Day 52: The Art of Knowing


Today, I had a meeting with one of my service line reps in the Laboratory. We scheduled an hour to go over a newsletter and some tactics to change the way that doctors order tests. Basically, because the standards of lab testing change so often, and certain tests not only have to be taken by the correct method (blood, urine, saliva, etc.) but also have to be stored/labeled correctly (different color vials actually contain different types of plastics that can alter the test results) there is a lot of room for error, which means a lot of error occurs. So learning about that was all interesting enough, but we didn’t even make it to this part of the meeting until an hour after we were scheduled to because we got caught up talking on the Lab tour.

I was with my manager as well, and we started out the meeting by taking a tour of the lab which includes several departments. There is the area that works does dissections, then microbiology, pharmacology, molecular biology and a few others that I don’t even remember. Once we got into the molecular area of the hospital – the department where my service line works – we not only got a tour, but a lot of in-depth information about what type of virus/bacteria are processed in her lab. Most of it was for STDs. There were separate machines for herpes, gonorrhea, and chlamydia, along with machines that test for the flu and some basic genetic mutations.

So naturally, we launched into a discussion about STDs, the growth and spread of each, and especially of herpes. I was surprised how much knowledge I have locked away about STDs. I’ve been lucky to never had to deal with anything like that in my life, but I apparently have done enough reading and research to know a fair amount about them. Even information about symptoms and spread that the molecular biologist didn’t know. I did learn that Symplex 1 and 2 can now be found on either area of the body where walking in I thought Symplex 1 was only found on the mouth and face. We were told that both Symplexes attach to the base of the spine; I corrected the doctor and told her that Symplex 1 actually attached behind the jaw. She said that wan’t the case. Me, being the egoist that I am, looked it up when I got home, and found that Symplex 1, does in fact, attach behind the cheek bone.

So I’m not trying to brag that I know anything about anything because I know I don’t. I just surprise myself every once in a while by pulling out some old files that I have stored away in my brain, brushing them off, and still being able to make out the handwriting. Even if it is something that most humans are equipped with, the ability to store and recall information is pretty outstanding.

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