I hope this message finds you happy and healthy, in spite of the Coronavirus pandemic.
As medical professionals, many of us are in the trenches every day. We have spent countless hours away from our families and homes, tending to the medical needs of strangers.
As medical professionals, many of us knew this was a possibility when we chose our careers, our life's work.
As medical professionals, many of us did not anticipate having to work under conditions of inadequate PPE, fighting an unknow enemy, in conditions that were sometimes like third-world nations, not like our typical health care facilities in the United States.
As medical professionals, we can hold our heads up high, for the fantastic work we have done, and continue to do, for friends, neighbors, strangers and family.
When I first entered my MLT program in January 1984, I was often asked, why do you want to do this work? My answer was, "To save lives and stamp out diseases." Little did I know that in the year 2020 myself and my colleagues would have this opportunity to a degree unimaginable to me at age 18.
I am no longer personally in the front line. I don't have a patient facing job, but I am still proud of the work I have done during this pandemic. As a Certified Laboratory Consultant, I have helped keep 6 Physician Office Laboratories (POL) up and running during pandemic, furlough, inadequate supplies, and intense stress. Recently I have re-entered physician offices to provide safety training.
Not all of you reading this will have patient-facing positions. But whatever part you played in healthcare this year you can be proud of the work you have done. There has been a huge increase of recognition for the Medical Assistants, Phlebotomists, Laboratory Technicians and Technologists, Medical Laboratory Assistants, and Dental Assistants.
Recognition that, in my opinion, is long overdue. Our Allied Health Instructors and Certified Laboratory Consultants are in the background, lending support and stability for these front-line workers.
Although we are not out of the woods with COVID-19 yet, the number of deaths continues to decrease because of all the efforts of the healthcare teams. We are a better and stronger community because of the hard work of medical professionals around the globe.
Later this month, delegates from the NJSSAMT will be attending a virtual version of our Annual Business Meeting and will be voting for members of our national board. Please keep these delegates in your thoughts this month. The decisions they make will impact us all as our certifying agency comes out of this pandemic stronger.
Stay strong, stay healthy, stay safe.
We will see you when we see you.
Margaret Blaetz, CLC, MLT
NJSSAMT President and Editor