Happy National Med Lab Week – A Q&A with Pow Lee Cheng, MLT

National Med Lab Week is  April 20 – April 24, LMP always takes part in National Medical Laboratory Week – the annual celebration of our medical laboratory professionals who play a critical role in every aspect of health care.

From Tuesday through Friday this week we’ll be profiling a few of the different types of laboratory professionals that make up the Laboratory Medicine Program team. You’ve already read about Jennifer from Blood Transfusion, and today we highlight Pow Lee Cheng from our core lab.

Read about Pow Lee’s role in the laboratory and the value she brings to patient care at UHN:

2015-04-14 13.37.12What is your position? Charge MLT in Biochemistry-core lab

What do you do here? My main duties and responsibilities are to ensure the reporting of timely and accurate results. My responsibilities include performing bench duties; facilitating the validation and implementation of new tests and instrumentation; supervising, organizing, assigning and distributing workload among technical staff; scheduling of staff at three sites, maintaining adequate inventories and supplies; documenting and reporting discrepancies/errors and taking appropriate corrective actions; to provide supervision and assistance in the training of Med Lab students and staff.  In addition, I submit EQA surveys, track and present the Biochemistry Quality Management report; maintain Paradigm documents and liaise with Manager, Biochemists, and MLT on issues relating to daily lab operations.

Why did you get into lab medicine? I like experiments and chemistry and the enthusiasm led to a career in lab medicine.

How did you get started at UHN? I was hired in 1981 and started working in the Toronto General Biochemistry Lab. The Lab was located on 3ES, as it is now. However, in the past 34 years, many changes have taken place. The Greiners, an engineering marvel (or nightmare, depending on whose perspectives!), which were then our main instruments had long been replaced with advanced instrumentation and automation. We also took a trip to Elm Street, and came home with a new name: Laboratory Medicine Program, UHN. 3ES is now the home of Corelab, with Biochemistry working together with teams from Specimen Management, Call Center, Hematology, Diagnostic/Development and Specialty Lab.

What is your favorite part of the job? My favorite part of the job is working at the bench: training, mentoring and sharing the successes and accomplishments of our staff and students. Laboratory Medicine is a journey of continuous discoveries. There is always this sense of excitement each time when the lab professionals embarking on this journey reach ad new milestone, which advances clinical tool to improve patient diagnosis, treatment and recovery.

What is the most challenging part of the job? It is a challenge to remain organized and to manage time: I often find myself being derailed from a planned schedule to address unexpected incidents and to meet individual requests.

What value would you say you add to patient care? The fact I have a responsibility to ensure the reporting of timely and accurate results.

National Med Lab Week is all about promoting the work of laboratory professionals – what do you wish people knew about the work that goes on inside the lab? I would like everyone to know that we are the teams of dedicated lab professionals working extremely hard behind every result used in patient diagnosis, treatment and recovery.

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