Volume 35 Number 6 | December 2021

Christal Lane, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM, ASCLS Ascending Professionals Forum

Christal LaneLet me set the stage for you … The year is 2020. It’s early in the year, around January. Laboratory professionals in their morning huddles gather to hear their laboratory directors bring up the new “novel” virus coming out of Wuhan, China. Nothing too unusual—the CDC is keeping an eye on it, and it’s a wonderful time for a CE opportunity about MERS and SARS.

Fast forward 20 months. In that time, we have seen countless waves, new variants, the emergence of multiple vaccines, and have seen the worst occur as the hands that once saved countless lives couldn’t seem to put an end to the ceaseless stream of death.

But that’s not all that happened in those 20 months.

In the beautiful comeback stories of triumph over disease, we as a profession began to see that what we once considered “behind the closed curtain” work was now on the forefront. Sure, maybe the news agency didn’t get our titles quite right or nailed down exactly what we do, but for once, the public had its eyes on us.

This is our moment of truth, and as one Alexander Hamilton once asked Aaron Burr in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit musical, Hamilton, I now ask you: “If you stand for nothing, [Burr], what’ll you fall for?” What are you doing to improve the environment for the laboratory? For patient care and improved patient outcomes? Are you actively involved in the grassroots of ASCLS and in promoting agendas that call for increased quality of patient results by the implementation of higher standards for certification and/or licensure?

My fellow #labvocates, take a moment to take your bow.

When you dispel another COVID-19 myth or rumor on social media, you are being a #labvocate. When you post about your vaccine, you’re being a #labvocate. When you reach out to your facility’s administration about pay equality and recognition of the advanced degrees of our professionals, you are being a #labvocate. By calling for a recollect to ensure the best results for our patients, you are being a #labvocate. By attending conferences put on by our professional organizations, such as ASCLS, you are being a #labocate and being given an opportunity to share your voice and your opinion. The Laboratory Legislative Symposium, a multi-organizational effort to create a unified voice for the laboratory, is a perfect opportunity to not just learn how to be a #labvocate but the perfect opportunity to put that knowledge into action.

This moment may not feel like a win, but it is. History is painting us as the heroes, so I leave you with this, what will you stand for?

Christal Lane is a Medical Technologist at LeConte Medical Center, in Sevierville, Tennessee.

Statue of Alexander Hamilton

Statue of Alexander Hamilton in front of the U.S. Treasury Building in Washington, D.C.

Photo credit: dbking, Flickr

“What are you doing to improve the environment for the laboratory?”