Volume 35 Number 5 | October 2021
Racheal Nassimbwa, ASCLS Developing Professionals Forum Chair, and Amanda Clapie, ASCLS Developing Professionals Forum Secretary
The Developing Professionals Forum (DPF) professionally educates students of medical laboratory science as expressed by the organization’s philosophies, policies, and procedures. The forum maintains a structure for student members to communicate their concerns and opinions to the governing bodies of the Society.
Students have been supported in various opportunities to help get them involved in the profession through attending conferences and professional meetings. Here are some testimonials from students that received grants to cover expenses related to the 2021 ASCLS, AGT & SAFMLS Joint Annual Meeting.
“I remember stating that my goal of this conference was to be able to reach out and network, as well as a personal goal of making some new friends while I was there. I do feel very confident that I was able to achieve my goals. Attending the conference was a good, refreshing time to take out stress and burnout from classes as I connected with other professionals. I will be able to bring back my own experiences and encourage my fellow classmates to get involved in multiple leadership opportunities our profession has to offer, whether it be at the state or national level.”
For some of the attendees, the realization of what type of impact we make as developing professionals was like a breath of fresh air. Being able to connect to our fellow senior professionals is something that can encourage and help us figure out strategies to reduce burnout in our lives.
“A special moment for me was during the closing keynote. I was able to come to the microphone and briefly explain to a room full of professionals, who have been working longer than I have been living, ways that I get active outside of the hospital setting for our field AND how I felt activism and advocacy go hand in hand. From that I received many more connections and encouraging words for my bravery to speak. It was reassuring to me to know my voice is valued in this organization even as a first year. I never felt lost in the mix, but instead so many smiling faces welcomed me, and for that I am beyond grateful. I hope this is a great start to a long volunteering relationship with ASCLS.”
There are various ways to learn, and being involved in a professional society can be an opportunity to gain information about developing into a profession. Through ASCLS networking events, students are able to interact and connect with ascending and senior professionals.
“This created more than just a learning experience; you begin to understand where people come from and why they are pushing for the profession. This was my first meeting, and honestly it was such an amazing experience that I would love to return next year. I am truly grateful for the assistance provided by the organization. Everyone I met was amazing!”
“What I came away with from this experience was confirmation that I was in the right field with the right people who are as passionate as I am about science and impacting the lives of others. I left so inspired and filled with ideas about how I want to spread awareness about laboratory medicine and get involved in my community.”
Professional growth is important and can sometimes be challenging for students as they transition. A great way to get started is through encouraging involvement and interaction with other professionals in the field. Having professors who are constantly inspiring and uplifting students to be their best selves motivates us to be a voice for our Society.
We know that some school programs will pay for all their senior students’ first-year membership to ASCLS as an encouragement for participation and involvement with the profession. This is a great way to transition and familiarize yourself with the Society through attending meetings as well as getting involved with volunteer opportunities and various discussion forums. Knowing that our experiences and opinions as students and developing professionals are welcomed and can actually be translated into meaningful ideas for the organization gives us confidence that we can all be advocates for our profession.
Racheal Nassimbwa is an MLS Student at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.
Amanda Clapie is a CLS Student at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.