Welcome to Microbiology

After spending the past few months split between Chemistry and Hematology, I’m finally in a new department! Microbiology is the study of living organisms too small to be seen with the naked eye – hence the ‘micro.’ In Chemistry and Hematology, you’re predominately testing the levels of specific analytes in blood; these samples are collected … Read more

Name that red blood cell shape!

Poikilocytosis is a term used to describe variation in red blood cell (RBC) shape. Normal, mature RBCs are round and with a zone of central pallor—shown in their deeper pink/red edge and paler center. It is not uncommon to see a few abnormally-shaped RBCs amongst hundreds and hundreds of cells. Guided by lab protocol, technologists … Read more

Integrative Studies 2 and the Elements of Thought

During our long block practicum, we have one online course per term. The course we finished earlier this month, Integrative Studies 2 (Integrative Studies 1 was part of our Level 1 curriculum), focused on quality management systems, and the application of critical thinking and ethical practice in the profession. There were a few quizzes and … Read more

An introduction to the hematology ‘diff’ bench

Happy December, folks! I am now into the third department of my rotation—Hematology, which is the study of blood and blood disorders. There are three categories of blood cells: white blood cells (WBCs), red blood cells (RBCs) and platelets. All three arise from stem cells in the bone marrow, differentiating to perform diverse roles in … Read more

Making the most of your clinical placement

I’m just about halfway through my 38-week placement, so I thought it’d be an appropriate time to compile some thoughts on my experience(s) thus far. Ask questions. You’re not expected to know everything going into practicum – but you are expected to soak up plenty of knowledge while you’re there. Whether it is clarification on … Read more

Manual testing in the chemistry lab

Hey everyone! Today’s focus is the final two weeks of my Chemistry rotation, which was spent on the ‘manual’ bench. It was more of a miscellaneous bench, really, with testing ranging from urine drug screens, to blood gases, to hemoglobin A1cs. I suppose microscopic urinalysis and point-of-care testing (POCT) are more visual and/or hands-on than … Read more