Jody Constantine, National Medical Laboratory Week
“Lab assistants play a vital role in the healthcare system. We make a difference behind the scenes."
- Jody Constantine, Medical Laboratory Assistant, Saint John Regional Hospital
Tell us about the role you play in healthcare and your connection with patients.
Lab assistants play a vital role in the healthcare system. Most people don’t realize it's lab assistants taking your blood when you visit one of the blood clinics in Saint John and surrounding areas. We currently have 58 Medical Laboratory Assistants (MLAs) that work throughout the lab and in our blood clinics. We start the initial steps with every specimen that arrives. Whether it’s collecting blood, matching specimens, or preparing it for the next step in the process. We operate lab equipment and ensure specimens are labeled correctly. It is a very detail oriented job, which includes analytical skills and critical thinking with little room for error. We make a difference behind the scenes.
Along the way, I’ve met many patients that have made an impact on my own personal life and I am very grateful for that. I can think of one specific lady that I will never forget. She became like a member of the extended family; I knew many of her stories and she knew many of mine. Working with patients like her was one of my favorite parts of the job.
How does your work impact patients and the care they receive?
I started in Cytopathology in November 2021. It’s become one of my favorite places to work. We process Pap tests and non-gynecological irreplaceable specimens daily. We prepare slides, giving it a unique number, and stain them manually for our cytotechnologists to read. We are also a part of the Endobronchial Ultrasound team (EBUS). We work closely with Cytotec's, nurses, and two thoracic surgeons as they collect an on-the-spot fine needle aspiration from a patient's chest, for rapid on-site evaluation. We are there to stain and coverslip the sample. This procedure is less invasive for the patient and a huge benefit to the healthcare system and possibly prevents further procedures.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Happy lab week to my fellow colleagues! You should all be so proud of yourselves.
Read more of our Foundation Spotlights- Shining a light on the Saint John Regional Hospital's stories, its staff, volunteers and donors.