Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Tale Of The Sample

I work in a family practice clinic, in medical records.  Way back when I was in high school, I thought I wanted to be a nurse.  I took a course called "Health Occupations" which would result in me being a certified nursing assistant at the end of the year, but after some on the job training, I learned it wasn't really my calling.  I did learn what was: records.

I love keeping records.  I love filing and organizing and maintaining.  And that is what I have done ever since, minus about 15 years for child raising.  

At my office, I am sometimes asked to run stat labs up the hill to our hospital.  I don't mind, and getting out in the fresh air is always a huge plus.  One cold winter's day, I was asked to run a sample to the hospital lab.  I said no problem, donned my heavy coat and gloves and took the red plastic bag in hand and briskly walked to the lab.

When I handed the sample over, the tech took the orders out to verify all the correct information was there and then she said, "It's really cold out, isn't it?"

I thought she was making weather chit-chat and replied, "Yes, freezing!"

She smiled and said, "Next time, I need you to keep this kind of sample warm.  Zip it up inside your coat.  These little guys are no good if they get too cold."

My smile froze.  What exactly was I carrying around without a care?  

I went back down to the office, found the nurse, and told her the sample might have gotten too cold to be viable. I'd carry over her labs anytime, but I would never, EVER, tuck a sample inside my coat, to keep sperm warm.  

I went to my desk of papers and folders and nothing that needed to be warmed by body heat and was never so happy to be back at my work!


This post inspired by prompt #5 at  Mama's Losin' It!

15 comments:

  1. I took those same classes in high school, I just never could get over having to stick people with needles. Not my thing.

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    1. I was worried about the same thing. I hate needles! Unless, it's for a tattoo. Then I'm okay with it!

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  2. I too wanted to be a nurse as that was one of the acceptable occupations in the 50's. I volunteered in a hospital in high school and that put an end to those dreams.

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    1. I worked in a nursing home and a hospital and I knew after that, I was not cut out for a nursing job!

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  3. That..must have been.. a mixture of awkward grossness.

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    1. After that, every time I saw that lab tech, she'd ask me if I'd carried her sample in my coat. It was a long line of awkward encounters!

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  4. bahahaha! very funny, and a little gross. :)

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    1. Thanks! I still laugh when I remember coming back to the office, horrified that I might be expected to really keep samples warm with body heat. Not gonna do it!!

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  5. Hahaha!!! All I keep picturing is the sample opening and then I gag. You poor thing!

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    1. It was pretty terrible! I came back to the office and scrubbed my hands, even though I'd been wearing gloves and the bag was sealed and sanitary.....my mind said get thee to the hot water and soap!

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  6. Oh man. Just...oh man. As part of my job, I've grown pretty accustomed to the sight of urine samples, but you can bet I would not be tucking them or ANYTHING else inside my coat. ;)

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    1. Exactly! I'm used to it, but I don't want to share my coat with it!

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