Kansas City

COVID19 and the MT(ASCP)

Are medical technologist (MT) helping the community in the detection of COVID19? While MT are trained clinical scientists that do testing on biological specimens to determine disease, in the case of COVID19 there is a lack of testing. MT perform flu and strep testing, but they don’t have the commercial testing kit for COVID19.

On March 3rd, 2020 I learned about the dangers and significance of COVID19. A plague, I thought about finding my masquerade mask resembling the plague mask doctors used during the plague of the 16th or 17th Centuries. “Plague doctors wore a mask with a bird-like beak to protect them from being infected by deadly diseases such as the Black Death, which they believed was airborne.” 1′

My husband bought me a new character to add to my dollhouse diorama. Some years ago I made a miniature version of a Labortory. My husband found the breaking bad character dressed in hazmat PPE. I’ve never seen the show “Breaking Bad”, The figurine fit perfectly.

I personally felt very safe working in a laboratory up until March 19. People started coming to the emergency room clearly needing testing for COVID19 but we didn’t know what supplies to give the nurse to collect a sample, we didn’t know who would be doing the testing, we didn’t have authority to speak up about what PPE should be required. My friend from St Louis called to say she couldn’t take what was going on in her laboratory so she was taking a leave of absence. I wanted to keep working I would comply with whatever management dictated.

Another red flag was-we had been hearing request from management to conserve PPE, nurses were being disciplined for using extra PPE to enter patients rooms that didn’t qualify for such protection. But each day the rules changed, or new guidelines were made available several times a day. This was exhausting on the staff.

Then of all things my hours were cut. I was asked to work one day a week. During a pandemic the laboratory staff was being sent home. Apparently the hospital is only treating essential conditions so there are no elective surgeries, most annual physicals cancelled, just like school is cancelled, a stay at home decree came across the land.


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