Shine a Spotlight on Medical Laboratory Professionals With These Lab Week Ideas
Although the healthcare industry has dominated headlines in recent years, the nation's 300,000 medical laboratory professionals typically go unseen. Quietly interpreting 10 billion lab tests each year, medical laboratory professionals play a vital role in saving lives, reducing morbidity and controlling the cost of care. Medical Laboratory Professionals Week shines a spotlight on their important contribution to the healthcare industry.
Lab Week is coordinated by representatives from 13 national clinical laboratory organizations, including the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science, American Society for Clinical Pathology, AACC, AABB, American Medical Technologists, American Society of Cytopathology, American Society for Cytotechnology, American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics, American Society for Microbiology, Association of Public Health Laboratories, CLMA, College of American Pathologists and National Society for Histotechnology.
If your lab or healthcare organization is planning to join the celebration, check out these engaging Lab Week ideas designed to recognize lab professionals, educate the public and promote your lab.
Lab Week Ideas for Recognizing Lab Staff
Lab Week presents a great opportunity to boost employee morale through recognition. Many labs use this week to honor lab professionals for their years of service or outstanding professionalism. Others host team-building activities or social gatherings to break up the routine and foster loyalty. Here are a few Lab Week ideas for recognizing staff:
- Hold an awards ceremony to honor employees who go above and beyond as well as those who have reached important milestones on the job. To make the ceremony even more memorable, present the awards during a special breakfast or luncheon.
- Organize a t-shirt day in which everyone on your staff wears Lab Week t-shirts. You also can wear decorative badge holders, buttons or other spirit wear. Wear your Lab Week t-shirts around the community to raise awareness lab medicine to the public.
- Celebrate Lab Week with your staff with fun events such as a potluck or healthy luncheon catered by a local eatery.
- Introduce your lab staff to the rest of the hospital by writing short profiles of staff members and submitting them to the hospital newsletter.
- Send lab personnel individual thank-you cards or bring in doughnuts and coffee for breakfast during Lab Week.
- Recognize staff by distributing Certificates of Appreciation. You can download free Certificates of Appreciation designed by ADVANCE here: http://laboratorian.advanceweb.com/Lab-Week/Web-Extras/Online-Extras/Certificates-of-Appreciation.aspx
- Hold a lab trivia contest for staff members in which they show off their lab knowledge, or ask staff to come up with creative Lab Week game ideas and host a friendly competition. Give out prizes such as Lab Week t-shirts, mugs, pens and gift certificates.
- Ask the hospital CEO to recognize Lab Week in a mass email to the hospital staff. Include any distinctions, such as staff member milestones, promotions or years of service.
Lab Week Ideas for Raising Awareness
Public education remains the cornerstone of Lab Week, and it's especially important as the field faces a workforce shortage. Lab Week provides a valuable opportunity to inspire a future generation of clinical laboratory scientists. At the same time, Lab Week also is a great opportunity to drum up publicity for your lab. Here are a few Lab Week ideas for promoting your profession and laboratory:
- Distribute patient handouts to help patients understand the value of laboratory testing. Explain what goes on in the lab as well as why their doctor may tell them to fast or take a sample first thing in the morning. Emphasize the importance of following these instructions.
- Create an online resource center or blog with information about your profession and role in patient care.
- Offer free lab tests in a hospital lobby, shopping mall, grocery store or health fair.
- Visit classrooms and teach students about blood typing, microorganisms, infection control and the importance of hand washing. Discuss what it's like to work in a lab and what degrees and education are needed. Make the discussion even more interactive by bringing in specimens to show students.
- Invite students to tour your lab during a field trip. Explain the flow of a specimen, show off the instruments used and describe the maintenance required. Give statistics about your lab, such as total test volume per year, number of blood units crossmatched and average turnaround time for Stats.
- Distribute press releases to local media prior to Lab Week. Include newsworthy information such as infection control tips, pending laboratory legislation and career trends in the laboratory profession. Include information about the role your lab is taking in raising awareness about these issues.
Lab professionals and pathologists are the backbone of the healthcare industry. Few diseases and conditions could be identified without the diagnostic insights of medical labs. Medical Laboratory Professionals Week celebrates the critical role of lab professionals in helping patients obtain life-saving treatments and improve their quality of life.
To browse Lab Week t-shirts and other products, go to www.advancehealthcareshop.com.