Safety

Medical Environment Update: Just keep swimming, and your job is rad

Hospital Safety Insider, October 13, 2016

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I don't watch sports often, but I must confess I enjoy watching the Olympics when they come around. This year, there was a heated rivalry between swimmer Michael Phelps and South Africa's Chad le Clos that ended with Phelps defeating le Clos in a 200-meter butterfly final meet. In one particularly good photograph of the event, the two rivals are side by side; Phelps is staring straight ahead, while le Clos is watching him. On social media, that picture was often captioned, "Winners focus on winning; losers focus on winners." I don't know if I agree with that philosophy in general, but it definitely does not apply to laboratory safety.

I had been a lab manager for 11 years when I decided to apply for the role of lab safety officer in the hospital system I worked for. I did not have a strong lab safety background. I managed a lab in which the staff food refrigerator was located near hematology (yes, right in the lab) and many of the staff did not wear lab coats regularly. When I took over the safety role, my goal was to continue learning about lab safety and to improve the culture in the lab system. I wanted to be a winner. Whom would I look to in order to make that happen?

Read more here.



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