Sunday, July 22, 2007

The lab




My work here in Kenya involves very little clinical work. I suppose "Public Health" is the best way to clasify it. Maybe "Program Development" is a good subcategory, or "Monitoring and Evaluation,' perhaps? I don't exactly know. Unfortunately medical education in the United States short-changes public health, in my opinion, so I'm kind-of trying to figure out this job as I go.

My job responsibilities include lab supervision. How do you supervise a lab? Hummmmm...... nonetheless, I've capitalized on my ignorance by asking the lab techs to teach me about what they do. How fun! Catherine (pic above) is my lab mentor. She has taught me how to do gram stains, and AFB stains for TB, and blood smears, and malaria smears, and CD4 counts, etc etc. Perhaps I should have gone into hematology, or even pathology! I managed to snap the weird looking pic above through the microscope. It shows a sliver of my healthy-looking red blood cells. No neutrophils are visible, but let me assure you that they all have lovely segmented nuclei.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is it too late to do pathology
or haematology ?

Truedre

nomad said...

no. but who would want to do that? I was kidding, of course.

Oli said...

From some kind of encyclopedia: "Neutrophils are produced in huge numbers in response to infection, trauma, infarction (cell death due to lack of blood supply), emotional distress or other stimuli." Dear Nell, I´ll hope that it's the "other stimuli" that explains your neutrophils... or the lack of internet connection can be counted as "emotional distress"?
cheers!
Olivier (finally in BCN)

nomad said...

the emotional distress might be the other expats here who don't like going out for beers....

Jenny Davidson said...

Hey there! Drop me an e-mail if you really do want some New Yorkers or New York Review of Books--I don't want to send them if someone else already is, but would be happy to put some stuff in the mail to you, though I fear it will be ancient by the time it reaches--perhaps a book or two wld be more suitable...

Ro said...

Nell,
don't forget that at p&s you were the histo queen!
Miss you,
Ro