feel like you need backup to do so
· Examples of how to solve systemic problems for night shift staff in the lab
· Building relationships with hospital-wide night staff vs. laboratory colleagues on other shifts
· Advice to laboratory professionals, technicians, and pathologists considering a night shift position
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