It would be difficult to describe the working conditions in medical laboratories over the past year as anything less than serious. Despite an outpouring of well wishes and well-deserved appreciation from the general public, most laboratorians know that for many of their colleagues, every day has presented unprecedented challenges to the maintenance of a healthy work/life balance. Many health care practitioners have depleted their own reserves of emotional empathy and suffer from compassion fatigue, not to mention those suffering from depression and a feeling of overwhelming casualty.
This year, perhaps more than ever, the recognition of Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (April 18-24) takes on a mantle of particular importance. This annual demonstration of appreciation for laboratorians and pathologists should honor the absolutely essential role of these practitioners to patient care and public health.
The business of running a high-quality laboratory is indeed serious, but that does not mean we cannot find ways to have fun. A primary message of Lab Week is that of promotion. The activities of this week should differ from usual practice to break up the monotony that can form over any profession. Several resources are available—including from ASCP, ASCLS, CLMA, CDC, and many others—that offer up numerous ways to take advantage of positive messaging.
As always, the staff of MedicalLab Management passes along its profound gratitude to the stalwart and clear-minded perseverance of our laboratory leadership audience. To quote Lord Tennyson, “Tho much is taken, much abides.” If you have a fun or unique way of celebrating Lab Week or any other time of year that champions and promotes the practice of laboratory medicine, we would love to hear about it. We remain indebted to the myriad health care practitioners that have braved their own physical and emotional land mines in order to care for patients suffering from all maladies.
With best wishes for continued health and prosperity,
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