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Friday, September 6, 2013

Lab Nazis

I hate lab.  I hate every thing about the lab.  I even hate the people.  I hate every thing about lab.  I dread going to lab with my ABG results.  I dread it more than anything else in this field.

Okay, so I don't hate all the people.  I love the lab techs. I love the good folks who draw blood.  They generally have good people skills; they have to.  Yet there are people in the lab, who all they do is look at machines all day.  Those people tend to be choleric and dry in personality.

Okay, so not all, but many.  Enough to make the milieu of the lab seem hot and tense.  And it's not just the lab where I work my full time job, it's every lab I've ever walked into.  The people are focused on numbers, machines and tasks and don't give a rats butt about the whole picture. To them the number tells the whole story.  If a machine shows a CO2 of 60, that value is critical.  It doesn't matter that the patient is a COPD retainer with a normal CO2 of 55.

They also develop their raw, dry, pining personalities because they are forced, by all the companies and government agencies forcing tons of new regulations every day, to worry about being shut down.  Yes, there is a reason they are the way they are, as I wrote about in this post.

There's a reason there are 300,000 not needed steps in entering blood gas results and resulting them into the computer system.  It's because people who have no clue about reality are making rules and regulations.  The lab folks, the lab Nazis as I call then, are that way for a reason.  They don't intent to become Nazis, it's just what they become.  It's like if you hang out with rats all day, you become one by default.

Okay, enough lab bashing.  Seriously, folks, I find no place more stressful and tense than hospital laboratories.  It has to be the most stressful job in the world, worrying about numbers being correct; worrying about machines working properly; worrying that you meet the 289,000 stupid, moronic, regulations.  (Yes, 19,000 of those regulations might actually be necessary).

I know I'm being unfair by saying I hate the people who work in lab, because it's probably not true.  What I hate is what they become, and how they are so obsessed with numbers that they lose track of reality.  But, in their defense, it's not always their fault.  It's the fault of the morons in Washington who can't keep their noses out of our healthcare system.

I think drawing ABGs was better in the old days when ABG machines were inside RT Caves.  Surely we grunted and groaned while maintaining and fixing them, but that stress was nothing compared to what we have to deal with in the lab. Sometimes I wonder if we should have kept our mouths shut and kept it the way it was, and continued to live in happy RT lalal land.

Okay, go ahead and rip my editorial to shreds if you choose.  This is my opinion only.  I am simply terrified of the lab, like my three-year-old daughter is scared of the Ferris Wheel.  I get the ABGbies every time I go there (yes, that was a funny).

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