Celebrate Medical Laboratory Professionals Week

April 19, 2024

April 14-20, 2024

Lab Week 2024 Logo
Source: The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science
ASM is a supporter of Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (MLPW). MLPW provides the profession with a unique opportunity to increase public understanding of, and appreciation for, clinical laboratory personnel. There are approximately 300,000 practitioners of clinical laboratory science in the U.S. Since the development of this career group in the 1920s, the clinical laboratory science professional has played an increasingly vital role in the diagnosis and prevention of disease. Today, the medical laboratorian is a key member of a health care team.

To help celebrate and build awareness about the profession, here are some resources:

Interested in learning more about what clinical microbiologists do? Take a tour of an automated lab, courtesy of the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Disclaimer: ASM does not endorse any products mentioned or shown in this video.

As team members of one of the largest industries in the U.S., the dedicated efforts of laboratory professionals often go unnoticed by the general public, as well as by the very institutions employing their services. With the public now demanding the assurance of quality health care and professional accountability, organizations representing practitioners of this critical science have a responsibility to ensure that the public is well informed about clinical laboratory competency.

ASM's Lab Week 2024 Activities

Daily Facts
During Lab Week, check out @ASMicrobiology or ASM's Facebook page for daily facts about microbiology!

Daily "Find the Hazard" Challenges!
During Lab Week, check out @ASMicrobiology for a new "find the hazard" picture every day!

April 14, 2024
It's time for our first #LabWeek "Find the Hazard" challenge! Can you spot the lab hazard in this picture? 
Photo of lab desk with trash bins


April 14, 2024, Spot the Hazard Answer
Photo of lab desk with trash bins

The answer to today’s find the hazard picture is…. An overflowing waste bin! 
Overstuffed biohazard waste bins prevent proper closing. OSHA standards for disposal of blood and potentially infectious materials state, “To protect employees during the containment, storage and transport of regulated waste—waste must be placed in containers that are: (i) closeable, (ii) constructed to contain all content and prevent leakage of fluids during handling, storage, transport or shipping, (iii) closed prior to removal to prevent spillage or protrusion of contents during handling, storage, transport or shipping.”

April 15, 2024
Ninety-nine problems, but is your lab 1? Can you spot the lab hazard in today's picture?
Bench in the lab


April 15, 2024, Spot the Hazard Answer
Bench in the lab

The answer is…materials stored on top of a centrifuge! 

Centrifuges operate at high speed and have the potential to injure users if not operated properly. Placing items on top of an operating centrifuge may lead to imbalance. Additionally, the vibrations caused while a centrifuge is operating have the potential to knock the binders off the centrifuge and create additional spill hazards with the other reagents stored on the benchtop. 

April 16, 2024
Another day, another hazard. Can you spot the lab hazard in this picture? 
Eye wash station in the lab


April 16, 2024, Spot the Hazard Answer
Eye wash station in the lab

The answer is…electronics stored next to the eyewash station with no dust cover! 
Electrical equipment should not be kept near eyewashes and emergency showers. Dust covers should be in place, they prevent dust and debris from falling inside the eyewash heads and becoming projectiles when the unit is turned on.

April 17, 2024
Show me the problem! Can you spot the lab hazards in this picture? 
Microbiologist looking in microscope


April 17, 2024, Spot the Hazard Answer
Microbiologist looking in microscope

The answer is… no personal protective equipment (PPE), missing shoe and coffee in the lab! PPE helps protect the user’s body from injury from potential exposure to biological hazards and airborne particulate matter and must be worn in the laboratory. PPE includes gloves, coats, gowns, shoe covers, closed-toe laboratory footwear, face shields, safety glasses or goggles. 

Also, eating, drinking, smoking, handling contact lenses, applying cosmetics and storing food for human consumption are not permitted in laboratory areas. Food is stored outside the laboratory area.

April 18, 2024
Houston... We have a problem. Can you spot the lab hazards in this picture? 
Biosafety cabinet in lab


April 18, 2024, Spot the Hazard Answer
Biosafety cabinet in lab

The answer is…materials on the ground! There is a glove and a disposable plastic loop on the floor. This does not follow lab safety compliance. The blue loop could potentially be used and contaminated, which could also pose a biohazard/biosafety hazard!

April 19, 2024
The first step to fixing a problem is identifying it. Can you spot the lab hazard in today's picture? 
sharp container box on lab bench


April 19, 2024, Spot the Hazard Answer
sharp container box on lab bench

The answer is…the sharps container! The sharps container box is full, and even a pipette is sticking out, whereas the container must be locked up for disposal when it's 3/4 full. This poses a safety risk. 

April 20, 2024
So many problems, so little time. Can you spot the lab hazards in this picture? 
Eye wash station in the lab


April 20, 2024, Spot the Hazard Answer
Eye wash station in the lab

The answer is…a cart stored in front of the eye wash station and no dust covers! The pathway to the eyewash station should be clear of obstructions (6-inch clearance around an eyewash). Dust covers should be in place, they prevent dust and debris from falling inside the eyewash heads and becoming projectiles when the unit is turned on. Thanks for playing spot the hazards with us this week!

Case Study of the Day
April 14, 2024 Case Study Spotlight
Test your knowledge in the laboratory! Can you guess the answer to today’s case study spotlight? 
A Nodule from the West (posted Feb. 26, 2024).

April 15, 2024 Case Study Spotlight
Time to test your knowledge with a new case! Can you guess the answer to today’s case study spotlight? 
To Be Skin Flora or Not To Be, That Is the Question (posted March 17, 2023).

April 16, 2024 Case Study Spotlight
How well do you know your blood cultures? Can you guess the answer to today’s case study spotlight? 
A Baffling Blood Culture (posted Aug. 19, 2023).

April 17, 2024 Case Study Spotlight
A traveler returned from Vietnam with fever, confusion and dizziness. Can you guess the answer to today’s case study spotlight? 
Pyogenic Liver Abscess in a Returning Traveler (posted March 3, 2023).

April 18, 2024 Case Study Spotlight
Time for a Throwback Thursday case study! Can you guess the answer to today’s case study spotlight? 
A Pain in the Neck with Fusobacterium necrophorum (posted Nov. 28, 2018).

April 19, 2024 Case Study Spotlight
Two months after heart transplant this patient is back in the emergency room. Can you guess the answer to today’s case study spotlight? 
Up Against a Sternal Wall (posted Feb. 1, 2024).

April 20, 2024 Case Study Spotlight
Time for a brand new case study! Can you guess the diagnosis? 
A Resistant Foe in Medicine and Agriculture

Clinical Microbiology Crossword
Crossword Puzzle
Source: Wilson Vientos, M.S., MT(ASCP)SM



Across
4. Dimorphic fungi are named because of their ability to invade the cytoplasm of these histiocyte-like cells.
8. Proteus mirabilis has a tendency to do this on blood agar.
9. Neisseria gonorrhoeae is positive for this CTA sugar.
10. Vibrio grows best in artificial media containing salt and is thus considered...
12. This name is given to a piece of DNA or RNA that is the source and/or product of application.
14. This enteric virus is highly contagious and is an important cause of outbreaks in hospitals, cruise ships, etc.
15. A fly that is the vector of African Trypanosomiasis.
17. A powerful biological neurotoxin is produced by this species of Clostridium.
19. A vaccine against this Neisseria spp. is recommended/required in college students.
21. Pseudomembranous colitis is a serious disease that can result from an infection with this Clostridium spp.
24. This blue pigment is produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
26. This genus is one of the main causes of gastrointestinal disease and is found in poultry.
27. The Ebola virus is a member of this family.
28. This Bordetella spp. is the causative agent of whopping cough.
29. Waterhouse Friderichsen syndrome is many times caused by fulminant...
30. This genus is closely related to the Plasmodium and is transmitted by ticks instead of mosquitoes.

Down
1. This Entamoeba spp. can cause severe extraintestinal disease involving the liver, brain and other organs.
2. This antibiotic is used to treat diarrhea caused by Clostridium difficile.
3. This Clostridium spp. produces a characteristic double zone of hemolysis on Brucella agar.
5. A chest x-ray in pulmonary anthrax may reveal an enlarged...
6. A bacterial disease that typically affects cattle and buffalo causing undulant fever in humans.
7. A large clearing surrounding Cryptococcus cells in a India ink prep is due to the presence of a thick...
11. Naladixic acid and this antibiotic are in the selective media CNA.
13. The aminoglycosides are known for causing hearing loss or...
16. The last and most dangerous stage of sepsis is called septic...
18. The mecA gene imparts, in Staphylococcus aureus, resistance to this antibiotic.
20. This Pasteurella spp. is commonly found in the mouths of dogs and cats.
21. This Haemophilus spp. is the cause of the disease “chancroid.”
22. This Mycobacterium spp. has never been successfully grown in artificial media.
23. The Treponema pallidum spirochete is the cause of this disease.
25. The Raduvid bug is the vector of this Trypanosoma spp. that causes chagas disease.
26. CRE are Enterobacterales that are resistant to this family of antibiotics.

Crossword created by Wilson Vientos, M.S., MT(ASCP)SM, Connecticut VA Healthcare System & Quinnipiac University.

Crossword Puzzle Answers
Across
4. Histoplasma.
8. Swarm.
9. Glucose.
10. Halophilic.
12. Amplicon.
14. Noro.
15. Tsetse.
17. Botulinum.
19. Meningitidis.
21. Difficile.
24. Pyocyanin.
26. Campylobacter.
27. Filoviridae.
28. Pertussis.
29. Meningococcemia.
30. Babesia.
 
Down
1. Histolytica.
2. Fidaxomicin.
3. Perfringens.
5. Mediastinum.
6. Brucellosis.
7. Capsule.
11. Colistin.
13. Ototoxicity.
16. Shock.
18. Methicillin.
20. Multocida.
21. Ducreyi.
22. Leprae.
23. Syphillis.
25. Cruzi.
26. Carbapenem.

CPEP Application Q&A Session

Tuesday, April 16 at 1 p.m. ET—CPEP Program Application Tips

Please join us for the CPEP Lab Week Coffee Chat Q&A. Learn more about the CPEP program and get tips on how to improve your application. The Q&A will be recorded.

Panel:

  • Jane Hata, Ph.D., D(ABMM), Mayo Clinic, CPEP Chair.
  • Kyle Rodino, Ph.D., D(ABMM), University of Pennsylvania, CPEP Program Director.
  • John Schmitz, Ph.D., D(ABMLI), UNC Immunology, CPEP Program Director.