|MT Jobs: Are you on your feet all day?
||[Jun. 4th, 2010|05:26 pm]
I have a background in microbiology but have been working in an unrelated field for several years. I am now exploring clinical laboratory sciences as a second career. One catch though: I experienced a foot injury a few years ago that means I can no longer stay standing for long stretches at a time all day.
Are there jobs in this field that would allow me to perform a majority of tasks while sitting? I am perfectly capable of walking and standing, just not for hours at a time.
I think it depends on the laboratory, really. I work mostly hemo and blood banking, and I'm on my feet most of the night in hemo, but I sit on my butt most nights in blood bank (unless it's busy, then I'm running around, but the testing I do sitting).
When I've worked micro, the VAST majority of it (in my experience -- other labs could be different) was sitting. Receiving specimens, setting up cultures, reading plates, setting up ID's...all sitting.
Chemistry...it can be sitting or standing, depending on what section of chem you're working.
Really, it depends on the lab. If you're looking for a job where you don't have to standing around all day, I'd suggest micro. Hope that helps! :)
It helps to have rolling chairs. :)
I tend to sit more than most people where I work when I am in Hematology and Chemistry, but part of this is that the lab I work at has rolling chairs and I am tall enough to easily roll short distances. Most of my time is in Blood Bank, where sitting is more common (as long as you can move in an emergency). It is my understanding that microbiology would be better able to sit than many departments, but that would depend on the lab set up.
You may need to be careful in selecting jobs and shifts, but the field is experiencing shortages, so you probably can afford to be a bit picky. Picking a more staffed shift (often day shift, but some large reference places have evening shift have a large staff) would reduce the back-and-forth of having to cover multiple areas at the same time making it easier to find time to sit doing the job.
I work in a small lab during 2nd and 3rd shifts. There's lots of running back and forth between the different areas and benches.
I'd venture to say that the larger the lab, the less likely it is that you'll be on your feet all day. If it's a large lab and you're just in one department, there will probably be a bench rotation where you could be mostly sitting or mostly standing, depending on the bench you get that day.
Like the others said, Micro may be your best bet, as long as it's not 3rd shift (but again it depends on the lab). Maybe someone who works in a reference lab could chime in....
Thanks so much for all the info, everyone! This is encouraging. Can anyone comment on the year of clinical training? I became worried after I read the post here where someone asks if they should buy Crocs for rotations.