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06 Mar 10 LabCorp Technicians are Not Properly Trained

LabCorp Managers and SupervisorsSusan sent me an email that I find interesting. It’s an experience that many current and former LabCorp patients have lived through. It goes to the root of the problem, that the supervisors and managers at LabCorp, in my opinion, are some of the worst in the industry. I can’t blame the technicians, phlebotomists and clerks for their actions when the managers and supervisors fail to properly train them or even call to their attention their wrongdoings.

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As many LabCorp employees have stated in this site “forget qualifications, if you kiss butt at LabCorp you move up.” In my personal case when I complained to Bob Blanco, the district manager, he insulted me and called me a liar. The director of patient services, Ana Garcia, also insulted me and said I was lying. This is how these bad managers cover their incompetence. If the employees are not doing their job appropriately, the managers are responsible. By supervisors closing their eyes to reality and making believe that everything is good, they believe that they did their job. The worst part is that the company executives believe them and instead of firing them, promote them. I predict that this fantasy land scenario will bring this company down, regardless of how much money they sucker out of Wall Street.

LabCorp Drawing BloodI am very bad with computers and didn’t see where to post my own story,  but I have quite a tale that you can file with whomever you wish.  I would title it “Lab Corp technicians are not fully trained to a competent level.”  I sent a similar story to Lab Corp a while back and called our insurance company,  BC/CS of NJ Directly this morning.

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On January 22, 2010,  I had a Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) done at a Lab Corp.  The technician told me I was scheduled to have a one hour GTT and directed me to drink the sugar water.  Startled, I asked if they didn’t need to take a base line blood evaluation ahead.  He said no, so I drank it.  Fifteen minutes later a worker came rushing into the waiting room and said I needed to take a base line test IMMEDIATELY.  The same now nervous tech took 3 tries getting my blood.  Admitting I should have had the test prior to drinking,  he also told me that I had only drunk 2/3 the amount of glucose required for that test,  therefore guaranteeing me false results.

LabCorp Patient and StressFor the next 45 minutes  I shivered on the table unable to get warm (shock?).  I’ve had cancer and mono and so don’t take such tests lightly.  During that time  I heard my tech giving instructions  on “how to do it” to yet another tech that was administering another GTT in a different room!

For the final blood drawing my tech tied the rubber tubing so tight around my arm that I yelled.  He loosened it,  but I had fairly continuous tingling in my hand for the next 5 or 6 days, and still do on occasion weeks later.  Yet a new symptom and worst,  when I went to get off the table  I couldn’t walk.  More than 5 weeks later I still have trouble walking.  I pointed out to the insurance company this morning that they have spent an exorbitant amount on me for this mistaken test.  I have been to emergency and specialists’ rooms fairly continuously since then.  Indeed,  I spent the night before last in the hospital under observation;  the reason being that I could not stand at all.

I told our insurance company I was making a complaint about Lab Corp and “suggested” that they do one of two things.  Either they should not have Lab Corps as their only covered lab or that they pressure the company to adequately train their technicians before releasing them to commit mayhem.  Weeks ago  I had written to Lab Corp that I didn’t feel that the technicians are the responsible parties when I see TWO at such a loss.  I blame the company!

I was motivated to call this morning since I need yet another blood test tomorrow to find out why my legs keep collapsing.  I dread another visit to Lab Corp!

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Reader's Comments

  1. |

    I am a regular patient at a site and the girl at this site is a nice little girl. she works by herself doing 20-50 patients a day by herself. the regulars love her and she loves her regulars, but the people that just come in once in a while and the drug screens are horrendous to her I have seen them throw pens, insurance, credit cards and driver licenses @ her I even seen a guy mad @ the world throw the clipboard @ her. she had a guy try to get into her office @ closing and on more than one occasion heard her take some of the most apalling verbal abuse.
    i have seen patients break her into tears and management does nothing but criticize her and her performance. She admits she can be snippy but when she gets stearn and defends herself to the ubruly jerks that come into her office she gets complained on. I would really hate to see her quit but I wouldn’t blame her because me and some of the other regulars can see that the stress is really affecting her in all the wrong ways. she needs help in her office and still corporate does nothing. absolutely pathetic.
    she gets alot of people who don’t read or write english and you try doing a drug screen on a patientwho can’t even read or write their name in english. i don’t know how she does it. but someone needs to step in and fix this.

  2. |

    Well I work for LabCorp for 7 years, I have been assualted, spat apond, even threaten. At late I was fired for Standing up for my self. against a patient.

  3. |

    Sounds like the typical mistake techs make when reading GTT test numbers. When techs are entering tests into the computer they can look up more info on it and it would have told them how long your GTT was for. Instead this tech ASSUMED it was a one hour test…this is why I keep cheat sheets handy for everyone especially for the GTT test numbers.

  4. |

    Just for a point of clarity, how about referring to the individuals involved in the performance of taking the blood as “phlebotomists” vs technicians? WHY one might ask? Because technician or technologist is the terminology that should be utilized for those individuals who analyze the blood, the folks who by federal guidelines must have an educational background! BTW: NO WAY should your GTT have been performed you were NOT a glucose challenge, after a HUGE apology and profuse bowing and scraping, the phlebotomist should have rescheduled you to the next available day convenient to YOU!

  5. |

    Thank you dalmation! I’m a technologist currently working for Labcorp. I’m reading all of these horror stories on this website, and I’m appalled by many of them. I’ll admit some of them are hard to believe. My facility in NY state has some incredible individuals with many years of experience. We do have some characters, yes, as any place has. We keep a careful eye on these people as phlebotomy training cannot possibly prepare you for the real world.
    In this situation I’m wondering why the phlebotomist did not simply call a tech to clarify what was required of them. If you’re new to the job a gtt can be confusing. I also agree you should NOT have been stuck like that, nor should a tourniquet have been tightened around your arm in that manner. I am guessing that panic set in and they were trying to get your baseline as quickly as possible. Completely unacceptable! I will not “shoulda, coulda, woulda”. Allow me to appologize for my colleague(s) not living up to their expectations. Hopefully you can find a phlebotomist you can trust. I wish you well!

  6. |

    The GTT is a DIAGNOSTIC test. it tells you IF you have diabetes or not. You need to take this test ONLY ONCE in your lietfime.In the GTT, the absolute readings are NOT important, so having readings that are slightly elevated is not the question. What IS important is the TREND these reading show. Using the readings, the doctor can develop a graph showing how well the patients body responds to a sudden intake of glucose. In a NORMAL person, the trend is DOWNWARDS an initial spike of 300 to 400 or more, then a trend down to less than 180 after two hours.in a diabetic, the trend is more-or-less constant an initial spike of 300 400 or more, but a very slow drop, with a reading more than 250 after two hours.The A1C is a MAINTENANCE test. It tells you how effective your treatment is. a Diabetic needs to take this test once every 90 days for the rest of their life, and adjust their treatment plan accordingly.The A1C is also VERY accurate as a diagnostic tool. Wen the A1C is high (more than 7) there is little question that the patient IS diabetic. This can be CONFIRMED using the GTT, but many doctors skip that long and painful test, and begin diabetic treatment if the A1C level is more than 6. A NORMAL person needs to take the A1C test once a years for the rest of their life. the A1C test can detect a tendency for the blood sugars to be elevated, thus indicates that diabetes is occurring, but can be treated before the damage is felt.



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