Whether you’re calling yourself a medical laboratory technologist or clinical laboratory scientist or any combination of those, let’s face it: you’re likely underpaid, overworked, and underappreciated by the rest of the healthcare team. In honor of Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, April 24-30, 2016, I’ve come up with a helpful list of part-time jobs that med techs can sign up for on their days off to bring in a little extra money. After all, we’ve got an impressive skill set thanks to our laboratory training!
1. Large Appliance Mechanic
The instruments are always down, and you’re always neck-deep inside one trying to figure out what’s stuck where. Why restrict yourself to chemistry analyzers and hematology counters when those same skills can probably dislodge stray forks from a dishwasher?
2. Shelf Stocker
Everything is labeled, facing front, tagged with expiration dates and segregated by lot number. The grocery store will never be the same once you’re done with them.
3. Flower Arranger
You can fit one more carnation in there. And a fern. Keep jamming.
4. Crime Scene Cleanup Technician
It’s disturbing how quickly you can jump in with advice when someone asks how to get blood out of clothes.
5. Balloon Artist
They work well as water balloons too. Don’t ask me how I know. What happens during lab week stays in lab week.
6. Extremely Patient Phone Customer Service Representative
Yes, your specimen is hemolyzed. No, it was definitely like that when we got it. And no, we can’t run it anyway. No, we don’t hemolyze it just because we don’t like you. We’d use those laser-eyes for much better things if we had them, trust us.
Bake cookies in four different ovens. Sit in a hairdresser’s and monitor how long the dye’s been on whom. Stand by the track at the Olympics and time the bobsleds.1
8. Barista for Blood Cafe
Depending on whose blood you’ve got, it’s pretty lowfat, and I can definitely give you extra foam.
9. That Guy Who Writes Names On Grains Of Rice
We know that anything fatter than an ultra-fine Sharpie doesn’t deserve the pocket space. Years of teeny tiny writing on tubes, labels, and badly-designed downtime worksheets means that we’ve perfected the skill of fitting our initials and the date (and more) into microscopic spaces.
Happy Lab Week to all my fellow lab rats. May your QC always be in range and may your STATs be few.
1 True story: I bought myself a lab-style timer for my kitchen, because I’m so well-conditioned that I can’t help but respond immediately to the beeping. And multiple channels are so incredibly useful when I’m cooking and have one thing on the stovetop and one in the oven and need to keep track of them both.
Many thanks to my lab friends for helping me with the photos for this post.
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