Embracing Turmoil and Brawl

December 2020 - Vol.9 No. 11 - Page #1

The Paratrooper’s Prayer is probably not a widely familiar poem (unless, perhaps, you happen to be a former French Metropolitan Infantry paratrooper). But it has an interesting backstory, and the sentiment of the piece is poignant, yet defiant. The poem’s history may be somewhat apocryphal, but it captures a truth about bravery in that it is tinged with vulnerability in the face of something great and terrible. Translated and paraphrased in part, its protagonist asks:

Give me what others do not want.
I want uncertainty and doubt.
I want turmoil and brawl.
And that you give them to me forever.
For I will not always have the courage to ask.

As front-, middle-, and back-line workers in health care’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the medical laboratory has seen its share of uncertainty and doubt, of turmoil and brawl. A likely few expected quite this much turmoil, but fewer still have shied away from their goals and duties in serving and caring for the sick.

The year 2020 has been truly unique, but the challenges presented did not stop engaged, compassionate, and skilled laboratory directors and managers from pushing forward with successful process improvements. As a sample of the diverse and impressive progress made by your colleagues, we are proud to present this year’s most popular articles (determined by online views):

  1. Overcome Immediate Challenges of Insourcing COVID Testing (MAY)
  2. Target Pre-analytical Errors for Quality Improvement (APRIL)
  3. Conduct Competency Assessments (MARCH)
  4. Shifting Practice in Clinical Toxicology (JANUARY)
  5. Laboratory Finance: Make Every Dollar Work for You (JUNE)

It is our hope at MedicalLab Management that 2021 gives us more confidence and certainty. A little less turmoil would suit us all. However, we are assured in our belief that the laboratory will continue to face what comes with the same steadfast bravery. As 2021 eases onto the horizon, we hope to share your laboratory’s positive growth through staff, technology, and methodology improvements, under the experienced aegis of lab leaders. It has been an honor to work with many excellent lab leaders this year (presented as a group on page 20). I look forward to more insightful contributions in the year to come.

With kind regards,

David McCormick
Managing Editor


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