Nadine Fydryszewski, PhD, MLS(ASCP)CM, ASCLS Region II Director

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines people as “human beings making up a group or assembly or linked by a common interest,” and power as “the ability to act or produce an effect … possession of control, authority, or influence over others.” People and power—two very strong words that when coupled can create a force that is unstoppable!

As medical laboratory professionals, we are a group of people with common interests. These interests include our individual and collective/group views. Power denotes the ability to act, to make change, to influence. As an individual, you have power to control your personal destiny as a medical laboratory professional. As a group, we have power to control our professional destiny as medical laboratory professionals. Our individual and group interests and power align.

“Remember, membership in and of itself is leadership and power. Even if you cannot commit to other leadership roles at various levels in ASCLS, you are a leader and you have power. Membership counts!”

One characteristic of a professional is joining your professional organization and actively being involved in that community of people who have like interests and the power to influence others and actuate change. What is the power? What are we empowered to do as professionals and as a professional community? Individually and as a community we have the power and responsibility for our actions and commitment to continue developing our professional expertise. We are the “voice, value, and vision” of the medical laboratory science profession.

As a community of professional people, our power is based at several levels. Membership is both individual power and community based, particularly related to power in numbers. A recent example is the Tennessee licensure issue in which timely response from members, the people, had a positive impact, the power. ASCLS Tennessee, working closely with a coalition of like-minded professional societies in the state and leaders of the licensing board, headed off legislation that would have gutted licensure in the state. Power to the people!

Membership numbers have meaning, too. Member involvement in the professional organization at any level can and will vary. Our work-life balance changes and we must adjust our time commitment. Remember, membership in and of itself is leadership and power. Even if you cannot commit to other leadership roles at various levels in ASCLS, you are a leader and you have power. Membership counts!

The People Power in ASCLS
The ASCLS organization structure provides “power to the people” at the state, region, and national levels. At all levels there is opportunity for individual and community voices to be heard at the ASCLS House of Delegates (HOD). This structure provides a forum for individual members to exercise their power in shaping the organization and profession. The power begins with each individual member.

The members who serve as state delegates at the national HOD represent each member in their state. They are their voice. The national, regional, and state leadership are responsible for assuring that the issues to be discussed and voted upon at the national HOD have been vetted at the state level and that each member has an opportunity to provide their input.

The venues can vary and may include the state HOD meeting, an open board of directors meeting, an online/teleconference meeting to reach a large group, or a survey to collect comments. The state delegates are charged with representing their constituent society members and presenting their collective views to national. At the national level, the ASCLS Board of Directors serves at the pleasure of the members. The “power to the people” at all levels.

We take pride in the work we do, and in our profession. Take pride in ASCLS and embrace the “Power to the People” as a force that is unstoppable!

Nadine Fydryszewski is professor and program director of the Doctorate in Clinical Laboratory Science (DCLS) and MS in Clinical Laboratory Science (MS-CLS) Programs at Rutgers University, School of Health Professions, Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, in Middletown, New Jersey.