Friday, September 5, 2008

Mom at Work

Today I had a doctor's appointment at the hospital where my mom works, so I went into my appointment and afterwards I went down to the lab to visit.  I brought my camera with me, thinking I might be able to shoot my mom in her natural habitat ;-)

Here are some shots.  I honestly don't have the energy to go back and edit them right now, so these are just the images straight off of my camera.

My mom works in the Hematology lab, which literally translates to "the science of blood".  My mom and her co-workers are the ones who look at blood under microscopes and run it through machines to find out if we're sick or how our counts are.

The day consisted of a lot of my mom staring into microscopes and looking for white blood cells and red blood cells.  She showed me a lot of abnormal blood cells, which sometimes meant that person had an infection or virus.  

I like how all of the equipment in the lab is black and stainless steel.  

These tubes are called "Lavenders" and hold blood from patients in the ER or who are inpatient.  Once they're tested, they are put into this rack, to be put into a refrigerator and kept for 24 hours, just in case they are needed again.  Then they're discarded here:

The ones with a "STAT" sticker means that they need to be checked right away.  (Obviously).  Today, I helped my mom run a stat blood for a woman who was in labor upstairs, who was ready for her epidural!  I'd say that's pretty STAT!

I picked a good day to come in - because everyone in the lab had to get Fire Extinguisher Training!  My mom went first, and you can tell by her face how surprisingly loud the extinguisher is!  I even got to try - it was a little scary, but fun!

My mom gets A LOT of phone calls.  She is the supervisor of the lab, and when anyone has a question, she is the woman they get to talk to.  (click on the picture to make it bigger and see the look on my mom's face!)

They test a lot of different fluids in the lab.  Mostly, they test urine, semen, and blood.  However, every once in awhile they get Spinal Fluid as well!

These are the little things they use to put a drop of blood onto the slide.

Before we left today, my mom had lots of paperwork to fill out.  This isn't the greatest quality photo, but it shows what is a big part of her day - all of the paperwork at the end!

What a fun day!  I ended up staying with her until 5pm, and my mom let me wear a lab coat and gloves.  After I put my camera away, she let me help her run urinalyses (I successfully ran tests all by myself to find out that someone had too much bilirubin in their urine... which means that they're liver is not functioning as well as it should.)  I also delivered a lot of specimens to the blood bank, and to the Chemistry lab.  Oh, and I delivered a NASTY container of someone's diarrhea...yuck!  

All in all, a great day.


Emmers said...

what great pictures kristen! you have a great eye :)

i love that it was unofficial take your daughter and put her to work day hahah!

Gooch said...

You take great photos! Your blog post and photos reminded me of my experience working in a hospital lab and later radiology department. I worked at a hospital assisting lab techs, hematologists, and radiologists, for over five years (mostly when I was an undergrad).

Again, great photos! =)

Kelsey said...

hahaha i love the look on her face on the phone!

Lindsey said...

the one of the microscope is great! i also really like the "lavenders" and the blood droppy thingies.

Dan said...

awesome shots kristen!

i can almost hear your mom saying "OH, SHIT!" in the fire extinguisher one, hahahah.

and that's the face i make when i'm on the phone all day at the Y :)