Re: [Histonet] Use of cellular (mobile) phones in the Lab


I've been in a number of labs (close to 40!) and the policies were as different as each of the labs.  Of course safety and analyser interference are of primary import--you may have to have a different set of rules by section for this reason.  On break time people can do as they please as long as it doesn't interfere with the rest of the lab...but you want your people to be relaxed and comfortable at work.  When I was in charge I always asked them as a group what they thought was fair...and worked from that.  They most often came up with rules more strict than I would've!! (There will always be those who abuse the rules, but you know to reign them in in private and not punish the group for their choices.)
  As long as the lab phone is available to make and receive calls from kids and significant others, the school nurse, etc, we usually left personal phones in the lockers and only brought them into the lab when something important was going on (offer on a house, kid sick at home, family member in labor!), being sure to let everyone know a call was expected so no one got upset at the 'exception' to the rule.  They were always encouraged to give out the lab phone for important stuff and everyone cooperated. 
  As for MP3 players...this reduces the 'talk talk' between staff and lets more mistakes get through!! Can't overhear the pathologist asking a co-worker about something only YOU know the answer to when you have a headset on!!  It also reduced the 'social' aspect between coworkers. Plug in and tune out--never thought it a good idea. I have worked in labs where everyone wore a headset--it was mostly because they didn't want to be there and didn't like each other!!  I'd rather have the additional background noise of a communal radio (usually bought one GOOD one for each lab if they wanted one-I had to listen too!) and rotate days on who got to pick the station. As usual, this is my two cents...might not be the same for all. Rock on!
  Cheryl K. 

> Hi Guys.
> This is a slightly "off topic" query, but I need to draw up a policy on the
> use of cellular (mobile) phones in the Lab environment and would appreciate
> input from the Anatomical Pathology side.
> The main reasons for not using a phone are:
> 1. Danger of infection (primarily in the Micro/Virology Labs)
> 2. Interference with some electronic circuitry (primarily with the
> units in the Biochemistry, Immunology & Haematology labs)
> 3. Interruption of the work flow and annoying to others (all labs).
> Is there any reason/s that you can think off pertaining to the
> Histopathology/Cytopathology labs?
> Thanks in advance.
> Mike Kirby
> National Health Lab Service
> Johannesburg
> South Africa.
> P.S. I'll accept replies from any Australians, that is if you are speaking to
> us after our one run win in the Cricket! (smirk, smirk!).
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