A brand new initiative to hopefully tackle what’s being known as an pressing want for lab employees within the Inside Well being area is sparking uproar from skilled lab assistants.
New job postings for a lab phlebotomist, whose major function is to attract blood, solely require a Grade 10 training and a 12 months of related expertise.
The job description, nonetheless, is much like a lab assistant function, which requires as much as a 12 months of post-secondary training.
In an e-mail to International Information, an Inside Well being lab assistant stated the brand new postings make their training really feel out of date.
“It is a main public security concern and a kick within the tooth to the entrance line lab assistants who’ve been working so onerous to now simply be undermined by Inside Well being,” wrote an Inside Well being lab assistant, who International Information has offered anonymity to guard their employment.
In keeping with Inside Well being, the lab phlebotomist function is new and requires on-the-job coaching.
“The phlebotomist function is strictly centered on blood assortment or being a puncture. So, it’s splicing that process that’s half a medical laboratory assistant scope of follow and it’s focusing solely on the blood assortment piece,” stated Inside Well being’s Pathology and Laboratory Companies company program director Joanne Isber.
“There’s a 12-week program that entails idea and eight weeks of hands-on practicum within the hospitals to help their coaching. And to be sure that they’re competent in what we’d like them to do.”
Isber went on to say that almost all of medical lab assistants (MLA) who undergo the Thompson Rivers College program obtain an eight-week practicum.
“We’re additionally giving an eight-week practicum with the phlebotomist with a spotlight of solely venipuncture assortment (drawing blood) and the method round that,” stated Isber.
“MLAs coming in from different packages, their scope of follow is greater. They be taught extra in regards to the different disciplines of laboratory medication, understanding microbiology and pathology and transfusion. And we’ve received lab assistants working in all of these disciplines.”
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Wages between the 2 positions can be comparable. A lab phlebotomist lists a beginning wage of $24.04 in comparison with a $25.31 beginning wage for lab assistants.
“Job description was developed in accordance with collective settlement when it comes to course of and classification benchmarks. The group doesn’t assign the compensation piece, that’s achieved by means of collective bargaining,” stated Isber.
Inside Well being has employed 5 phlebotomists already and is hoping to rent one other 11 to 12. That is on prime of 60 vacancies all through the area for medical lab assistants.
“MLAs are important to the lab program and to our well being care system so there’s no intent to remove the gathering from them. That phlebotomist function is admittedly to enhance the MLA, to cut back a number of the workload with the excessive vacancies that we’re seeing,” stated Isber.
“This is a chance for us to be revolutionary and guarantee actually, that we are able to hold assortment companies obtainable to our sufferers each locally and in acute care.”
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