Medical Laboratory Science Humor
  • MRW I drop a screw into the instrument


    When You Drop A Screw Into The Instrument
    I'm not getting that screw back, am I? It just pinged and tinked off so many things on it's journey to the center of the instrument that the resultant noises could probably be used to cover the beginning of the song Down Under by Men at Work. I've definitely dropped essential screws into the Cobas before, and the Immucor Neo...hell I dropped a pair of pliers into the strip bay of the Iris. Just because I know how to do the maintenance doesn't mean I SHOULD. When they sundown these instruments, you're gonna find a miscellaneous part graveyard. I just hope the instruments can deal without having the screw in place.... only one way to find out....wait it out and blame another shift!

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    When Sunquest crashes...


    Sunquest Crashes during BPE
    Sunquest may have a better GUI than say... Pathnet? Novius? SafeTrace?? But how does it hold up stability wise? I feel like every time I scan more than 10-15 units into Blood Product Entry at a single time the software crashes locking all previously scanned units into memory. Nothing like having to manually unlock each unit one by one. I feel like it has serious issues dealing with multiple containers of a blood product as well, that's where it really throws some shade. A SECOND CONTAINER? I CANT DEAL WITH THIS. CRASH. MUMPS. Everyone who uses Sunquest knows the mumps error...

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    Hey Boss, I've Never Heard That Sound Before....

    When A Manager Tries To Work The Bench

    You did WHAT? Boss, that's not how that's supposed to go...yes I'm sure. 

    *instrument grinds and squeals*

     Why are you asking me how to do everything? Shouldn't the manager know this? How am I supposed to be provided with feedback properly on my work and performance if you don't even know what I'm doing?? You don't even know where the reagents are stored? Didn't you sign off on the SOPs???

    I truly do believe that managers and those office bound techs who make important decisions should work the bench AT LEAST once a month. You lose your ability to grasp and understand the impact of the decisions you make and you lose the ability to feel what your coworkers are going through as a workflow. 

    It will never cease to amaze me that you have these supervisors, managers, etc., who haven't been on the bench in years, making so many decisions that affect the work of the lowly lab techs/lab scientists without ever fully realizing how the changes affect the dynamic of things. It should be a inspection regulation. A deficiency. If a supervisor or manager cannot function at a bench station. There is no excuse for that. How can you properly manage? Supervise? Correct? Improve?

    You cannot. 

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    Oh Boy Here I go Killing Again
    The idea of "Ogbanje" comes from a southern Nigerian term relating to a demon-like "evil spirit" child that causes a family suffering time and time again. Kinda sounds like Blood Bank...

    A family stricken with an Ogbanje would expect to have their child die very early on in life, only to be 'reborn' or reincarnated and die early again, ad nauseum. Ogbanje would put great pressure on a family, and the maternal-head, since having children after marriage is expected. 

    Many accounts of Ogbanje can likely be attributed to severe sickle-cells disease. Many other accounts can be made for women and child afflicted with "Rhesus disease". This would explain why women who continually tried to have other children, often failed. Rh positive offspring were in someway sensitizing the mother to the RhD antigen causing fetal demise. Think of how many of these changeling children were soon prevented by the routine use of RhoGAM. 

    If only we could take a pill that would strengthen the embryonic chorion in order to inhibit anti-D from passing on in!! Just kidding, that would cause many other issues. Just choose your partner wisely. Make sure you ask his blood type and his Rh zygosity on the very first date. Don't want to accidentally fall in love with someone who could potentially give you an Rh positive child, right??

    As a Bneg human, I feel this pain. Perhaps there should be an Rh Negative dating site. I mean, there's a Farmers Only dating site, why not an Rh Neg meetup? 

    Quick before someone else does think of a great name and buy the domain name.

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    C3? Hit. You Sunk My Glomerular Basement Membrane.

    *Deposition of complement complexes in the kidney can render as bumpy/puffy appearances in immunofluorescence.

     You probably haven't heard the term glomerular basement membrane since learning about Goodpasture's. There's a ASCP BOC test question for you. 

    After learning the coag cascade you thought there couldn't possibly be more cascades to learn? Well buck up sonny, the body has more cascades than the pacific northwest and the complement cascade is no different. Read this article about Complement In Kidney Disease to further your understanding on aHUS (atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome) and C3 glomerulopathy. Then look up Goodpasture's for more kidney destroying fun because it's sure to be on your certification tests. Make sure to differentiate between the 4 types of hypersensitivies! 

    The best part about the complement cascade has to be the Membrane Attack Complex. If you're snoring in your seat at the beginning of the complement lecture, you'll instantly awaken with excited energy to learn about the big MAC attack. Molecular/Cell biology is amazing. 

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    Dear Diary: Mood...apathetic


    Mood: Bent Probe

    ♪♪♪IT was lookin kinda dumb with reagents on the ground and the shape of an L on the main probe... WELL the problems start comin and they don't stop comin. bent to the sky and it hit the well running. didn't make sense...couldn't finish the run...its brain is charred and the thing is done. so much to do, so much for that, what's wrong with taking the backstreets? they'll never know if I just go. I'll never get fired if I don't show. HEY NOW ♪♪♪... yeah ill stop. Chemistry does weird things to me.

    I wonder why we're getting Reagent Probe UP/DOWN errors? Those stupid sawblade twist off caps on the reagent cartridges are sometimes off center and the probe doesn't like it. Sometimes the pack will actually have to even be opened and closed manually with that fun little blue key. Sometimes...the label sticker is not on the pack properly and boy does the probe hate that as well because it won't sit in the reagent ring perfectly. Looks like this is a different issue though. The probe isn't supposed to be pointing AT me right? Did I do something wrong? Can we just take this to the laboratory smithy and have them bang this back into conformation? Good lord, I'm going to have to calibrate everything on this tonight, now. If I can even figure out how to hoop this new probe around and on...

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    It's Not Delivery. It's Not Even DiGiorno.


    Nurses Week Vs. Lab Week
    You got a 3 course meal and diamond earrings?? And that was only Monday?! Lucky! I think the grounds crew offered to save some of the dead animals they found during construction for us to eat during lab week. How would you like us to even cook that? Sous vide in the plasma thawer? Please ask Helmer if this an off label use. Perhaps as a side dish we could wrangle up some Spotted Lantern Flies and nuke them in the Beckman. Zap Apertures for a perfectly deserved lab week delicacy. 

    Lab Week does occur suspiciously with the 4/20 holiday. I'm not trying to be a conspiracy theorist here, but it would certainly explain why we get the charcoal pizza. Char 'em if you got 'em. 

    What's the worst your organization has done for lab week? Does administration actually promote and provide for the laboratory at all? A FUN and EXCITING thing we do is have a potluck. Of food that we made ourselves. That we paid for by ourselves. With money that was awarded through labour at this very institution. 

    I always appreciate when pathology and managers dig into their own pockets to try and provide us with a little morale boost. We know hospital administration surely isn't. The lab? What is that? That costly hole in the basement? Oh right.... George do you think we can get the nurses gold bars this year? 

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    When A Non Lab Person Walks Into Microbiology

    When A Non Lab Person Walks Into Microbiology

    I can't even begin to think of how an uninitiated being would react to the myriad smells emanating from the Micro lab. Do you remember your first whiff when you were a student? Can we consider that a sort of Whiff Test in itself? If a student is fine with the smells, you'll do just fine in the clinical lab environment. Once they pass that initial test, you get to tell them about the REAL Whiff Test. 

    If they're fine with the resultant putrescine, cadaverine, trimethylamine, etc you get after adding 10% KOH to a potential BV patient....weird flex but ok

    Hold your breath when walking by the stool cultures. Put a gas mask on when opening the anaerobic cultures. Do our scrubs get permeated with the yeasty, brothy, peptony, general micro lab smell? God forbid you autoclave anything that had microbiological media in it. The autoclave serves to atomize the scents beyond regular capabilities. Maybe those who get mild COVID symptoms and lose their sense of smell are actually at an advantage. But wait... how then will they perform the WHIFF TEST? Or know if that swarming culture is truly Proteus? 

    Next time, maybe just call or video chat us in Microbiology if it offends you so. 👃

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    He Went To Jared :(

    He Went To Jared. Not the jeweler, our neighbor Jared who "Makes his own crystals". Never again

    Cubic zirconia would have even sufficed but all I get is STRUVITE. Can I wear magnesium ammonium phosphate without looking totally ridiculous? I think not. I do think Jared has a urea-splitting bacterial infection somewhere up in there that needs attending to. I'm not wearing a struvite necklace anytime soon so.... Urine diamonds are NOT a fashion statement. They're a medical emergency. 

    It does make me ponder the thought though... I do drink a lot of tea which can increase the chance of oxalate crystals. Maybe I can make my own crystal jewelry as well? Nephro-Zirconia. I'm not expecting to sell to Jared or Zales or anything, but maybe local pawn shops at least? For little bit of beer money?

    Fun Facts:

    Urea splitting bacteria contain an enzyme, urease, that cleaves urea into pieces leaving behind byproducts that include ammonia and bicarbonate. This increases the pH of the urine and produces an environment where struvite crystals can precipitate out of solution if existent. Klebsiella, Pseudomonas, and Proteus are the most common UTI bacteria that can be attributed to this. 

    Lab scientists generally refer to struvite's most common shape as "Coffin lids". Now there's an ASCP question! They are also present in normal healthy cats and dogs. In fact, it's the most commonly seen crystal in your pet's urine!

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    My pleasure. Ya'll come back now

    When a phlebotomist gets someone with perfect veins
    Tourniquets? Where we're going we don't need tourniquets. Palpation? I'm going straight in. The space station could see this vasculature. That's a wonder of a cubital fossa. 

    A good phlebotomist is worth their weight in antigen negative blood. Easily the worst part of clinical rotation was having to do phlebotomy. I was so nervous it took me almost 10 minutes just to get the tourniquet on my brave volunteer. I still never really got tourniquet application right. I spent hours practicing at home. Watching Youtube videos, borrowing arms. I pulled the hair off of an outpatient victim, I mean patient, once. I was so nervous I nearly dripped sweat onto another poor soul. I'm in the lab because I enjoy laboratory medicine and science and because I like to help people... FROM A DISTANCE. 

    Every phlebotomist is a saint and you need to be recognized more for your work and contributions. 

    Oh the things I saw during rotation. Isolation rooms, trying to draw on the pysch ward while 2 security guards held the patient down, trying to draw on a patient with severe Parkinson's all the while respiratory is in the room trying to do something at the exact same time. Nothing like a moving target. Nevermind having to draw the chain-of-custody legal alcohols on people who couldn't even stand up. 

    I will always work at a larger institution that hires phlebotomists and doesn't make the techs do draws. And I will be forever grateful for your pre-analytical wizardry.  

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    Oh, the cultures are STAT?? Yaaaas Queen


    Miracle Gro for the STAT cultures
    Let me sprinkle some of our lab grade fertilizer onto those plates then. I'm not sure how we bill for that but here we are. 

    Someone should see what is affected and how things are affected by adding fertilizer to plates/agar/broth. Could we potentially create a superbug and start a new pandemic? All because of ammonium phosphate and the like? 

    In the future I do feel like physicians will get their way. Kind of like how "tube testing" is still the gold standard for blood bank, perhaps plate cultures will still be the gold standard for microbiology as technology continue to develop. Right now, stool cultures are being rapidly set off to the side. PCR is rearing it's head into microbiological identifications. 

    The BioFire Stool Panel tests for 22 separate targets, five being viruses. Let's see a routine stool culture catch that. The BioFire can find:

    Campylobacter (jejuni, coli, and upsaliensis)

    Clostridium difficile (toxin A/B)

    Plesiomonas shigelloides


    Yersinia enterocolitica

    Vibrio (parahaemolyticus, vulnificus, and cholerae)

    Vibrio cholerae

    Enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC)

    Enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC)

    Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) lt/st

    Shiga-like toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) stx1/stx2

    E. coli O157

    Shigella/Enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC)


    Cyclospora cayetanensis

    Entamoeba histolytica

    Giardia lamblia

    Adenovirus F40/41


    Norovirus GI/GII

    Rotavirus A

    Sapovirus (I, II, IV, and V)

    All with one sample, one cartridge, in one hour. 

    This study shows clinically significant findings in the case of Otitis media (ear infections). PCR specimens were much more likely to be positive for a infectious agent than traditional culture. For example,  for "S. pneumonia, culture positive cases were 5, while PCR positive cases were 18 which is statistically significant difference (P < 0.001)"

    The Biomedical Scientist says

    With PCR, they identified a potential pathogen (bacterial or viral) in 87% of patients, compared with 39% using culture alone.  Predictably, PCR detected bacteria more frequently than culture in patients who had received antibiotics (77.6% vs 32.1%). 

    Well maybe plate cultures won't continue to be the gold standard. Microbiology will fade away and simply get absorbed into molecular diagnostics.  A future not so far off.

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    They're Putting Chips In Our Brains I Tell You!

    COVID is a hoax?

     It doesn't even exist! The flu kills WAY more people per year. Wait now it does exist but they manufactured it to sell vaccines and get chips implanted into our bodies. Bill Gates has been wanting this for years!

    Masks actually keep the virus in and make you sicker! I never even met anyone who had the virus, how do we know anything??

    It's crazy knowing how many people buy in conspiracy theories about things. I feel like social media's grasp on society has only made things worse. 

    One panel study showed that nearly 30 percent of adult Americans believed the virus was created by the Chinese government as a bioweapon. As months moved on, nearly 40 percent said they could believe this theory. 

    A similar portion of people said that the CDC and other agencies were exaggerating the virus for political reasons. (Yes, of course the entire world is faking COVID to try to make the American president look bad. Of COURSE)

    Another common one was that COVID was created to sell medicines and vaccines. Big pharma needs more money to sleep on!!

    Just look at this MASSIVE Wikipedia article that highlights all the misinformation regarding COVID-19. 

    Some people need to take more science classes. And an immunology class. 

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