We had a good day at work today thanks to some good news passed along by our manager. First, a little background.
The lab I work in is not in a hospital--it is a not-for-profit reference lab. We serve multiple hospitals in the area, as well as hospitals, clinics, and doctors' offices in Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, and Kentucky. It's a pretty big operation. This past summer, one of the large hospitals in our city decided they wanted to start up their own lab. After a few months, it seems that they have decided they don't have the expertise to do Microbiology well, so while their lab will continue to do other work, all of their Micro work will be sent back to us. They have also asked us to hire the employees they currently have working in Micro, so there's a possibility that we could get three more employees. This is a godsend, because due to the loss of their lab work, we've been on a hiring and wage freeze for quite a while now. Which brings me to the even better news: starting in 2008, our merit increases will resume. And there was much rejoicing in the laboratory!
We all felt fairly vindicated by this, too. I think they thought it would be easy to get a lab up and running, and some things are a little easier to start up. But Microbiology is different, and experience counts for a lot. When this was all happening, we counted up how many years of experience we have between all of us--it was well into the hundreds. I've got about twenty years myself, and some of my coworkers have been at this longer than I have. We were also told that our lab is using our department as a marketing tool: so few places do Microbiology anymore that they are telling potential clients about how many different types of testing we do in the department, things that not a lot of labs do. It was kind of nice to hear all this and know that what we do gets noticed by administration.
The real winner in all of this? The patients. They will once again get the excellent care that they got for so many years.