Scott Warner grew up in Western Maine. After a stint in the Air Force, he moved to the Maine coast. He has been a hospital laboratory generalist for more than 30 years and manager since 1998. As a freelance writer, his work has appeared in ADVANCE for Medical Laboratory Professionals and other publications. He now lives in northern Maine with his family.
Below, find excerpts from some of his most popular and most commented on posts throughout the years. Check out this and more blogs at www.advanceweb.com/MLPBlogs.
Somebody Else's Problem
Published Oct. 1, 2010
In So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish, Douglas Adams invents a clever camouflage device called an SEP, or Somebody Else's Problem field. Ford describes it as "something that we can't see, or don't see, or our brain doesn't let us see, because we think that it's somebody else's problem."
He jumps up and down, pointing in the opposite direction, knowing that he has to catch the SEP out of the corner of his eye.
This isn't limited to travel writers from Betelgeuse or fjord architects from Magrathea.
When a problem is encountered and we assume it's being taken care of, tell another person, or complain about it without doing anything, that's Somebody Else's Problem.
When QC is run early Wednesday morning, for example, level one glucose flags 41S.
This isn't a point of failure, but it does mean there have been four consecutive points outside one standard deviation, suggesting a shift or trend. It's impossible to know which without looking at the chart.
The tech thinks, "Oh, I'll leave a note. I don't have time to look at the chart. It's Somebody Else's Problem."
That day, no one has time to look at the chart. A tech calls in sick, the supervisor is in meetings most of the day, and the bench tech working in chemistry thinks, "QC isn't out--it's probably a range adjustment.
It'll be looked at when QC is reviewed by the supervisor. It's Somebody Else's Problem."
Thursday morning, level one glucose gives another 41S error.
The tech thinks, "Well, I left a note and someone has probably looked at it. This is being investigated, and I don't have to do anything about it. It's Somebody Else's Problem."
And so on, until glucose QC fails Friday before a holiday weekend. It's a calibration issue, there are no different lots to use for troubleshooting, the supervisor is off on a trip to the White Mountains, and you're the per diem filling in as a favor.
At least, now you know who "Somebody Else" is.
Hypothetically, of course.
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