First Morning Specimen

The first morning urine is the ideal screening specimen because it is more concentrated than the random specimen.

Furthermore, the first morning urine is also important for preventing false-negative pregnancy tests and for evaluating orthostatic proteinuria.

How to collect it? The patient is instructed to immediately collect the specimen upon arising and deliver it to laboratory within one hour.

Related Topic: Medical Technology (Calcium Oxalate in Urine)

Assessing Consciousness

Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) is used to assess the level of consciousness of the patient after head injury.

Best motor response (upper extremity)
6 Obeys command
5 Localizes pain
4 Withdraws from stimulus
3 Abnormal flexing
2 Extensor response
1 None

Best verbal response
5 Oriented (makes sentences)
4 Confused speech (words)
3 Gibberish (vocal sounds)
2 Incomprehensible sounds
1 None

Eye Opening4 Spontaneous
3 To speech
2 To pain
1 None

The scale is now used by EMS or Emergency Medical Services.

Related Topic: Health (Cranial Nerves)

Calcium Oxalate in Urine

medical technology, calcium oxalate crystals, clinical microscopy Calcium oxalate is one of my favorite crystals in urine because they can be recognized easily. Further, the shape resembles an envelope but dumbbell and oval forms may also occur.

Calcium oxalate crystal is one of the normal crystals that can be found in acidic urine.

I just can't forget calcium oxalate… it is one of the reasons why I passed the internship. How? It's a secret I can never tell.

Related topic: Medical Technology (Nursing VS Medical Technology)

13's Huntington

Huntington's disease, human diseases []
If you're a big fan of House M.D., the TV show, you'd know Thirteen, who's suffering from Huntington's disease or Huntington Chorea. Thirteen, a bisexual, is portrayed by Olivia Wilde.

Huntington's disease is a genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle rigidity and dementia accompanied by chorea (abnormal involuntary movement disorder) and often seizure.

The onset of the disease is by age 40 and (may be) in childhood.

And death occurs in 5 to 15 years.

Related topic: Human Diseases (Parkinson's disease)

Nursing VS Medical Technology

nursing []

There were at least 90,000 examinees all over the Philippines who took the nursing licensure examination last weekend compared to only 1,329 examinees who took the medical technology licensure examination last September 2008.

Out of that 90,000, I am pretty sure a big percentage of examinees are already licensed medical technologists.

The demand of nurses abroad lured professionals to study nursing. Even medical doctors ceased practicing their profession to be nurses abroad…to earn greener pastures.

But the question is--"are we producing highly competent nursing professionals?"

Related topic: Medical Technology (Where Art Thou)

Parkinson Twitch

muhammad ali, michael fox, parkinson disease, neurologic disorder []
Millions of people, including Michael J. Fox and Cassius Clay (a.k.a, Muhammad Ali) are suffering from Parkinson's disease.

Parkinson's disease is a chronic, progressive neurologic disorder causing muscle tremor and rigidity. Until now, the exact cause is still unknown.

In this disease, the neurologic symptoms are caused by the deterioration and dopamine depletion in the brain. Furthermore, the disease is common in men.

During the physical examination, patients are "usually noted to have an immobile, mask-like face with infrequent blinking and reduced automatic movements such as swinging the arms while walking."

I just remembered Michael J. Fox in his 1985 movie, "Back to the Future." And he was diagnosed to have Parkinson's disease in 1991.

Related Topic: Health (Memorizing Cranial Nerves)
Reference: Human Diseases

Memorizing the Cranial Nerves

Oh, Oh, Oh, To Touch And Feel A Great Victory is Such Happiness. Hmm, wondering what I meant? This was how I memorized the 12 Cranial Nerves, during my college years. I used mnemonics. We were taught that way to facilitate the memorization process.

Oh = CN I Olfactory
Oh= CN II Optic
Oh = CN III Oculomotor
To= CN IV Trochlear
Touch = CN V Trigeminal
And = CN VI Abducens
Feel = CN VII Facial
A = CN VIII Auditory
Great = CN IX Glossopharyngeal
Victory = CN X Vagus
Such = CN XI Spinal Accessory
Happiness = CN XII Hypoglossal

Fortunately, until now, I can still remember them with the help of mnemonics.

Related Topic: Health (Skin Safety Campaign)

Where Art Thou Medical Technologists

I went to my hometown the other day to meet up with someone. And I have learned that most hospitals and clinics there are in need of medical technologists. There is no doubt about that because most registered medical technologists now are either working abroad or studying nursing.

It's so sad that the institution allowed this to happen. Hospitals cannot, somehow, operate without medical technologists. But I cannot blame them for leaving the country.

I just hope that our government would seriously look into this situation and would take appropriate action. If not, sooner or later, our country would significantly experience a scarcity of medical technologists.
Related Topic: Medical Technologist

Skin Safety Campaign

I have seen a lot of skin care clinics promising to make someone's skin softer and smoother at a lower price. But are they safe? Do they have certified professionals to perform certain procedure? I doubt it.

The Philippine Dermatological Society (PDS) came up with the Skin Safety Campaign with the goal of informing or educating individuals on how to choose a dermatologist.

A real dermatologist is a licensed medical doctor who underwent training for 3 years in a hospital or an institution that is approved by the PDS and passed the board examinations of the PDS.

A PDS Skin Safety Campaign logo should appear in one's skin care clinic and the physician's/dermatologist's prescription pad should show that he or she is a Fellow (FPDS), Diplomate (DPDS), PDS Associate or Affiliate.

For further information, visit PDS:

Tropical Disease Foundation

The Tropical Disease Foundation, a "non-stock, non-profit Scientific Charitable institution," is in need of a medical technologist with one year working experience in the related field.

Tropical Disease Foundation, Inc is located at 2nd floor, 136 APMC building, Amorsolo corner Gamboa and Adelantado Sts., Legaspi Village, Makati City. Tel. No.: 840-0714/817-0489/812-9183.

And by the way, they welcome fresh graduates or entry level applicants.

Related Topic: Medical Technologist

Phlebotomy - Who Performs It?

In the Philippines, one of the jobs of a medical technologist is to perform phlebotomy. It is an art that involves drawing of blood from the patient for laboratory examination and other procedures. In other countries, like the US and the UK, nurses are the ones who commonly perform such task.
  • However, you do not have to be a nurse, a radiology technician, or a medical technologist to become a phlebotomist. As long as you have graduated from high school or finished college, you can take a vocational course to learn the art of phlebotomy.
  • As mentioned earlier, phlebotomy is an art. Because of that, you need to master it through experience. This means that you have to perform it a hundred of times before you can be an expert in it. In the Philippines and other countries, medical technologists or laboratory scientists are experts in this field because they draw blood from several patients each day.
If you are not a graduate of nursing, medical technology or other medical courses, you may need to undergo training for six to twelve months to learn the art. A refresher course is also needed to keep your skills current. This will also help you know more about phlebotomy.
  • If you become a phlebotomist, you can earn an average of $18,700. Although it is not that high, you will be considered as an essential member of a medical team. To improve your salary, you need to improve your skills by undergoing training.
  • Keep in mind that doctors and nurses were trained as a phlebotomist before they can practice their profession.
  • Becoming a phlebotomist is an ideal way for you to try whether or not a medical profession is the right one for you. You can find phlebotomy jobs in various hospitals, clinics and health offices.
In phlebotomy, it is essential to use the right size tube that goes with a particular needle. For instance, if you are using a 10-ml tube, you need smaller gauge needle to avoid blowing out the vein.
It is a term used by the phlebotomy department in finding the vein in order to draw blood. You must avoid it as it could be very painful for patients while the needle is moving the patient’s body.
If you miss the vein, you must try again by withdrawing the needle and replacing with a new one. Re-sticking with the same needle can lead to infection.
Withdrawing blood can be painful and cause patients to be agitated. It is, therefore, your responsibility to make them calm by approaching them in a self-assured attitude. Do not rush just to show them that you are good at it. You must always take your time before drawing blood to avoid missing and damaging the vein and spending more time in this procedure.
Clinics and hospitals are hiring phlebotomists. Careers in phlebotomy are usually considered as the first step in getting a job in radiology, nursing and other medical areas.

  • Medical technologist is a healthcare professional who performs laboratory examination, experiments and analyses of body fluids such blood, urine, sputum, stool, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), peritoneal fluid, pericardial fluid, synovial and other specimens in order to aid the physician in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease.
  • Medical doctors almost always rely on laboratory results before making a diagnosis. Unfortunately, some are oblivious of the relevance of a medical technologist in patient's health care.

Janey Danes started her career as a part-time article writer, editor and proofreader in 2008. She specializes in topics related to health, travel, technology, family, and spiritual life. Janey is a licensed medical technologist and she holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Information Technology.      

About Medical Technology Avenue

This is my new blog. Medical Technology Avenue is a blog about medical technology as a branch of laboratory medicine. This will serve as my online notebook for me to write down stuff about this field. I may be able to post job opportunities for medical technologists.

I hope you will enjoy your stay here.

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