VOICES in Action: Phlebotomy and Microbiology Departments

Lab department team members standing outside in a group wearing masks

The phlebotomy department plays an essential role in their service to our patients. Phlebotomy team members draw blood for inpatients and outpatients. 

Since the pandemic began in March 2020, lab has made several adjustments to their workflow to ensure all patients are getting their lab results in a timely manner. Since inpatient team members would draw blood on almost all COVID-19 patients, a five-minute procedure turned into a 15-minute process with the donning and doffing of personal protective equipment (PPE). 

Lab team members feel that they can tackle “any obstacle that comes their way” because they “pull together and get through work and life together.” Team members are all in because they believe Baptist truly wants to make the communities that it serves better places. 

Manager Randy Walden said, “I see a lot of my team coming in with this being their first job in the medical field. When they first realize the importance of what they do and how it impacts others, they are excited and want to help more. At that point, I know I had a part in steering team members to our Mission of helping people throughout life’s journey.” 

Phlebotomy team members view the Values of BHC as the “compass to live and work by, doing the right thing all the time.” 

Randy says, “Our lab teams are some of the hardest working and most dedicated people I have seen as they are constantly evolving to assure the job gets done, especially on the hard days.” 

The microbiology department grows organisms and identifies them, which determines if a person has an infection. The process includes taking a specimen from the patient, incubating it and allowing it to grow to determine the presence of bacterial pathogens. 

Microbiology team pictured wearing masks

Microbiology also uses rapid technologies, including PCR, NAAT and FIA, to detect and identify the presence of organisms that are not easily/rapidly recovered with conventional testing.

Before the pandemic, microbiology operated mainly in the background to help patients. Routine cultures cannot be done right away as the organisms need time to grow, which may take days to weeks. However, since the pandemic began, microbiology has moved to the forefront with rapid COVID-19 testing. Along with the COVID-19 processing team, they work diligently around the clock to provide this much needed information to diagnose patients. 

Microbiology team pictured wearing masks

Like the phlebotomy team, co-workers in microbiology feel those they work with are like a second family. The team members say, “It is never boring since there are always the opportunities to learn new things and make a difference in our patients’ lives.”

Their hardest yet most rewarding project in the last year has been bringing on four different molecular platforms to perform COVID-19 testing within weeks of one another. They provide timely, accurate, comprehensive results to the physician so that our patients can live their best lives. They are open 24/7 to meet infectious disease needs.

Thank you, phlebotomy and microbiology teams, for acting out and living our Mission, Vision and Values!