Name: Meighen Coutts
Title: Specimen Management Technician (Phlebotomist)
Number of years working in health care: One year as of November 2023
I was born and raised in: Toronto/Peterborough
I decided to get into health care because as cliché as this sounds, I decided to get into health care to help people. The pandemic allowed me to do some soul searching and, after working in the hospitality industry for more than 20 years, I felt that a job in health care would satisfy my desire to truly help people. After I started to donate blood I became interested in phlebotomy, and less than a year later I enrolled myself in school to launch my new career journey.
My role here at UHN is a phlebotomist who collects blood samples from patients for testing, but some patients call me a vampire!
The thing I love the most about my job is… there are actually 2 things: I’m constantly learning something new (eg. rare tests and their functions, procedural updates, our electronic patient record system called EPIC). And the second: my colleagues! I am so lucky to work with such supportive, hard-working, and lovely people who put up with me and my big personality.
The most incredible thing I’ve seen at work is that I see a lot patients before a procedure or operation, but I almost never get to follow up with them. So, if we do cross paths again it’s really incredible to see their progress.
I sometimes worry about how we see a lot of patients on a daily basis, but some often enough that I can get to know them a little bit. It can be quite painful to see their condition worsen. Keeping that balance between the professional and personal without losing compassion or empathy is something that I do worry about – but I am still new and understand that it is part of the learning process.
I found joy recently from making people laugh! Apparently working in health care can be really tough (who knew?), so if there’s a moment that I can make someone having a rough day laugh or smile, it’s a “winner winner chicken dinner” kind of day.
My ideal day off is sleeping in and hanging out on my couch in my pajamas with a coffee in the morning, or a glass of wine in the evening.
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