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!