“I am overworked and under-appreciated.” We hear it all the time. A recent article in Advance for Medical Laboratory Professionals highlights the fact that even though hospital census are down, labs are running lean and often requiring overtime hours from their staff. Lab Technologists, Histotechs, and Pathologists’ Assistants all have increased their workloads to help facilities manage their financial resources better. They feel they are undervalued and overworked.
As we come slowly out of the recession, lab professionals who put off retirement are now deciding it may be the right time to hang up their lab coats. Couple this with a profession that doesn’t have a great track record of recruiting the needed numbers of college students or positively promoting their importance in health care and the future lab shortages seem imminent.
What can Lab Managers do to keep their labs staffed appropriately?
- Be aware of the stress load of your staff. Look for peaks in workloads and determine if travelers or permanent staff can help. Make your administration aware of the issue so you can get budget dollars to increase your census. If they aren’t aware of the issue they can’t help fix it.
- Create a positive energy in your lab so that the lab team enjoys the work environment. Employees that are happy and recognized will be more productive, refer friends to work there and have better quality results.
- Work with local universities to promote lab professions. Many lab professionals speak negatively which causes young recruits to reconsider their choice to become a lab tech. Positive partnerships can help build up the reputation of labs and increase recruiting.
Do you need qualified lab professionals? Let CompHealth help!