Monday, 5 March 2018

Presenting at Labcon 2015 - a Blast from the Past!

*I originally wrote this post for another blog that ended up not being published. I discovered it while going through my archives and didn't want it to go to waste!*

On May 22th,2015 I had the honour of speaking at the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science’s conference, LabCon 2015, in Montreal, QC.  The journey how I got to speaking as a new MLT was large in part to the great support I received from colleagues and my time as a student at The Michener Institute. 

I first had the idea of presenting about social media for lab professionals after the response I received online. I have always been extremely active on social media and in 2012, I decided to start my blog, MedLabMaven to raise awareness about the med lab profession.  When I entered the Med Lab Program, I realized how hidden we were in the health care world and wanted to raise my voice and share how important we are. Throughout the years, I have received many emails from students, lab professionals and other healthcare professionals who have come across me on social media and thanked me for being a voice online for the profession.

After discussing with some colleagues and realizing lab professionals wanted to get online – I submitted my proposal to the CSMLS. Since I was a new tech, I didn’t think I had anything to present but I was thrilled to find out I had been selected as one of the session presenters! This shows that just because you’re a “new tech” or even a student doesn’t mean you can’t share what you’ve learned and be seen as an expert in your field.

I designed my presentation to be less of a “social media 101” and more about what I have done online, how they have been successful and how you can use them to be successful too. I wanted to bring concrete examples of how lab professionals can use social media to reach out and expand their online network as well as raise awareness for the profession.  From Blogging and Twitter to Youtube and Instagram, I shared my posts, photos and how we can bring lab professionals into the spotlight and highlight our work. 

From the reception I received after the presentation, I can tell this was a valuable topic to speak on. I had many people come up and say how they were inspired and wanted to get online right away. I even had a few let me know they had shared some of my posts online or had seen my video! Many said they hope the new lab professionals entering the field are engaged and want to get involved as well – even if it’s just slowly. That’s the great thing about social media – there are no rules. You can post as much as you want or as little as you want but the fact you are out there sharing your story is what matters. We make a difference in healthcare and it’s time we get out of the shadows and start the discussion.

Speaking at Labcon 2015 was definitely one of the highlights in my short career and I hope to present at many more conferences.  I encourage you to start to get involved in your profession early and be a voice for your profession - whether through social media, conference or at your workplace!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Do You Have Any Questions For Me? 5 Lab Related Questions You Can Ask in an Interview

So you’ve just finished your interview for the perfect lab position and now you’re at the end where you get asked by the interviewer the dreaded “Do you have any questions for me?”

As an interviewee, you should always answer YES.

Nothing is worse than saying “not at this time” or “no” – no matter how amazing and thorough the interviewer is.  There is always something more you can expand on and show how interested you are in the position and workplace. But what can you ask that sounds like a well-thought out question? I've thought up some of my favourites below:

1. What types of professional development opportunities do you have?
As a MLT, you know we are required by license to obtain a certain number of learning hours per year to maintain your license. It’s a great way to find out what types of seminars and overall learning culture the workplace provides. Do they have their own learning system? Weekly Lunch and Learns? Are you going to have to be proactive and attend courses yourself or will your future workplace fulfill that requirement for you?

2. Do you offer any educational funding to employees?
This is another great way to find out how invested the workplace is in education opportunities.  Some workplaces have a yearly grant for an employee to attend a conference like LabCon or CSM which is a nice bonus for a free (or discounted) vacation coupled with a pile of learning hours. Others have a yearly allowance for each employee to attend classes or workshops to help you grow in your career. 

Sunday, 11 January 2015

One Year Out: Where I Am After Grad

How fast the time goes! It seems like just yesterday I was frantically studying and worrying about jobs, exams and life after school. I wanted to recap how the year has gone and where I am in my career after degree completion.

I officially graduated from the Medical Laboratory Science program at Michener on January 31st, 2014 and I wrote the CSMLS exam on February 20th, 2014. Between January 31st and February 20th, actually squeezed in two job interviews at private labs - one for a permanent part-time position as a Microbiology MLT and one at my clinical placement for permanent full-time in Histology. 

Monday, 1 September 2014

Questions, Questions, Questions - Should You Become a MLT?

So I took some time last night to answer some common questions about the Medical Laboratory Science profession and how to decide if it's the right program for you!

I also talk about my experience in the program, in clinical and how I got interested in being an MLT myself. The video is a bit on the long side (13 minutes) but I wanted to make sure I covered these topics thoroughly.

Hopefully you enjoy and find it informative. If you have any other questions, let me know. I might do a round two video as well!

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Answering your Questions!

Hello Readers!

I've been getting a lot questions via my as well as through e-mail and I thought it was time I put together a video answering some of the more common questions I get. This way I'm able to get information out to those people who might be too shy to contact me in the first place. 

Common topics seem to be:
  • How I chose Medical Laboratory Science
  • My Background and My Journey to Michener
  • Reviews of the Program
  • My Clinical Placement Experience
  • Job Outlook and My Job Hunting Experience
I'm planning on putting this together in the next day or two so hopefully I can have one or two videos that can be used as a reference for people considering Med Lab or are current students themselves.

If you have any other questions or topics you'd like covered, please leave a comment here, tweet me @medlabmaven or email me!