My name is Nour AlMozain and I serve as a hematopathology, transfusion medicine, and apheresis consultant in the Laboratory and Blood Bank departments at King Saud University Medical City (KSUMC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest academic hospitals in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. I supervise a large donor center that collects around 70-100 whole blood and apheresis platelets per day. I oversee the blood component manufacturing process, ensuring that blood products meet the quality of national and international standards. I also lead the inventory management process, always ensuring that blood requisitions meet patient blood management recommendations and local hospital policy guidelines. In addition, I review and report transfusion reactions and help the blood bank scientists in dealing with pre-transfusion testing. Our department provides a wide range of therapeutic apheresis procedures performed by our apheresis nurses, including: therapeutic plasma exchange, red cell exchange, and stem cell collection. My role is to provide consultations for these patients and help the primary teams tailor the appropriate management plan.Continue reading
I am always thankful to be working as a medical laboratory technologist, a career I am very passionate about. I remember my journey towards discovering my ideal career, and let me tell you, it was not an easy one. I was in a similar situation as many other students in high school, not fully aware of the range of career options available. I completely understand how many high school students can feel stuck, undecided, and anxious on their career choices prior to entering further studies. This can result in students choosing an educational path without making an informed decision of all the career options available to them. As a result, there are many new graduates who have trouble finding a job within their field and pursue additional programs in order to acquire more qualifications. I believe a thorough search of the vast number of career options available will help students make an informed decision.
**Mary Michalski, a Registered Nurse and recent graduate of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology describes her clinical experiences within the haematology-oncology/bone marrow transplant program at a children’s hospital, emphasizing the caring and courage needed in the nursing profession.**
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. These tests are performed using a well-mixed whole blood sample that has been collected in a tube containing ethylene diamine triacetic acid, also known as EDTA. 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 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.
One of the main reasons why I chose the medical laboratory profession was for the behind-the-scenes work in the medical field. 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 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