Laboratory “tools” for job success

Aug. 19, 2020

Like any technical job that requires a particular skill set, the level of success is often dependent on having the right tools for the job and knowing how to use them in their intended applications. For members of the clinical laboratory industry, their “tools” include lab equipment, rapid tests and consumables (among others) – all of which require a certain level of training and certification to achieve job success. As part of Medical Laboratory Observer’s (MLO) recent reader survey, we asked our readers to tell us what they wanted more of in the types of articles and content that matter to them most.

The 30-question reader survey looked for replies to a wide range of questions that included the levels of daily involvement of lab personnel, as well as budget allocation and feedback on whether or not MLO provides information on the products and services that are being used every day. And a BIG thank you goes out to our survey respondents, and we say, “We heard you!” – your requests are valued and appreciated, have been taken seriously, and will be evident in upcoming issues of MLO.

As reader survey requests and comments were reviewed, our editorial staff included as many topics as possible when drafting our content calendar for 2021. Among the many ways we are planning to get you the information you need to succeed in your jobs is to focus on the topics that many readers said they wanted to learn more about in the future. For example, the topic of certification and testing has shown increased interest since last year’s survey, along with the categories of quality control (QC), information technology (IT), rapid and point-of-care (POC) tests, infectious diseases, reagents and lab safety. All of these will be more prevalent in upcoming issues in 2021.

When considering targeted topics for our 2021 calendar, we could not forget to include COVID-19 – the elephant in the lab, if you will. Because of its far-reaching effects and daily global developments, we will continue to include more coverage of the disease in more sections of the magazine.

Due to the concern around COVID-19, and in alignment with the best practices laid out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and other relevant entities, we also did a survey on the ability or desire of lab directors to travel. As a result, we are launching our Second Annual Lab Directors Summit as a virtual event. Over 92 percent of respondents said they would be interested in a virtual event, and almost the same number said they would not be interested in an in-person event. The upcoming virtual Lab Directors Summit (LDS) is being held October 26-28.

We are planning an exciting and informative program that focuses around you and fellow lab directors, and will allow for the time and opportunity to get insights on an immediate issue, learn what’s working for your peers and what is not, and begin new relationships with colleagues from across the country.

Keep in mind that as with any position in the clinical lab, acquiring training and accumulating experience remain keys to job success. By way of MLO’s reader survey, we were able to learn what’s important to you, our readers, and encourage you to contact us with honest, constructive feedback so that we can continue to make MLO the go-to magazine for the whole of the clinical lab industry.

I welcome your comments, questions and opinions – please send them to me at [email protected].