Brendon Bissonnette – Biology Student with a Keen Interest in Cetaceans

**Our Kind of Science is a series that highlights passionate individuals within varying fields of science, describing what they have done within their field and educating others on their profession, research, and experiences. In this blog, Brendon Bissonnette, a Biology and English post-secondary student with a love of cetaceans, will discuss his education and the animals he admires.**

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Brendon Bissonnette, Biology and English student at the University of Ottawa

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Russell Croker – Physiotherapist Assistant

**Our Kind of Science is a series that highlights passionate individuals within varying fields of science, describing what they have done within their field and educating others on their profession, research, and experiences. In this blog, Russell Croker, a Physiotherapist Assistant and co-founder of Occupational Therapy/Physiotherapy service company TherAssistdetails his experiences.**

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Russel Croker, Physiotherapist Assistant and co-founder of TherAssist

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Lab Chronicles: My Experience in the Hematology Laboratory

 

The clinical hematology laboratory contains two different types of testing: hematological and coagulation testing. On the hematological side of testing, the main test performed is the complete blood count (CBC), which directly measures the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and hemoglobin, as well as indirectly measuring other values by calculations (such as the mean corpuscular hemoglobin). These tests are performed using a well-mixed whole blood sample that has been collected in a tube containing ethylene diamine triacetic acid, or EDTA for short. Before hematological results are sent out to the healthcare team, they are reviewed by the medical laboratory technologist (MLT). Any abnormal results that are seen by the MLT (either increased or decreased beyond reference ranges) are made into slides and further microscopic analyses are performed. Some results may even be “critical” in the sense that they are so abnormal that the patient may be at risk of harm if the result is not reported immediately. While reviewing parameters, certain “checks” are also performed as an internal quality control system for the sample. One of these kinds of systems include delta checks, which are a comparison of a patient’s previous results to those most current. While changes in values can occur due to the physiological state of the patient, these internal checks are also great for identifying if a sample was taken from the wrong patient. In addition, H&H checks are performed between the patient’s hemoglobin and hematocrit. The hematocrit should match the hemoglobin within certain values, and if not, an issue with the specimen quality is present, and this should be addressed before results are reported for that patient. Continue reading

Lab Chronicles: Three Important Lessons I Learned Performing Phlebotomy

One of the main reasons why I chose the medical laboratory profession was for the behind-the-scenes work in the medical field. There was one point when I was in high-school in which I almost considered becoming a nurse, however, due to my emotional disposition, I did not think that I would not have lasted long in that profession. Nevertheless, I am thankful for those individuals on the front line of the medical profession, directly taking care of patients and their illnesses. Even though this may have the initial reason that drew me to the medical laboratory profession, I am certainly glad of the choice I made. I have found, throughout my years in university, that I have many other qualities belonging to that of a medical laboratory technologist: I am analytical, process-driven, and a critical thinker. Nonetheless, there has been one aspect of my program that had me a bit worried… Continue reading

Lab Chronicles: My Experience in the Transfusion Medicine Laboratory Part 2

The Transfusion Medicine laboratory is responsible for the testing and storing of blood products that will eventually be transfused into patients. Many people are familiar with traditional blood transfusions, however, the Transfusion Medicine laboratory carries many other types of blood products that are requested to be transfused into patients, such as platelets, fresh frozen plasma, albumin, etc. Continue reading