INDIANA – Today a laboratory technician at Holy Cross Hospital decided enough was enough and took matters into his own hands. At 5:42 a.m. a STAT complete blood count (CBC) was ordered on a patient in the intensive care unit (ICU). The blood was drawn at 5:55 a.m. and physically sent down to the lab at 6:00 a.m. Laboratory technician Richard Bloomers accepted the sample and briskly walked it back to the lab table.
“I was about to place the sample in the analyzer at 6:01 a.m. when the phone rang. It was a medical student asking for the results. I politely told him I just got the sample and would call him back once it was done,” says Bloomers.
Bloomers couldn’t even get the sample in the machine before the phone rang again. “This time it was an intern, who started to yell at me that this was a STAT laboratory test and that STAT meant STAT!” The intern went on for the next 2 minutes to describe that they needed this important lab value in order to treat their patient before rounds. “I tried to tell him that I understood the importance of the lab and that his phone call was delaying the results, but he wasn’t even listening to me,” says Bloomers.
Bloomers hung up the phone and ran the sample over to the machine to start the test. “I pushed start on the CBC machine, and 2 minutes later the phone rang again.” This time it was a resident who was furious that the STAT CBC was not back yet. “I lost it,” says Bloomers. “I went completely crazy after all those calls!” says Bloomers.
“I called up to the ICU and told them I didn’t have enough sample to run the test and would need another sample,” Bloomers said enthusiastically. “Ah, as a laboratory technician, it felt so good to do that!”