Friday, May 23, 2008

It's Friday!

As a student, I always look forward to every Fridays for obvious reason, provided there’s no co-curriculum activity on the next morning. There was once I purposely registered my tuition classes within Monday to Thursday, so that I was free on Friday and during the following weekends!

I have just started my industrial training in Bukit Mertajam Hospital as mentioned earlier. Since Monday was Wesak Day, I only “worked” for four days in the lab I was sent to – the clinical laboratory.

In general, the laboratories in this hospital carry out the basic screening tests, while for other more advanced tests, the samples are sent to either Penang General Hospital or Seberang Jaya Hospital (the first and second largest hospitals in Penang state, respectively, followed by BM Hospital) :

(a) Urine FEME (Full Examination, Microscopic Examination) as in urine pH, sugar and protein levels using conventional test strips, and microscopic observation for the presence of crystals, microorganisms, blood, pus, and epithelial cells. Today we observed a patient’s urine containing loads of crystals. It’s sad to know that yet it really amazed me – our body can produce the kind of crystals which have different facets like diamonds (at pathological state, of course)!

(b) Blood analysis
- Full Blood Count is now carried out by machines. Of course, we’re not going to count the red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets manually, not to mention there are different types of white blood cells present. Even by brief assumption it is also time consuming. It’s like the busiest machine in the whole lab – very often there are blood samples arrived in our lab requested for this test because it provides a general idea on the health condition of an individual. Using machine is definitely more convenient. We only need to key in the patients’ identification data then the machine will run the test and record the results. It is easier for us to trace back the results, too. Sometimes the doctors can’t wait for nurses to send back the report for patients’ condition might be critical so they’ll just call up the lab and ask for results.

- Prothrombin Time and Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time are for detecting coagulation disorders. If the blood doesn’t clot within the expected time frame then it’s considered as abnormal.

- Staining of thin blood smear for detection of malaria cases. It’s kinda rare but we do have a few slides sample of Plasmodium sp. kept by the laboratory personnel. Observing microscopic slides are definitely a fun thing!

- Full Blood Picture: I’m suppose to learn this starting next week but I somehow manage to have a peek at the lab next door and learn the secret methods to produce an all-time 100% smooth thin blood smear and high quality staining result from a very experienced MLT. I’m very glad that he loves to share his knowledge. He spent time to explain to me and patiently watched me do the slides myself. Not only that, he’s also very experienced in reading the morphology (shape and size) of red blood cells under the microscope.

- Retic cell count: The abnormally high number of immature (young) red blood cells may indicate excessive blood loss for whatever reason, or other haematology diseases.

(c) Stool
- FEME: we seldom carry out this examination due to few samples are sent here. Today we did receive one, but there’s nothing abnormal observed.

- Feces Occult Blood: detection for presence on blood in feces. It may indicate gastrointestinal hemorrhage or other related pathology.

- Reducing sugear: The presence of reducing sugar in a baby’s stool may indicate lactose intolerance. Usually when the baby is having diarrhea once the mother starts breastfeeding the baby then we’ll suspect this. Actually I’m quite new to this, now still in the process of reading up on this matter.

(d) Sterility Test using Attest culture. I’m still checking out this test so I’ll keep the updates for future posts.

These are the test carried out by the lab I was in for the past four weekdays. Next week I’ll be attending TB and Haematology Lab, followed by Biochemistry Lab and Blood Bank, then if I’m lucky enough to be accepted by Seberang Jaya Hospital, I’ll be spending my last two weeks there to learn Histopathology (human tissue slides processing and reading) and Microbiology techniques there. My supervisor is kind enough to do the arrangement for me.

Overall, my industrial training thus far has been fruitful for I’m learning a lot from the people there and we get along pretty well, too. Thank God =)

Edited: Actually I'm not suppose to touch any specimen before the lab perosnels examine them. Hence I'm only allowed to repeat the procedures using the remaining samples after their tests, if there's any. Most of the time, urine will be abundant, but not once for blood samples. So I only watch them process it using machines. Yet it is still fine, for I am allowed to read the results and the stained slides =)


Teddy said...

u learnt so many diagnostic test wor.. hehehe...
im still reading all the stemcell journals..

hehehehe.. read til eye sore liao.. hahahaha

cher linn said...

haha, actually most of the test we only know the theory, not really by practical, you see. So the clear purpose of this industrial training is to learn more by practical tests =)

All the best for your reading too! if you need to check your eyes, come to BM hosp la, hee hee!

Teddy said...


dai kat lei si...

touch wood!!

my eyes r in good condition, no nid check check!!