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Med. Tech. school enviroment vs Lab. working enviroment. [Jul. 3rd, 2009|01:16 pm]
Medical Technologists
I'm glad to have found this site, I though there was no place out there for Med. Techs to exchange experiences.
Now, this is my issue.
I'm 4 weeks away from finishing a Med. Tech. program and about 6 weeks from taking my board exam, but during the past school year my classmates and I had been exchanging feelings of discontent about our schools' training techniques and how they will affect us once we hit the real world.
Our school schedule run lectures and rotations simultaneusly. We we're in lab in the morning for about 4 hours and lecture in the afternoon for about 3 hours. Due to the obvious time constrictions, our lab rotations are more focused on execution and production than correlating lectures with clinical work (at least that's how we fell them). This make everybody think  that we were training just to work as a "line production worker".  Also, in the rotation areas, we were treated as if we were uncompetent workers rather than sudents. Our questions were mostly anwered with the likes of: " you don't you know that"? or "you should know that already", moreover, with an attitude of humiliation.  Is this a common practice in Med. Tech. schools or do we just happen to be in a bad school?
Right now, I'm feeling that it was a big mistake switching from Pharmacy to Medical Technologist; I'm just hoping that everything will be different once I dive completely into the field.  

Here are some questions:
I was told before that Lab. professionals were not friendly people, but I was not expecting that to be true (sadly in our school program it is true). Is it every lab working enviroment  as uncomfortable and unprofessional as ours? 
Am I going to have the opportunity to "re-train"some of my weak areas once I start working? I mean, I never got to issue any blood product from blood bank (go figure), or am I expected to start producing  20 test per minute right away? 
Are turn around times more important than the quality of the tests? Or is it just in our hospital? It seems to be a conflicting issue to me.
Lastly, I'm studying for the board, but my lecture notes do not covered everything asked on the practice questions. Does anybody knows any good review-book or website that could help me with my studying?
I am very much thank full for any reply.

[User Picture]From: kejlina
2009-07-04 02:20 pm (UTC)
"Our questions were mostly anwered with the likes of: " you don't you know that"? or "you should know that already", moreover, with an attitude of humiliation. Is this a common practice in Med. Tech. schools or do we just happen to be in a bad school?"

Actually, this is just a common practice of arseholes, and it doesn't go away, no.

Before I got into med lab science, I took a course to be a personal support worker (I think the american equivalents are called home health care aides or nursing assistants) and I remember during my clinical rotations, I'd get the same snarky response from the workers if I had any questions or doubts about anything.

It sucks and sometimes you get really crappy workers to be paired up with; in my rotations for support work, the PSWs we were assigned to would try to lose us on the ward because they didn't like working with students, and they would write us up for stupid things like washing our hands too much (!) or being too gentle (!!). One girl got written up for saying she was tired. Other times, workers would try to bait us into saying things we could get written up for (like asking "Don't you think Nurse Whatsherface is a bitch?" when really they're actually friends with Nurse Whatsherface and they're trying to see if you can answer a question like that profesionally). The trick to getting through it is to grit your teeth and bare it, never say anything bad about anyone, and try to be diplomatic with anything you say. Oh, and ALWAYS LOOK BUSY.

You'd think it'd get better after clinicals, and for the most part I'm sure it does, but you still got the occasional winner here and there. Now that I'm working in the support work field, I sometimes get the "Didn't they teach you how to do this at school?" question from clients. I got one today, in fact! I was at this woman's house for the first time (yes, I'm still working as a support worker while I'm making my way through school) and she asked me to make her bed. She was really fussy and exacting about how she wanted it made, though, and because I didn't psychically already know the exact way that she wanted her pillows arranged, she asked "Didn't they teach you how to make a bed in school?"

Well, yes, they did, but it'd be kinda creepy if the school knew enough to teach me that Mrs So-and-so likes her pillows under the top cover and Mr Whats-his-face likes having his cover pulled back to reveal the pillows while Ms Whoever abhors having her sheets tucked under the mattress. Since everyone likes doing things their own way and thinks the universe revolves around them, you'll probably get some version of "didn't they teach you to do XYZ?" anywhere you work.

This helps me; when someone says anything snarky to me, I just think to myself "I need to let this roll off me like water off a duck's back."

Then I start thinking about ducks and that makes me happy again because ducks are cute.

Anyhoo, good luck. Hang in there. It gets better. :)
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[User Picture]From: kejlina
2009-07-04 02:26 pm (UTC)
oh and PS. every single lab does things their own way. My hematology prof worked at one lab for 15 years and was very good at what she did, but then she went to another lab and she said that she felt like she didn't know anything because all of their procedures and protocols were different from the ones she was used to. So even if the teaching hospital teaches you one way to do a test, remember that it's not the only way and the next lab you work at may very well have their own method. Just keep the manual close by and be willing to ask questions :)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: gto_72
2009-07-04 04:37 pm (UTC)
Lol, I really like the ducks approach. I'll definitivelly used it.
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