Is anybody else working with a skeleton crew?

Large hospital here. Right now we have full staffing. We are a very busy lab, and we keep getting busier as our company continues to acquire smaller hospitals. After each acquisition we tend to swallow up their outpatient volume and any of their reference lab testing that they would normally send out. I think it's only a matter of time before we get swallowed up by an even larger system, and entire regions of the country are run by one or two hospital systems...but that's a completely different discussion :)

Back to the original topic. We've had several retirements, and maybe half of those positions have been replaced with new positions. Slightly smaller staff and more volume just means a busier lab. There was a point where I had overtime every week for several months. I haven't worked OT in well over a year now. New positions fill up instantly now because there are more students, and i think we have so many students because management sat down and asked "how do we get rid of all this overtime?".

So overall, I'm pretty grateful for where I work, because I have worked in places whose techs were stretched ridiculously thin. Those places were smaller labs and techs had more responsibilities, so maybe large labs aren't as bad? At the smaller places I've worked, one tech would cover half of the lab, answer the phones which rang every 5 minutes (and we all know how one physician's problem can easily eat up 30 minutes of your time and those problems must get top priority), manually fax out the outpatient lab results, manually print out those same results and stuff them into envelopes to send out, inventory, solve minor POC issues, etc. At the large lab I'm in now, we have an office that does all the result faxing and mailing, they answer the main lab phone number and act as a filter for all the ridiculous phone calls, one tech runs one instrument or microscope instead of half of the laboratory, etc.

/r/medlabprofessionals Thread