Observing 40 years

Oct. 1, 2009
40 years in the field —
So, you say, what's new?
Certainly not Folin Wu —
Not even back then when …
So many changes through these years,
Things to watch over and guard,
Detect, discover, and abide by,
Holding some up as pie in the sky!
Not long after Rh came
Many more known by names:
Duffy, Lewis, Lutheran, Kell, and Kidd —
Taught and revered for what they did.
Enter computers somewhere in here.
Celebrate autonomy in many a sphere.
Gone are worksheets and ordering slips.
Printers, faxes, and batch reports now on the scene.
Coag once was only ease
Of tilting tubes or fibrometer squeezed,
Factors taught by Warner-Chilcott.
Today, platelet functions, D-dimers, and auto QC plots.
Oh, my goodness, the Coulters have grown
Through the whole alphabet; and, now, stand alone.
A CBC with indices and platelet count, all done X3.
Also a Diff, RD, and PDW, and an MPV!
HbsAg, HIV, Hbs, and Hbc,
Unknown, umarked frontiers,
Testing to follow HAA —
Now look what's here!
Ancillary testing finally caught on
Watch out for others, oversight please;
Keep it in the laboratory.
We're trained and tried, ready for an increase.
In the days of Technicon,
Multichannels were the bomb!
Now we coddle ISEs and TATs on BNPs,
Broadening ideas and relevance of these.
FLU tests and STREP tests are Immunology.
Sabouraud and KOH enhance mycology.
RA, IFA, testing always expanding,
Noticing all along, medicine's demanding.
RPRs have not changed much.
The basic procedure remains untouched.
Big batches automated, cutting testing times,
Increased standardization, QC, and such.
Management growing, then shrinking again.
Remember how it was way back then!
Keeping an eye on what's fair, what's to be
If we gain or lose any number of FTEs —
What about the Bacti Lab?
Micro now — language changed, quite a confab.
New names, new drugs for bigger bugs,
Testing expanded for fighting all thugs!
Lytes, liver, iron, and thyroid panels you see,
Followed by Phos, Mg, BMP and CMP.
Laboratory lingo defining our trade,
Ever after quality — not made in the shade.
Big sites, little sites,
DRGs and drawing sites,
Just look where we've been
And where we've arrived overnight …
Sign your name to written reports,
Sign into computers with passwords of sorts.
Feed in results and proofread with ease,
Or hands off for a setup auto-release.
Tubes and albumin, things of the past.
Gel cards and testing
Probably here to last.
Emergency release? Still here — make it fast!
How things have changed in 40 years!
You've been there. It's you we cheer!
Celebrating your observing, MLO!
Wonder what our next 40 will show?
Urinalysis now a partner
In flow cytometry;
Strips sophisticated stand,
Especially in their readers' hands.
Written to commemorate and celebrate 40 years of publishing for our field of work. Medical Laboratory Observer, I have learned much from you these years. Thank you.
Training and practice and testing time — So many initials, they're hard to rhyme: BS, MT, ASCP, CAP, COLA, and MLT, CLA, CLIA, NCCLS, and AMT! —Patricia Gail Box Ingram, BS, MT(ASCP)
September 4, 2009
Valley Grande, AL