Staying Alive for Dead Week

You all know dead week, right? It’s the week before finals.
For me, this is dead week and I am feeling it!

I am a little frustrated because I started this whole blog with the intention of sharing my lab logs to give people an idea of what it is like to work in a medical laboratory. I know this is a topic which needs addressing because when I went searching wordpress for other people writing about it… all that came up is my blog. Imagine searching wordpress for blogs about nursing and getting no results, it’s nuts.

Here’s the catch- I have the logs written and I want to share them but I am concerned about running afoul of HIPAA privacy laws, which are stricter than you might imagine. It is unlikely that a patient would stumble upon my blog and a set of results and recognize them as hers but in a small town it’s not impossible and it concerns me. [Specific] Age is also a protected identifier under HIPAA laws, though male/female is not. (Age and gender are the only identifiers I include in my lab logs because they are relevant to the clinical picture of the patient.)

So I’m working on it. I think I am going to talk to my lab manager and see what her take on it is. The TL:DR is stay tuned for lab logs, possibly.

The last two weeks I have spent dissecting the coagulation cascade and other topics of hemostasis. I have found that most of the diagrams of the coagulation cascade available on the internet are unintuitive and terrifying. When I show people the one included with my textbook, they throw their hands up and run out of my office before I can say another word. I fashioned a new one for myself and I like it better than those available on the net. Please feel free to use it and share it if it is helpful for you.

coagulation cascade

In case you are curious, the software to create charts like this (and the hematopoesis diagram featured in the last post) is called LucidChart. If you are a student or any sort of person who makes charts, likes charts, or wants to organize information in a chart-like fashion I highly recommend LucidChart. It is pretty intuitive, powerful, and has lots of cool fonts- which as a font snob I consider of the utmost importance.

Also neat is that it’s basically free. All of the features you really need to make a chart are free, anyway. There is a paid version which is what I am using because it is free for students. Anyone with an .edu email address can get it- though to be honest the only paid feature I am using is the google apps integration. Not exactly a make-or-break feature but it is useful.

I am now thinking I should write a post about all the cool software I use to do this college thing. Stay tuned- but not on the edge of your seat because I just used my entire free time allowance for this week to write this post!

The only other item of note is that I am now a member of ASCLS. It says so on my resume so it must be true. I am still working out exactly what sorts of benefits this confers to me.

Peace out!


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