April 4, 2011 (Monday) - An International Problem


A couple of days ago I mentioned about how we are losing staff to jobs which offer less responsibility for more money. I was therefore interested to read an American journal today in which it would seem that the American financially driven model (which we are constantly being told is the way forward) isn’t working any better. Staff recruitment in the US would seem to be problematical, with the highest amount of unfilled vacancies in the blood banks (which is where the most stress is). With ten percent of staff posts unfilled, nearly twenty per cent of supervisor posts unfilled and fifteen per cent of those in post looking to retire in the near future, American blood banks are looking at a staffing crisis. And as for getting more staff, the article says: ”Changes in hiring criteria for laboratory personnel, coupled with a declining interest in laboratory medicine as a career over the past two decades has led to the closure of numerous medical technologist training programs.”

Clearly running medical labs as a business isn’t providing the best quality service. I thought the whole thrust of medical advancement these days was “evidence-based” – doing something because it is seen to work, or not doing something because it demonstrably does not. I am reminded of the Serenity Prayer: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference”.
It is difficult to be serene when one is watching one’s chosen profession going down the pan….

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