What Sets Your Lab Apart?

This week, in celebration of National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, NSH released a new podcast series, Histology Careers: Job Seeking in the Lab, where we interviewed lab managers from across the country.

Over the course of the interviews, we found a lot of similarities between laboratories; some challenges (workload, shortage of staff) and some opportunities (hospital affiliated schools, requirements for certification). However, we also found a lot of differences.

Like each histologist, each histology lab has its own unique story, its own unique culture, and its own set of practices that set it apart. For example, Regions Health Partners and the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, are setting themselves apart with the benefits they offer to their employees.

Regions Health Partners

When you hear “Employee Resilience Center”, “massages at work”, and “meditation classes”, you may think of the new work environments of tech giants like Google, but these benefits are available not just in Silicon Valley, but in the heart of the Twin Cities.

In Episode 5: Regions Hospital, Jennifer Schumacher and Paula Overn share the ways Regions Health Partners has set itself apart from other metro area hospitals, by gaining a reputation, and an award, for being one of the best places to work.

Overn says, “There are a lot of benefits offered to employees that you don’t see very often in healthcare”, and she’s not kidding. Besides the hospital’s focus on employee well-being and work/life balance, they also make employee education a top priority, offering classes for continuing education and career planning. In an era where many hospitals are cutting back, Overn and Schumacher say Regions is ramping up these types of programs, making them “extremely happy that this is the place that [they’ve] landed”.

Listen to the full podcast episode to learn more about Regions Health Partners!

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Regions Health Partners isn’t the only hospital making an effort to support their employees’ educational goals. The Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin has its own unique program for awarding continuing education funds, and its own council to oversee it!

In Episode 6: Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Nicole Leon, Histology Team Lead from Milwaukee, shares a little bit about Children’s Hospital’s REACH Program. REACH (Recognizing Excellence, Expertise, and Achievement at Children’s Hospital) started only as a nursing initiative, but has grown over the last three years to include other laboratory professionals, including the histology department. The REACH Program is overseen by a Professional Development Council, tasked with reviewing applications and presentations. If a participant’s project is approved by the Council, the employee is awarded “REACH dollars” which can be used to fund continuing education.

Nicole’s own project was accepted by the Council last year, allowing her to attend the NSH Annual Symposium/Convention in Orlando, Florida, where she presented a workshop on implementing a fine needle aspiration service in a pediatric setting (a recent accomplishment of Children’s Hospital).

Listen to the full podcast episode on the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin!

What sets your lab apart?

What does your laboratory do that makes it a unique place to work? Tell us in the comments below! And don’t forget to check out the rest of the Lab Week podcasts.

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