Lab Q&A – I could really use your Qs!

I’m live-tweeting my workday today, and it’s probably the most entertaining thing I’ve done in ages. I should have done this for Lab Week!

The response is reminding me how much I love talking about laboratory science, and how important it is to share a little bit of it with the world, so my profession can be better understood.

But I’m not a professor with a lesson plan, and what’s fascinating to me may bore others to tears. So I need to know what you’d like to know about what goes on in a laboratory. I worked in hospital labs for several years, and now I work in a blood reagent manufacturing lab, so I’ve got a whole bunch of answers rolling around in my head – I just need you to prompt me with some questions.

So, folks: what have you got?

3 thoughts on “Lab Q&A – I could really use your Qs!

  1. Logan

    Hi there! Not sure if you remember me, but I’m in school for Medical Laboratory Science (i found you on the SDMB). So you say you work in a blood reagent manufacturing lab… so your lab actually manufactures reagents that are used in blood tests? If yes, what kinds of analyzers do you develop the reagents for? What’s IN the reagents anyway? Are these reagents like animal-based products that are similar to those found in humans, or are they more chemical-based? Is your lab regulated the same way as a hospital lab would be?

    What was your favorite department in the lab when you worked in hospitals? I just got done with my clinical chemistry course, and while it was fascinating and I did really like it, it seems overwhelming that I would need to know ALL of that information inside and out to work in a chemistry lab! Sheesh!

    Thank you! 🙂

    1. antijen Post author

      I’m currently making blood grouping antisera, like Anti-Kell and Anti-Fya, out of antibody-positive human plasma that’s rejected for transfusion (because of those antibodies). Waste not, want not! They’re designed for manual blood bank testing in tubes, not really for analyzers. Our lab is inspected by the FDA, but not by the other healthcare accreditation organizations, because we don’t do any patient testing.

      I’m in love with blood bank and have been since my first internship at the end of school. I didn’t like the classes, but the reality of the work was so much more fun and rewarding. I also like hematology a lot, especially reading manual differentials. Something about classifying and identifying things makes me happy. 🙂

      1. Logan

        Thanks! I would’ve had no idea that reagents were manufactured using blood that’s rejected for transfusion! Is most blood grouping antisera is made this way?

        I think Hematology has been my favorite so far. I’ll get to do 5-week rotations next year in several departments, including Hematology and Blood Bank. I’m really looking forward to doing the more practical stuff and getting out of the classroom!


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