Linda Needel Celebrates 35 Years of Service at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center

Linda Needel Celebrates 35 Years of Service at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center


(calm electronic music) – When I started at Franklin Square, it was Franklin Square hospital, January 2nd, 1984, and I was hired as a medical technologist in the blood bank. It was very different than it is now, well there was no tower, I don’t even know that the
cancer center was here. We used to do things manually, and now there’s so much automation, so much documentation electronically. We would write things down
on paper with a pencil or a pen and now everything
goes into the computer system. HRO was high reliability
organization with never- wasn’t even a term in 1984. Right now I am the clinical
laboratory manager. I oversee transfusion medicine, phlebotomy, the lab accessioning
area and point of care. The transfusion medicine
field has drastically changed. When I started we had no machines. We were fully manual. So when we would do a type
in screen on a patient in a blood type, we would drop things into tubes and look at them in a viewing mirror. Now we can take the tube of blood, put it on a machine, push a couple buttons
and within half an hour, your blood type comes out of the machine. Now with the barcode system, everything is assigned to that patient and flows from the machine
right into the computer system. Testing of blood was also different then, blood that we got from Red Cross only had hepatitis, syphilis testing, now blood’s tested for HIV, CMV HPSAG, all the hepatitis, there’s much more testing meaning the blood product’s much safer. It’s when HIV came into existence, I think that was a big thing. We didn’t wear gloves. PPE was not a high expectation from anybody You worked in the lab and you processed your
samples without gloves. Gradually it went from regular lab coats that you took home and washed to impervious lab coats to shields when you are opening tubes so you didn’t get splashed. I remember, there was fear. People were afraid, could I get infected
by opening these tubes? And now it’s gloves, goggles
and impermeable lad coats, no open toad shoes, no
drinking in the lab. So that’s definitely,
safety of the associate is very important as
well as patient safety. We don’t have the patient contact that a lot of people in the hospital do but we know in the background we save lives on a daily basis, especially when we see a sick patient coming in the emergency department or through labor and delivery, that we know is dependent on us supplying safe blood products to them, and that happens in the
blood bank everyday. All of us feel like we
have done a great service to our patients. The patient is the most important thing and anything we can do as
associates of the hospital to make the patient and
the family feel safe, is what our job is on a daily basis. Every person that works in this facility knows that we are a high
reliability organization and patient and patient’s
families come first. (calm electronic music)

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