Good Help is Hard to Find

Our supervisor has been searching for good techs for months. She wants someone who will work midnight shift, work fast, understand everything they are taught right away, not call off, not complain, and not quit when they are pressured to do more. She has hired, fired, and lost (they quit) at lease seven people in the last year. Isn’t that like working at a fast food joint? Don’t those places go through people the same way?

We lost several techs because of the high demands from management coupled with a change of hours and movement of personnel that created personality conflicts. The techs who quit had been working in their areas for decades and slowly became accustomed to the working conditions. New employees aren’t used to what we go through. They stare at the way we work with stunned silence. Their confusion is sad to see for their sake and funny as hell considering how blind we have become.

And you know what? There is nothing like a fresh perspective to wake a person up to their surroundings. It makes a tech want to leave. Several have – three. I didn’t get details but each of them told me mis-management was the main reason they were going.

It’s too bad for the patients. This high turnover means the quality of lab work isn’t as good as it used to be.

Not only have the most capable people left but they were the most capable to train new people as well. Perhaps that is why the new people fail? And perhaps this is part of the reason the seasoned techs left. Who would want to train again and again when the only reward for their effort is another new employee quitting or being fired?

Labs are a stressful, difficult place to work but they don’t have to be mad houses. They need to change and adapt to new tests and deadlines. The techs can take up the slack for short periods of time. After that, backs break. Techs quit and the patients suffer.

I guess what I’m saying is, when I look for my next job, which may be soon, I’ll watch to see how many times the lab advertises for a new tech. Anything more than once every few years and I won’t go there to work. I won’t go there as a patient either.


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