Things To Do On Your Days Off: Atlanta

You’ve landed a contract anatomic or clinical pathology position in the Atlanta area, but now what? What will you do with your time off? Use this guide to help you explore the area, with a bonus link to help you eat like a local.

Things To Do On Your Day Off: Atlanta

Karen DiDonato ⋅ August 12, 2021

You’ve signed the contracts, completed your pre-employment paperwork, and have your travel plans in hand. You’re off on an adventure as a laboratory contractor, but how will you turn your several-month-long assignment into an unforgettable experience? Check out these local places and start collecting memories!

Black and white skyline drawing of Atlanta

Located in downtown Atlanta, this aquarium is housed in a 600,000 square foot facility that will soon grow more than 45,000 square feet with a new entrance and animal gallery. Enjoy animals from around the globe living in more than 10 million gallons of fresh and marine water.
Cost: https://www.georgiaaquarium.org/tickets/
Address: 225 Baker Street Northwest, Atlanta, GA
Phone: (404) 581-4000

A whale shark swims in blue water toward camera

The Atlanta Botanical Garden is a must-see 30-acre urban oasis located in the heart of Midtown. Walk through renowned plant collections, beautiful displays and every-changing exhibitions. If you are lucky enough to visit Atlanta during the holiday season–even in the midst of the pandemic–you must visit the Garden’s spectacular exhibition, “Garden Lights, Holiday Nights”.
Cost: https://atlantabg.org/tickets/
Address: 1345 Piedmont Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: (404) 876-5859

Purple Bearded Iris with orange flowers in background

Located within Atlanta is the historically African-American area of Sweet Auburn. This area is closely associated with the civil rights movement and, of course, the nation’s most prominent leader in the 20th century, Martin Luther King, Jr. Visit this area to take a journey through the civil rights struggles as well as the life and legacy of Dr. King. Several blocks are dedicated to him including his birth home, the Ebenezer Baptist Church where he was a pastor, and his gravesite.
Cost: Free
Address: 450 Auburn Avenue, NE, Atlanta, GA 30312
Phone: (404) 331-5190 x5046

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr tombstone in afternoon light

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights is a museum and cultural institution that connects the U.S. Civil Rights Movement to today’s global human rights movements. This museum, housed in a LEED Gold certified building, has three three main exhibits: civil rights, human rights, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection, as well as temporary exhibits. Plan on spending a few hours reading and pursuing to fully experience the museum.
Cost: https://bit.ly/3lYhPB7
Address: 100 Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard, Atlanta, GA 30313
Phone: (678) 999-8990

Black and white women hold each others hands above their heads

Piedmont Park is the urban oasis of Atlanta with postcard views of the Atlanta skyline. The picturesque urban park features walking/jogging paths, picnic facilities, playgrounds, tennis courts, public swimming pool, two ponds and dog park. Piedmont Park hosts many festivals such as Atlanta Jazz Festival in May; Piedmont Park Arts Festival in August; Music Midtown in September; Atlanta Pride Festival in October; as well as many others that also include road races. Click here to check out Piedmont Park’s festival options.
Cost: Free to enter the park; festival prices vary
Address: 1320 Monroe Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30306

Autumn at Piedmont Park with skyline in background

And for all things food-related, check out this site to eat like an Atlantan: https://www.atlantaeats.com.

Regardless of where you go, be sure to check out their COVID guidelines and restrictions. Rules and guidelines are ever-changing; always know before you go.

Once you’ve completed your Atlanta-area contract, check our website for more open travel jobs and begin your adventure anew!

Food trucks with lots of diners
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Summertime: Skin Cancer & Mohs

Now that we’re in summer, it’s a good time for a reminder to cover your skin and wear sunscreen to prevent skin cancer. But what if you’re diagnosed? Here’s a brief primer in Mohs, and a bonus: how to get Mohs CEUs for your ASCP!

Summertime: Skin Cancer & Mohs

Karen DiDonato ⋅ June 22, 2021

During my lunch breaks recently I have been enjoying the beautiful June weather. I take my dog for a slow walk around the neighborhood while listening to the songs of the birds that weren’t so loud in the previous months. I often think of my walks outdoors as my Vitamin D time. Today was the first day I actually thought of donning a baseball cap since it seemed a bit too bright for my sensitive eyes. But what about my skin? I haven’t yet thought about sunscreen… yet I really should.

 

According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is American’s most common cancer with over five million cases diagnosed in the United States each year. Thankfully skin cancer is the most preventable form of cancer. But if you are diagnosed, Mohs surgeons and Mohs technicians work together effectively to treat common skin cancers.

What is Mohs Surgery?

 

Developed by Frederic E. Mohs, MD in the late 1930’s, chemosurgery (now known as Mohs surgery) is a specialized technique to remove cancerous areas on visible parts of the skin as well as the roots, which can spread to other parts of the body. It is done in stages and in one visit while the patient waits after each stage. The surgeon removes a layer of tissue, a technician freezes the tissue, cuts very thin horizontal sections, then stains and covers it for viewing microscopically. If the surgeon finds cancer cells on the tissue, another layer of tissue is removed, and the lab work starts again. This process is repeated as many times as needed until the surgeon is confident there are no more cancer cells. The technique is highly effective and is best for patients since it leaves behind more healthy tissue with less scarring.

Blurred image of histology laboratory

Who was Dr. Mohs?

📷: The Skin Cancer Foundation

Frederic Edward Mohs was born in Wisconsin in 1910. His father died when he was just three months old. His mother moved the family to Madison to send him and his brother to the University of Wisconsin (UW). He graduated from UW and then, in 1934, from UW Medical School. While he was at the Medical School he developed the technique.

Please note the spelling of the technique is the same as his last name: “Mohs.” I often see this mistyped on resumes in all capital letters. It is a person’s name, not an acronym; therefore, Mohs should be written with a capital “M” with all the rest of the letters in lowercase.

The American College of Mohs Surgery created the Advanced Mohs Technician Training Program to improve slide preparation technique to current Mohs Technicians. This program is approved for continuing education unit (CEU) contact hours by the National Society for Histotechnology, so check it out if you are certified as HT(ASCP)cm or HTL(ASCP)cm.

 

We often have histology travel and permanent positions throughout the country where experience with Mohs is required. Check out our open histology positions here.

 

For the rest of the summer, be sure to cover up, wear sunscreen, and get to your dermatologist to check any suspect moles and spots. Prevention is definitely key!

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Happy National Cytotechnology Day!

Today we celebrate National Cytotechnology Day with an introduction on the creator of the Pap smear, which revolutionized the early detection of cervical cancer.

Happy National Cytotechnology Day!

Karen DiDonato ⋅ April 13, 2021

Today is National Cytotechnology Day!

 

Every year since 1985, National Cytotechnology Day has been celebrated on May 13, the birthday of Dr. George Papanicolaou.

 

Dr. Papanicolaou is best known for creating the Papanicolaou test, commonly known as the Pap smear, which revolutionized the early detection of cervical cancer.

a doctor swabs a slide in the background with a woman's naked leg in the foreground

During that time he made significant contributions to medicine:

 

In 1916, while studying sex chromosomes, he deduced that reproductive cycles in the experimental animals could be timed by examining smears of their vaginal secretions. From 1920, he began to focus on the cytopathology of the human reproductive system. He was thrilled when he was able to discern differences between the cytology of normal and malignant cervical cells upon a simple viewing of swabs smeared on microscopic slides. Although his initial publication of the finding in 1928 went largely unnoticed, that year was filled with other happy events for Papanicolaou. He became a US citizen and received a promotion to Assistant Professor at Cornell. As part of his research at the New York Hospital, he collaborated with Dr Herbert Traut, a gynaecological pathologist, eventually publishing their landmark book in 1943, Diagnosis of Uterine Cancer by the Vaginal Smear. It described physiological changes of the menstrual cycle and the influence of hormones and malignancy on vaginal cytology. Importantly, it showed that normal and abnormal smears taken from the vagina and cervix could be viewed under the microscope and be correctly classified. The simple procedure, now famously known as the Pap smear or test, quickly became the gold standard in screening for cervical cancer. As it cost little, was easy to perform and could be interpreted accurately, the Pap smear found widespread use and resulted in a significant decline in the incidence of cervical cancer.

Taken from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4613936/

Papanicolaou died at 78 years old in Miami on February 19, 1962. 

 

The United States commemorated Dr. Papanicolaou’s significant contributions to medicine by issuing a commemorative stamp promoting early cancer detection. Greece commemorated him by featuring his face on a 10,000 drachma bill in 1995.

 

Today we thank all the cytotechnologists working to microscopically study cells to detect cancer, viral and bacterial infections, and other abnormal conditions. We appreciate them as they accurately detect precancerous, malignant, and infectious conditions.

 

We currently have multiple cytology opportunities open throughout the country for both contract and permanent positions.

Diamantis, Aristidis & Magiorkinis, Emmanouil & Koutselini, Helen. (2014). 50 years after the death of George Nicholas Papanicolaou (1883-1962): evaluation of his scientific work. Acta medico-historica adriatica : AMHA. 12. 181-188.

Let us help you find your latest cytotechnology contract or your new full time job by clicking here. It would be our pleasure to match you to your next opportunity as we celebrate National Cytotechnology Day.

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Feeling Sore? Tips & Tricks to Help Foot Pain

Many people don’t think much about their feet -- until they hurt. Working in the laboratory on hard, typically concrete floors can be very taxing on the body. In honor of Foot Health Awareness Month, we’re here to guide you in finding foot comfort while working all day (and night!) in the laboratory.

Feeling Sore?

Tips & Tricks to Help Foot Pain
Part III

Karen DiDonato ⋅ April 28, 2021

In this last part of our foot-related series, we will provide some suggestions for accessories as well as ergonomic advice to help posture that may provide support and help ease the strain of standing and walking for many hours during your shifts.

White woman wearing all white sits while cradling ankle

Of course we’re not doctors. We’re just providing suggestions based on experience and feedback from other healthcare professionals. We always recommend visiting a local running shoe store for a full evaluation, and if you have problems with your feet that a running store can’t help tackle, please visit your doctor or a podiatrist.

 

To access the first of this two-part series in honor of Foot Health Awareness Month, click here and the second part is available here.

Compression Socks

White person black compression socks

At the end of your shift, do you find you have swollen ankles, achy feet, or lower back pain? Blood pooling in the lower extremities can lead to vascular problems, which can be painful and can encourage bad posture.

Cleveland Clinic foot surgeon Georgeanne Botek says this is done “by gently squeezing the legs [which] increase[s] the pressure in the tissues beneath the skin.” She adds, “This reduces excess leakage of fluid from the capillaries, and it increases the absorption of this tissue fluid by the capillaries and lymphatic vessels.”

 

So not only does applying gentle pressure to your lower extremities to encourage venous return and limit leg swelling, it also helps prevent varicose veins. Varicose veins are swollen, twisted veins that lie just under the skin and usually occur on the legs. They can be painful and unsightly.

 

Compression socks can easily go from work to workout. They help for prolonged sitting or standing, but they also help keep muscles from getting sore after strenuous activities like running or a long day of walking or hiking.

 

Who shouldn’t wear compression socks? According to the Oklahoma Heart Institute, consult a medical professional if you have ischemic disease including peripheral vascular disease affecting your lower extremities, and/or diabetes.

 

Compression socks can be purchased online or at any running store. Easily found reputable brands include 2XU, CEP, CWX, Feetures, Ing Source, and OS1st.

 

As with any athletic gear, treat your compression socks gently by washing them in cold water, not using fabric softeners, and hanging them to dry.

Sleeves

White woman wears on white shoe on right foot with bare left foot with compression sleeve over ankle

You can also consider sleeves which work like a sock by providing compression and support, but are for more specific areas like the knees, feet, or hamstrings.

Foam Rollers

White woman lays supine while using black foam roller on left calf

You may also consider foam rollers. Foam rolling is a form of self-myofascial release, which can be described as similar to a targeted massage. Research has found that regularly breaking up fascia (thin tissue primarily made up of collagen) through foam rolling or massage can help increase your range of motion and decrease soreness.

 

When used specifically on the feet, foam rollers can provide relief for plantar fasciitis, ease the pain related to arthritis, relieve pain related to neuropathy, and can improve circulation. 

 

There are a variety of foam rollers. Some are quite small making them portable for travel, which is very handy for those of you on assignment as contractors. Here are two examples:

 

  • The Foot Log has points on it that simulate reflexology, which the NIH defines as “a practice in which different amounts of pressure are applied to specific points on the feet or hands. These points are believed to match up with certain other parts of the body.”
  • TriggerPoint MobiPoint is described as “designed to release tightness, stimulate circulation, and soothe discomfort, specifically in small areas like the hand and foot.” 

 

Larger rollers can be used on legs, back, arms — pretty much anywhere that feels tight or sore. Typically firmer rollers are best for an intense, deep myofascial release. Rollers with protrusions are good to act as trigger points to release tension. If you aren’t sure which to buy, try them to see which is the most comfortable for you. After all, you aren’t likely to use it if you aren’t comfortable with it.

 

Consider these foam roller exercises to relieve pain and tension as listed on Prevention.com.

Massage Guns

White woman wearing black leggings and white shoes uses black massage gun on her right calf

If you have extra cash to spend, consider a massage gun which uses vibration to provide rapid bursts of pressure to hyper-target the tissue of a specific problem area. They are said to increase blood flow to a specific muscle area, which can help reduce inflammation and muscle tension. The downside is that they can be quite expensive. Theragun’s PRO model starts at $599 and Hypervolt Plus starts at $399. There are other knock-off models available at much cheaper prices.

Epsom Salt Soaks

White woman dips barefoot into running bath

On the contrary, here’s a post-work option that is very inexpensive: epsom salt soaks. Made up of magnesium and sulfate, epsom salt costs pennies on the dollar. The magnesium is known to decrease muscle soreness and speed up healing by reducing inflammation. Easy and inexpensive, epsom salt provides potential benefits with low risk to decrease inflammation and foot pain, and soaking in a warm bath is certainly relaxing.

 

Epsom salts can be purchased at pharmacies, grocery stores, big box stores, and online shops.

Good Postural Habits

Woman stands on left with poor posture; on right with correct posture

Regardless of which methods you choose to help manage your shifts, always have good postural habits while standing. 

 

The American Chiropractic Association recommends several general ergonomic tips which can affect posture to help reduce the chance of pain and injuries while standing.

  • Bear your weight primarily on the balls of your feet.
  • Keep your knees slightly bent.
  • Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart.
  • Let your arms hang naturally down the sides of the body.
  • Stand straight and tall with your shoulders pulled down and backward.
  • Tuck your stomach in.
  • Keep your head level. Your earlobes should be in line with your shoulders. Do not push your head forward, backward, or to the side.
  • Shift your weight from your toes to your heels, or one foot to the other, if you must stand for a long time.

Practicing good posture as well as smart foot and leg health can help give you the energy and ability to get through your shift and prevent future medical issues. Try these accessories alone or together to find what works best for you. It is a small investment in your health, but your feet will thank you!

Barefeet nestled within daisies
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Feeling Sore? Tips & Tricks to Help Foot Pain

Many people don’t think much about their feet -- until they hurt. Working in the laboratory on hard, typically concrete floors can be very taxing on the body. In honor of Foot Health Awareness Month, we’re here to guide you in finding foot comfort while working all day (and night!) in the laboratory.

Feeling Sore?

Tips & Tricks to Help Foot Pain
Part II

Karen DiDonato ⋅ April 19, 2021

In this second of a multi-part foot-related series, we will provide some suggestions for inserts that may provide support and may help ease the strain of standing and walking for many hours during your shifts.

Man sitting holding is bare foot

Of course we’re not doctors. We’re just providing suggestions based on experience and feedback from other healthcare professionals. We always recommend visiting a local running store for a full evaluation, and if you have problems with your feet that a running store can’t help tackle, please visit your doctor or a podiatrist.

 

While all running shoes come with some sort of insole, they can be flimsy and break down easily. If you have pain in your feet, legs, or joints after a long day of work, you may want to consider adding shoe inserts or even prescription orthotics.

Shoe Inserts

Grey shoe inserts with yellow bottoms sit on white floor

Shoe inserts, designed to improve comfort, are any kind of non-prescription foot support designed to be worn inside a shoe. Inserts can be very helpful for a variety of foot ailments, including flat arches and foot and leg pain. They can cushion your feet, provide comfort, and support your arches, but the APMA says they can’t correct biomechanical foot problems or cure long-standing foot issues; for that, a podiatrist is needed.

Some shoe inserts are rigid and supportive, and they are shaped to influence your foot by providing arch support or other structure. The most common types of shoe inserts are:

  • Arch supports: Some people have high arches. Others have low arches or flat feet. Arch supports generally have a “bumped-up” appearance and are designed to support the foot’s natural arch.
  • Insoles: Insoles slip into your shoe to provide extra cushioning and support. Insoles are often made of gel, foam, or plastic.  
  • Heel liners: Heel liners, sometimes called heel pads or heel cups, provide extra cushioning in the heel region. They may be especially useful for patients who have foot pain caused by age-related thinning of the heels’ natural fat pads.
  • Foot cushions: Do your shoes rub against your heel or your toes? Foot cushions come in many different shapes and sizes and can be used as a barrier between you and your shoe.

Whether you’re looking for a little extra cushion or more pronounced support, insoles for running shoes work with your sneakers for a more personalized ride. Some insoles give you more cushioning in high-impact areas, like your heel and forefoot, where others support the arches more.

 

There isn’t one best pair of insoles for every user—it’s all about preference. Some runners and walkers will find the standard insoles that come with their shoes deliver the right amount of cushion and support, but others will like the more customizable experience of a third-party insole. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s comfortable for you.

 

Running shoe stores typically stock these easy-to-find insole brands: SuperFeet, Spenco, PowerStep. Try them on to find your best fit.

 

Best of all, the insoles mentioned above can be swapped between your running shoes and your casual shoes for comfort wherever you go.

 

If a shoe insert isn’t enough to solve the problem, you may need to see a podiatrist for prescribed custom-made orthotics.

Prescription Orthotics

White woman stands tiptoe on red/yellow/blue orthotics

Prescription orthotics are specially-made biomechanical medical devices designed to support and comfort your feet. They match the contours of your feet precisely and are designed for the way you move to correct your specific foot imbalance. They are specific to your unique foot structure and pathology. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), if orthotics are needed, your podiatrist will capture a three-dimensional image of each of your feet. That image, as well as any measurements obtained by your podiatrist, is used to create a set of unique foot supports that will improve your foot movement and lead to more comfort and mobility.

 

Podiatrists use orthotics to treat foot problems such as: plantar fasciitis; bursitis; tendonitis; diabetic foot ulcers; and foot, ankle, and heel pain.

Regardless of whether you need orthotics, inserts, or the insole that came in your running shoes, do not let foot pain sideline you. A bit of preemptive care can go a long way, but if you experience numbness, pain, swelling, continuous heel pain, or ankle or foot pain, please see a professional.

Barefeet nestled within daisies

To access the first of this two-part series in honor of Foot Health Awareness Month, click here.

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Feeling Sore? Tips & Tricks to Help Foot Pain

Standing for hours on hard surfaces in the laboratory can be taxing on your feet, legs, joints, and more. Allows us to help you find some comfortable footwear to help ease the discomfort.

Feeling Sore?

Tips & Tricks to Help Foot Pain
Part I

Karen DiDonato ⋅ April 13, 2021

Many people don’t think much about their feet — until they hurt. Working in the laboratory on hard — typically concrete — floors can be very taxing on the body. In honor of Foot Health Awareness Month, we’re here to guide you in finding the best sneakers to wear while working all day (and night!) in the laboratory. We hope this will help provide support and ease the strain standing can be on the body.

Man sitting holding is bare foot

Of course we’re not doctors. We’re just providing suggestions based on experience and feedback from other healthcare professionals. We always recommend visiting a local running store for a full evaluation, and if you have problems with your feet that a running store can’t help tackle, please visit your doctor or a podiatrist.

 

Depending on where you are in the United States, you might say “sneakers,” “tennis shoes,” or even “gym shoes”. For the purpose of this blog (and that I was born and raised in New England), we’ll side with “running shoe” and the more colloquial “sneaker”, which Mirriam-Webster defines as “a sports shoe with a pliable rubber sole.”

For walking and standing on hard surfaces, we recommend a running shoe over a walking shoe since running shoes offer the maximum cushioning, comfort, and stabilization.

 

There are three kinds of running shoes: neutral, stability, and motion control.

Neutral Shoes

A neutral shoe allows the foot to flex and move freer, and are recommended for those who have a neutral gait. It offers no stabilizing features and does not have extra structure to correct over pronation, which is the inward roll of the ankle that occurs when the foot impacts the ground. The lack of extra structure means it can be a lighter shoe than stability or motion control shoes.

Examples include:

Running shoe
Brooks Ghost
Hoka One Clifton
Hoka One Clifton
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus
Nike Gel-Cumulus
Nike Gel-Cumulus
Saucony Ride
Saucony Ride
New Balance 1080
New Balance 1080

Stability Shoes

Stability shoes are designed with extra support in the midsole — especially in the arches — to help the foot stay in a neutral position. They are made to correct excessive pronation.

Examples include:

Brooks Adrenaline
Brooks Adrenaline
Hoka One Arahi
Hoka One Arahi
Asics Gel-Kayano
Asics Gel-Kayano
Saucony Guide
Saucony Guide
New Balance 860
New Balance 860

Motion Control Shoes

Motion control shoes are designed with extra heavy-duty support in the arch area as well as the heel of the shoe to correct severe overpronation. Motion control shoes do not allow for a lot of movement of the feet, so they are even less flexible than stability shoes. 

Examples include:

Brooks Beast
Brooks Beast
Brooks Ariel
Brooks Ariel

Because the options listed above can be pricey, we have a tip for budget buyers: buy last year’s model. Running shoes are updated annually, and prior year models can be much cheaper.

 

Here’s how to know: Take a look at the model name and number of the shoe. For example, Hoka One Clifton 7. Hoka One is the brand name, Clifton is the model name, and 7 is the model number. Last year’s model number was 6. Simply search online for last year’s model, which you will likely find at a reduced price as compared to the newest model. NOTE: Some updates to the shoe may have been done, so make sure to try on your shoe prior to committing to it.

 

Once you buy your shoes, we recommend allowing for a one- to two-week break-in period before wearing them for 8 to 10 hours or going for a long run. A lot of stores have “try-on” periods where the shoes can be returned for a refund or replacement.

 

Most running shoes have a lifespan of 300 to 500 miles. This figure depends on intensity of use, activities done while wearing the shoes, weight of the person wearing them, gait, how the foot hits the ground, etc. You may notice obvious signs of wear (the bottom or sides are visibly beaten up, the treads are worn out, or the midsole is wrinkling), but there are less visual signs that should be considered. Do you notice you are now having more foot or ankle pain? Are your knees and/or hips hurting more lately? Do your legs feel more tired than normal? The materials in the shoe may have worn down or compressed to the point where they no longer provide the same level of cushioning they once did.

In order to make your sneakers even more comfortable and better fitting, consider adding inserts. They can help relieve pain, make even the best running shoes more comfortable by giving you extra support when you need it. The second part of this blog series will address inserts and orthotics.

 

Give some consideration to investing in a good pair of well fitting sneakers. Your body will thank you for it!

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Get Closer to St. Patrick’s Day Traditions

Get Closer to St. Patrick’s Day Traditions

Karen DiDonato ⋅ March 15, 2021

Saint Patrick’s Day, coming up on March 17, is the one day each year that anyone can be Irish – if not by birthright, then by spirit.

There are many legends about Saint Patrick, the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland. My favorite was that he drove all the snakes out of Ireland, but the most popular is that of the shamrock, which he used to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity (the belief that God eternally exists in three people). As a result, the shamrock, which is the national flower of Ireland, is also the symbol of St. Patrick’s Day.

Although St. Patrick did his work in Ireland, the country that celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with the biggest celebrations is not Ireland, it’s the United States. According to the 2018 US Census, 32 million or 9.9 percent of U.S. residents claim Irish ancestry.

“There are festivals all across the country from San Francisco to New Orleans. In Chicago the river is dyed green and the parade through New York City sees around two million people attend every year. That’s over four times as many as Dublin.”

So on this Saint Paddy’s Day, I present you with traditions across the US and a way to get there — by finding a new job in the field of clinical and/or anatomic pathology.

As mentioned above, Chicago has a longstanding annual tradition of dyeing the Chicago River green. How do they do it? The job entails a two-hour boat expedition up and down the Chicago River with nearly 60 pounds of environmentally-friendly dye, which is a top-secret formula.

➡️ Want to see for yourself? Consider these travel and permanent positions in Illinois by clicking here.

A boat navigates the Chicago River dyed green on a blue sky day

Parades are the heartbeat of St. Patrick Day festivities in America. This is not surprising, since the first parade held in St. Patrick’s honor took place in America, not Ireland, in 1601 in what is now St. Augustine, Florida. Unfortunately the pandemic took its toll and the event has been canceled for 2021. This area on the northeast coast of Florida, however, is gorgeous and worth a visit.

➡️ Want to see for yourself? Consider these travel and permanent positions in Florida by clicking here.

Saint Augustine Florida

New York City has had their own parade since 1762. According to www.nycstpatricksparade.org: “The first NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade was comprised of a band of homesick, Irish ex-patriots and Irish military members serving with the British Army stationed in the colonies in New York. This was a time when the wearing of green was a sign of Irish pride but was banned in Ireland. In that 1762 parade, participants reveled in the freedom to speak Irish, wear green, sing Irish songs and play the pipes to Irish tunes that were meaningful to the Irish immigrants of that time.”

➡️ Want to see for yourself? Consider these travel and permanent positions in New York by clicking here.

Irish flag in front of a darkened parade in the background

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the popular bright green Shamrock Shake that McDonald’s makes available at participating locations. In 1940 Dick and Mac McDonald opened McDonald’s Bar-B-Q restaurant on Fourteenth and E streets in San Bernardino. This original restaurant is now a museum.

➡️ Want to see for yourself? Consider these travel and permanent positions in California by clicking here.

The green Shamrock McCafe Shake topped with whipped cream and a cherry

The McDonalds brothers were born in New Hampshire to Irish immigrants. According to the US Census Bureau, parts of Massachusetts and New Hampshire make up a large portion of people with Irish ancestry. That makes perfect sense for why the Manchester, NH St. Patrick’s Day parade is the city’s largest community event with more than 70,000 attending and participating.

➡️ Want to see for yourself? Consider these travel and permanent positions in New Hampshire by clicking here.

Metropolitan areas with the largest Irish population reporting Irish as Single Ancestry
2014-2018 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

The Manchester, New Hampshire St. Patrick’s Day parade is canceled for 2021, but is scheduled for March 27, 2022 — that’s ten days after St. Patrick’s Day. Why is that exciting? If you are in New England around that time, you’ll have time to drive a few hours to check out the March 17th festivities in and around Boston, Massachusetts.

According to SouthBostonParade.org: “Bostonians were the first to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in North America. On March 17, 1737, as a gesture of solidarity among the city’s new Irish immigrants, Boston’s Irish community joined together in festivities of their homeland and to honor the memory of the below Patron Saint of Ireland.” While in Boston, check out The Kinsale (across from City Hall Plaza). Built in Ireland and shipped to Boston, the Kinsale replicates a real Irish pub.

➡️ Want to see for yourself? Consider these travel and permanent positions in Massachusetts by clicking here.

Interestingly enough there are multiple Dublins in the United States. Check out this list of non-Irish Dublins (not including townships or unincorporated communities) and corresponding job opportunities.

Lastly, I leave you with this lovely Irish saying:

May the winds of fortune sail you,

May you sail a gentle sea,

May it always be the other guy who says “This drink’s on me.”

If you are looking for a new position in the field of clinical or anatomic pathology, we would be happy to help. Take a look through our open positions or give us a call.

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig ort! (That’s “Happy Saint Patrick’s Day” in Irish!)

Happy St. Patrick's day in Irish

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Meet your Recruiter: Jason Malone

In this recurring Q & A series, you will learn about that person with whom you've been speaking, emailing, and texting -- your recruiter. They know a lot about you, but now it's your turn to learn about them. And you'll finally be able to see if the voice matches the person you imagined!

Name:

Jason Malone

How long have you worked as a recruiter?

I have been recruiting for over 20 years. I started in healthcare then went into e-commerce and now I’m back in healthcare. In fact, I’m in my sixth year with HCI.

Why are you a recruiter?

It gives me such pleasure to get someone a job. I really enjoy sharing their excitement. Plus, I feel lucky to work with HCI; it’s such a great company.

How do you respond when a potential laboratory employee tells you they are unsure about using an agency for their job search?

You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain by using an agency. Plus, with a recruiting firm, your resume will go directly to the hiring manager and will not get lost in Human Resources.

What other jobs have you held?

In college I was a communications/technical writing major. I interned in public relations at WHDH, Channel 7 in Boston. I was fortunate enough to do PR work when Wheel of Fortune came to Boston as well as for the Liberty Fleet of Tall Ships.

I was recruited out of college to play pro soccer with the Portuguese league after being nominated twice to the All American team in college and leading the country in scoring. In 2016 I was inducted into the Fitchburg State University Athletic Hall of Fame. I still kick the ball around a bit, but back surgeries keep me off the field.

What do you do when you are not working?

I love outdoor activities including fishing, boating, being at the beach, or anything with my family and fiance. I am originally from Plymouth, Massachusetts so I did a lot of snow skiing and even rock diving in Vermont.

I am a huge fan of Liverpool soccer as well as New England sports. In fact, I held season tickets for every Patriots game for 20 years until I moved. It started as a tailgating event with four people, but eventually our group multiplied to more than 20. We would have lobster, pork roast, or even fried whole turkeys!

What is your favorite vacation spot(s)?

My top three include any island in the Caribbean, the Florida Keys, and Cape Cod.

If you worked in the laboratory, where would you want to work and why?

I would want to be involved with molecular and microbiology to be part of the newest achievements and advancements including working with COVID-19.

If you had to give just one tip for interviewing, what would it be?

Be honest and confident in yourself and your skills. You will never get a job you don’t think you deserve.

Jason stands cross armed in front of a blurred colorful background
Recruiter Jason Malone
Jason caught this Tropical reef fish not far from the wooden pier behind him
Tropical reef fish
Jason and Chrissy in Martha's Vineyard
Jason and Chrissy in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.
On a bluebird day, Jason holds up a dolphin he caught off Ft. Lauderdale
On a bluebird day, Jason holds up a dolphin he caught off Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Jason holds a fish while standing in the middle of his two young bathing-suit-cladnephews
Jason enjoys fishing in Cape Cod with his nephews.
Under a tree, Jason holds a Peacock bass by the fishing line
Jason's pleased with this catch, a peacock bass.
Black cat wearing an orange shirt
Jason's 3-year-old cat Tiki hunts lizards for a living. He has caught over 400 lizards, but does not kill them; he just shows them to Jason and Chrissy for the record then lets them go.
Jason holds up his catch
Jason caught this one off Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Jason and Chrissy in Key West
Jason and Chrissy in Key West, Florida.

When your assignment is complete, or to find a new one, check out our available contract jobs. Apply online or call your recruiter to discuss (and be sure to tell them what you imagined they looked like).

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New Year, New Laboratory Travel Opportunities

New Year, New Laboratory Travel Opportunities:

How to prepare for contract positions while avoiding potential delays

Karen DiDonato ⋅ January 11, 2021

The new year is upon us (thank goodness!) and many of us are hoping for a very different year. Do we need to just “hope” or can we create our own direction? Sure, global events are outside of our own personal control, but we can make our own professional decisions to point ourselves in the directions we want to go in 2021.

Consider your professional goals for this year. Do they include continuing education growth, career advancement, or even a full change? Have you been working a permanent position for many years, but have often admired those travelers who come for a few months then go somewhere else? Do you just need a change? Consider becoming a contractor.

01 January in foreground; 2021 plan in background, all black and white

Reasons for doing contract work vary for everyone, but travelers report their typical reasons as:

  • Seeing the US: Becoming a traveler means you will be in charge of where you go. The options are only as limited as the available positions, but thankfully they are ever-changing and numerous! You could work in Alaska in June and July then head to Massachusetts for August and September, then steer clear of the cold in Florida for the winter. Your photo album can be full of nationwide adventures.
  • Resume Building: Working in multiple laboratories means you will likely work with a variety of laboratory information systems (LIS) or instruments that you may have never used before. You may also be asked to work more in a different department, which will increase your exposure to a variety of techniques and build your skills and confidence. The more skills you have, the larger the variety of instruments and LIS you use, the more intriguing your resume becomes to hiring managers.
  • Change: For some people, staying in the same position year after year is exactly what they want. Some people prefer to grow in one location or stay in their same position to enjoy the comfort of knowing their lab inside and out. But for others, they want change. Becoming a traveler can mean a new laboratory every 13 weeks (although contract length can vary). 
  • Meeting new people: Working in a new laboratory every few months means new coworkers who could become new friends. Your social circle can exponentially grow!

If you are already in a permanent position and have a few years experience under your belt, becoming a contractor might be exactly what you need to change the direction of your new year.

To begin traveling you should be aware your agency will ask you for a lot of paperwork. Having most of it at the ready will get you where you want to go even faster.

The following documents are most often required by facilities:

Immunizations: Proof of the following immunizations will likely be required of you: MMR, tetanus, influenza (if you will be traveling during flu season), hepatitis A and B, TB, Tdap, and varicella. Others may need to be provided, but these are the most commonly requested.

Physical: Keep your physicals up to date yearly and keep documentation at the ready.

References: Have a list of at least three professional references for jobs where you have worked most recently. Include multiple ways to contact the references since, as you already know, those who work in the laboratory are very busy.

Resume: Be sure to keep your resume up-to-date and be sure to include the city and state of all your work history (this will be used later for background checks), and ensure your current certifications, licenses, and education are clearly spelled out. All of this information will be verified, but having electronic copies is also extremely helpful to have on hand. Remember that licenses and most certifications expire, so be sure to keep copies of the latest most in-date documents.

Stack of papers with multiple paperclips in varying colors
Resume topped with glasses and pen

Speaking of licenses, the most successful travelers will already have valid and active licenses for the states they want to go. Rarely are contracts accepted with a pending state license. For information on getting licensed, click here.

The agency with which you are working will ask you to complete a drug screen as well as providing your consent for a background check. The sooner you do the drug screen and consent to the background check, the sooner they can start getting processed. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, courts are running slower than normal; delays are commonplace.

If you do not have all the required immunizations, you will be sent to a local medical facility to get them. Again, the sooner you get the immunization, the less likely your assignment will be delayed.

Lastly, make yourself available to your agency in the weeks and days leading up to your assignment. If your recruiter has any questions or needs copies of specific documents, the faster you get them that information, the less likely a delay will occur.

The most seasoned travelers will often send all required documents as soon as the interview is complete. They know time is of the essence, and they certainly do not want to be delayed.

Starting as a traveler can be daunting, but we are here to guide you through the process. HCI has 24 years of experience in placing professionals in clinical and anatomic pathology laboratories. We will walk you through the pre-employment screening process and keep you updated every step of the way. Afterall, your success is our success.

To view available travel positions, visit www.labcareer.com/jobs or contact your favorite recruiter. We also post multiple jobs every day to our social media platforms. Our travel jobs open and close quite quickly, so be sure to get in touch with where you want to go in 2021 so we can help get you there.

Arrow pointing to the word success
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Unlock Your Potential: A Guide to Licenses and Certification

Unlock Your Potential:

Your guide to Licenses and Certification in Clinical and Anatomic Pathology

Karen DiDonato ⋅ December 8, 2020

While it is possible to work in anatomic and clinical pathology without certification or state-specific licenses, getting nationally certified and/or state licensed will increase your chances of getting hired, getting a higher salary, or being considered for advancement. If you are considering becoming a traveler, having state licenses is your key to unlock multiple potential contracts.

The following three certifying agencies are most often requested by our clients:

There are currently 11 states that require a license. The components of the law vary state-to-state, but usually includes an annual licensing fee (some are bi-annual), a provision for continuing education, a minimum education and professional competency requirements.

Cartoon man holding golden key opened a blue door with the word "success" written above

If you need assistance getting started with professional certification or licensing, HCI would be happy to help.

To use your certification and/or state licenses in a new job, we have positions available an anatomic and clinical pathology throughout the nation. Scroll through our available jobs or give us a ring at (954) 346-3347.

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Hand holding pen that drew upward arrow arranged to look like stairs going up

Being Thankful in the Face of a Pandemic

Being Thankful in the Face of a Pandemic

Karen DiDonato ⋅ November 24, 2020

The year 2020 has been a challenge for most, that’s for sure. But here we are in November, rounding the corner to Thanksgiving Day. With this gastronomic holiday comes time to reflect on the past year: remembering people we have lost, conversations we have had, and giving thanks for who we are, what we have, events that happened, etc.

In our HCI family, we typically enjoy a bountiful Thanksgiving lunch in our office while laughing and telling stories. This year’s celebration will be different, just like most American’s.

Instead of celebrating while sitting shoulder to shoulder, this Thanksgiving we celebrate via video chats, discussions over the phone, email, and texts. But regardless of those changes, we’re still celebrating together, and for that we are so thankful.

The word thanksgiving with a turkey, acorns, leaves and a bird

Here’s what we’re thankful for this Thanksgiving:

 

I am thankful for my fiance and my family!
~ Jason Malone, Recruiter

 

There are so many things that I’m grateful for: God; health; family; friends; my job; and Tiffany, my late Shih Tzu, who I had in my life for 13 years. If I continue, my list will be very long!
~ Mercedes Nin, Administrative Assistant

 

I am thankful for many things. 1) All of us still having employment through COVID-19 where a lot of people are out of work. 2) My mom, who is in a nursing home where they have had numerous cases of COVID-19 yet she has remained negative. 3) My wife who has not contacted it despite working in the ICU.
~ Antwan Spivey, Recruiter

 

I am thankful for being able to work during the pandemic; that my family is safe and doing well; and I am very thankful I met my girlfriend two weeks before the pandemic started.
~ Antone Bouche, Social Media Coordinator

 

I am thankful for being able to be part of staffing laboratories during the pandemic. I feel I am contributing. I am grateful that profession is around for me to do that.
~ Donato Valera-Teano, Recruiter

I am very thankful to be alive.
~ Gene Marks, Senior Recruiter

 

I am thankful for my job during COVID.
~ Jolynn Augustine, Recruiter

 

I am so thankful that my family is healthy and we all have jobs–especially during this year.
~ Meida Ayala, Administrative Assistant

Happy thanksgiving written in front of watercolor leaves in fall colors

I am thankful for my family, which includes my work family as well as Lucci, my son’s long-haired chihuahua. I am also thankful for my job.
~ Kelly Bajusz, Account Executive

 

Thanksgiving is somewhat of a new holiday for me; I only started celebrating after arriving from Argentina 20 years ago. Even if I did not grow up with the history lesson, I feel a special connection to its meaning of being thankful. This year has been very difficult for a lot of people, so this year I am very thankful for having a job.
~ Paula Smith, Controller

 

This time last year we could never have imagined the crisis we find ourselves facing today. With so much sadness, loss and financial despair across the country, Thanksgiving seems unimportant. However, when I was asked what I am thankful for, I realized I still have much to be very thankful and grateful for, even during these times. Most important is the health of my loved ones. I had five close family members who had COVID–some more severe than others–but thank God all five are doing well now. I am also thankful the doors at HCI are still open and we have jobs that allow us the basics that we may once have taken for granted: paying bills and putting food on our tables. We are fortunate as so many people are struggling. I also have to say I am thankful for all the medical professionals and first responders who have gone above and beyond. I think we can all agree on that. Health is everything, as long as we have that we can all be thankful for something this season.
~ Catherine Schreck, President

 

There is not much to be thankful for specific to 2020, but a constant I am always eternally thankful and grateful for are: my beautiful wife of 30 years Debbie DeQuarto; my three adult children, Andres, Courtney, and Alexis; my five grandchildren, Andres Jr., Christian, Reef, Joey, and little Desi; my two dogs, Brutus and Bide; and two cats, Clancy and Sabastian. I am thankful we are all healthy. I am also thankful I have awesome bosses, Catherine Schreck and Donna Mainini, and that I still have my job. Lastly I am thankful every day to have God in my life.
~ Michael DeQuarto, Recruiter

Hand-drawn turkeys wear masks and pilgrim hats

Check out these stories remembered from Thanksgivings past:

I am constantly reminded of my first thanksgiving with my soon-to-be mother-in-law. We had just sat down to our Thanksgiving meal when I got up, grabbed a banana, peeled it and put it on my plate. Everyone was staring at me. What they didn’t yet know was that growing up in Cuba food was very limited, but bananas were abundant and cheap. My father would buy a whole cluster of bananas and hang them in my room for the whole family. Whenever I was hungry, which was often as a growing young boy, I would eat a banana or two. Despite moving away from food insecurity, I kept my banana habit. Now at every Thanksgiving my mother-in-law will remember that first holiday by asking, “Hey, you are forgetting your banana?”
~ Joel Trujillo, Communication & Marketing Administrator

 

My mom was never able to put out the entire dinner hot at the same time. My fondest memory was when she handed the Thanksgiving tradition to me. I cooked for the entire family (15 to 20 people), which allowed my mom to sit, relax, and enjoy her Thanksgiving. I felt so proud when I put the entire meal out piping hot.
~ Jeb Parichy, Recruiter

 

Whenever people came over my father would wash all the windows–inside and out. Thanksgiving was no different. Staying out of the way while the final preparations were made, my friend and I played upstairs until we heard a crash sound. Turns out, everyone but my friend’s younger sister realized Dad’s tradition. She attempted to run straight through the closed, spotless glass door. We found her stunned flat on the floor and my dad’s sliding glass door with a smudge of grease at forehead level.
~ Lindsay Adeimy, Recruiter/Account Executive

If you are looking for a new position in the field of clinical or anatomic pathology, we would be happy to help. Take a look through our open positions or give us a call. We are thankful for you!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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10 Fun Facts about Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, use these fun facts to get the conversation going via Zoom, phone, or in person.

10 Fun Facts about Thanksgiving

Karen DiDonato ⋅ November 19, 2020

Thanksgiving may look quite different this year for many people. We’re having atypical conversations with family and friends about how to better social distance during the holiday, or even how we can share a virtual meal over Zoom. Some people are choosing to enjoy a small Thanksgiving with only the people who live in their households instead of traveling to larger gatherings. Regardless of how you plan to celebrate this year, Thanksgiving is right around the corner.

We’ve compiled a list of 10 facts that are sure to get the conversation going at your dinner table, whether virtual or in person.

  • Turkeys are named after the country. Linguists theorize that early Europeans were reminded of the African Guinea Fowl which had come to Europe through Turkey, and the similarity led to its name.
    Source: National Audubon Society
  • Wild turkeys are able to fly at just 13-17 days old.
    Source: Farm Sanctuary
Two plump turkeys strut with feathers out
  • Male turkeys are called “gobblers,” after the “gobble” call they make to announce themselves to females (which are called “hens”). How can you tell if it’s a hen or a gobbler? A turkey’s gender can be determined from its droppings; males produce spiral-shaped poop and females’ poop is shaped like the letter J.
    Source: Smithsonian Magazine
  • Snoopy has made the most appearances in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
    Source: House Beautiful
  • If Ben Franklin had his way, the turkey would be our national bird. An eagle, he wrote in a letter to his daughter, had “bad moral character.” A turkey, on the other hand, was a “much more respectable bird.”
    Source: CNN
a turkey faces toward the right on a pure white background
  • Thanksgiving hasn’t always taken place on the fourth Thursday in November. In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up one week to help boost retail sales during the Depression. So many people complained that it was eventually moved back to the original date in 1941. The Thanksgivings between those years are referred to as “Franksgivings” still today.
    Source: Country Living
  • In 1953, the influential food corporation Swanson overestimated how much turkey would be consumed on Thanksgiving and had to get creative with the 260 tons of leftover meat. Using 5,000 aluminum trays and an assembly line of hand-packers, the corporation created a Thanksgiving-inspired meal with the aforementioned turkey, cornbread dressing and gravy, peas, and sweet potatoes, selling the whole thing for a grand total of 98 cents. In the first full year of production, they sold ten million of them, and birthed the prepackaged frozen meal industry.
    Source: Town and Country Magazine
  • While domesticated turkeys cannot fly, wild turkeys can, for short distances, and at up to 55 miles per hour, according to the National Turkey Federation.
    Source: Huffington Post
slices of turkey topped with cranberry sauce with mashed potatoes, green beans, and stuffing
  • The United States has several locations named after the holiday’s main dish and a very popular side dish:
    Turkey Creek, Louisiana
    Turkey Creek, Arizona
    Turkey, Texas
    Turkey, North Carolina
    Cranberry township, Butler County, Pennsylvania
    Cranberry township, Venango County, Pennsylvania
    Source: United States Census Bureau
Close up on a turkey's face

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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Meet Our Staff: Antone Bouche

In this recurring Q & A series, you will learn about that person with whom you've been speaking, emailing, and texting -- our staff members. They know a lot about you, but now it's your turn to learn about them. And you'll finally be able to see if the voice matches the person you imagined!

Name:

Antone Bouche, Social Media Coordinator

How long have you worked with HCI?

Although I have only worked for several months in anatomic and clinical pathology at HCI, I have worked in healthcare recruitment for over two years.

What other jobs have you held?

I previously worked as a recruiter doing travel recruitment for surgical technologists, registered nurses (RN’s), and licensed practical nurses (LPN’s). I have also worked in fitness and retail.

Describe what you do.

As social media coordinator I oversee the social media channels and co-lead the marketing aspects of HCI. I monitor, moderate and respond to audience comments, and I also create and post videos and images. I strategize and execute digital marketing campaigns then gather and analyze the results.

What are the fun aspects of your job?

I really enjoy the creative aspect: designing content. I also enjoy keeping up with the trends on social media as well as the interesting and everchanging world of healthcare.

How do you get creative outside of work?

I have multiple interests that use my creativity. I enjoy graphic design, interior design and I recently started dabbling in furniture building.

What are your hobbies?

I enjoy going to the gym and biking and running outdoors. My hobbies include coffee, gaming, and movies. Coffee really brings me joy. I enjoy tasting the undertones and different flavors. It’s fascinating how the process of making coffee can really change its flavor. It’s so satisfying and definitely needed to start my day. Gaming has been a great way to keep in touch with friends especially during the quarantine.

What’s your favorite part of working for HCI?

I truly enjoy talking with people all over the country and helping them find jobs. It really is satisfying.

Antone sits in front of 2 computers in an office cubicle
Antone, wearing flannel and a baseball cap, stands in front of a filled bookshelf

Check out Antone’s latest work on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. He’d love to hear from you, so drop a comment or share our page with your followers. In fact, if you have a co-worker you would like to refer to us, we would love to reward you with a $500 referral bonus. Click here to learn more.

When your assignment is complete, or to find a new permanent one, check out our available jobs. Apply online or contact Antone via our social media outlets (and be sure to tell him what you imagined he looked like).

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6 Easy Tips to Effective Resume Writing

Your resume is a representation of you and your work history. Use these six steps to get your resume to best represent you.

6 Easy Tips to Effective Resume Writing

Karen DiDonato ⋅ October 20, 2020

How long did it take you to create your resume? Hours? Days? Imagine if your hard work could be for naught in less than 7.4 seconds?

That’s entirely possible based on a 2018 study by TheLadders.com, an online job-matching service. Their eye-tracking software showed that hiring managers make up their minds about a job candidate in only 7.4 seconds. According to them, “Recruiters look at your current title and company on your resume then your previous one before moving to the right to see the dates of your jobs to make sure you have made a steady progression. Then they flip their eyes to the bottom to look at education requirements.” Then it’s either tossed or saved.

Every day at HCI we look through resumes. From medical laboratory technicians and histotechnicians to laboratory directors and pathologists, we have seen many varieties of resumes and CV’s. We have had resumes come in written in pink text, pasted with various images, and even a comic-strip looking one with text inside bubbles. We have seen resumes with misspellings, improper, yet comical abbreviations (“Ass Manager”, for example), and font size so small even a child’s eyes would struggle to read it. Years ago we received the perfect mailed-in paper resume with one problem: the person didn’t include their name or contact information!

Here is a list of six suggestions to easily make your resume look more attractive to hiring managers in those precious seconds before it’s either deleted or saved.

Black and white paper scroll drawing with briefcase in upper right

1) Clear and chronologically written work history.

Start with your most current job at the top. Include your current title, company name, start and end dates, and a short description of work. Underneath, add your previous title, company name, start and end dates, and short description. Add each subsequent position under so it reads in reverse chronological order.

Black and white paper with pinned sections

2) Add a resume summary or objective.

Resumes for people with years of work history should have summaries instead of objectives. A summary is simply a one- to two-sentence overview of your skills and work experience. According to Indeed, “A resume objective might be useful if you have limited work experience, like recent high school or college graduates.” They go on to say, “A resume summary is more appropriate if you have some work history and various skills and experiences worth highlighting.”

Black and white arrow pointing upward with the bottom of the arrow 3 circles

3) Tailor your resume to the job.

If the job title to which you are applying is for a core lab position, write a few sentences about your core lab experience. If the next job you plan to send your resume to is specifically a generalist position, change your summary or objective to your generalist experience. Your job descriptions and summary should focus on your experience as it relates to the job to which you are applying.

black and white drawing of target with an arrow in the center

4) Be specific.

Education: Not only does the employer want to know what level of education you have, they want to know what the field of study was. Include the degree and the major, as well as the university name and location. If you are a new graduate, you may want to add the date the degree was conferred to ensure the reader understands why you may lack years of experience.

In contrast, we have also received resumes from Ph.D educated job seekers who list their elementary education on their CVs. This is unnecessary. Stick to higher education, or the education required for the position if you do not have a degree.

Certification/Licenses: If you have national certification such as ASCP or AMT, write it on your resume! Having that front and center could put your resume on top of one that doesn’t have it. Never assume the reader will know what certifications or state licenses you have.

Black and white drawing of a viewer focus

5) Focus on your words.

Action verbs: According to the University of Miami’s Division of Continuing & International Education Department, use action words “because they are easy for the reader to understand, find, and summarize.” The example they provided was:

“Worked as a supervisor for a team of six”, which they surmised would be better written as “Supervised a team of six.” According to them, “By using the action verb ‘supervised,’ the sentence is more concise, to the point, and understandable. It is now focusing on the action verb: supervised.”

Incorporate keywords: Given that your resume may only be looked at for 7.4 seconds, incorporate keywords into your job description and/or summary such as LIS, instrumentation, and specific tests. These words will jump off the page to the reader because they are specifically looking for them.

Black and white drawing of 2 paper clipped papers

6) Length

Many resume writers try to fit their resume to the old fashioned one-page standard, but this isn’t true for everyone. CareerBuilder says, “Although there may be instances where a resume requires a longer length, such as an executive with over 20 years experience, you’ll likely want to keep your resume from extending beyond a single page.” If your resume is well written and avoids unnecessary work details, a one-page resume would be optimal since the second page would likely contain less relevant information anyway.

Taking your time to create a well written, well organized and clear resume will help your recruiter fully understand your work history to better match you to available positions. Prior to submitting your resume to any of our clients, we will go through it with you to make sure we fully understand your prior roles, education, and gaps in work history. We will represent you to the best of our ability in order to help you climb the job ladder, relocate to a new area, make a lateral move, or even begin traveling.

Take a look through our available positions. Feel free to apply or contact us for more information even if your resume may need a little help. We are here for you. We will help get your clear and concise resume in front of the hiring manager for whichever clinical or anatomic laboratory job you are best qualified for.

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Meet your Recruiter: Antwan Spivey

In this recurring Q & A series, you will learn about that person with whom you've been speaking, emailing, and texting -- your recruiter. They know a lot about you, but now it's your turn to learn about them. And you'll finally be able to see if the voice matches the person you imagined!

Name:

Antwan Spivey

How long have you worked as a recruiter?

I have worked as a recruiter for eight years with just over two of those with HCI.

Why are you a recruiter?

It all started after randomly speaking with a recruiter. We chatted for a bit about my experience in collections. It turned out I was a perfect fit for recruiting because I had customer service savvy, was easy to talk to, and I really enjoyed helping people. Even as a young adult I wanted to get into social work because of the helping aspect. When I worked in collections I used to try to find a feasible way for the person to repay their debts. I’d work with them, empathize with them, and try to be as understanding as possible since I knew what it was like to have to pay large bills.

I find recruiting is a good way to help because it can be very difficult to find work.

What’s your favorite part of being a recruiter?

I live for the placement. When a candidate has had a hard time finding a perfect fit, there is nothing better than making the call to tell them they’ve been hired.

What other jobs have you held?

I’ve had a few, but the most fun prior job was at an airport Alamo Rent A Car in Ohio because I met so many celebrities. A few of the celebs I remember meeting include Hal Williams, who played Officer Smitty on Sanford and Son; NFL player Deion Sanders; R&B groups Boys II Men and Jagged Edge; and a few WWF wrestlers.

What do you do when you are not working?

I enjoy spending time at the beach, jet skiing, gaming on my PlayStation, and planting and caring for the tropical plants in my yard.

What is your favorite vacation spot(s)?

I moved in 2011 from cold Ohio to sunny south Florida, so I tend to prefer visiting warmer places. My wife and I went in January 2020 to Cancun and I loved it. We wanted to go back, but decided to put it on hold due to the coronavirus.

How do you respond when a potential laboratory employee tells you they are unsure about using an agency for their job search?

I hear this from time to time, but there is really no downside to using HCI. It is risk free because our company’s services are free to the job seeker. You don’t pay a dime. Additionally, your resume won’t get buried under hundreds of other applicants; we’ll get your resume in front of the decision makers — they are our direct contacts.

If you worked in the laboratory, where would you want to work and why?

I think I’d prefer Microbiology. My uncle is a microbiologist. The study of a virus seems fascinating.

If you had to give just one tip for interviewing, what would it be?

My first thought was “One tip? That’s not enough”, so here are three that might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised:

      1. Don’t chew gum.
      2. Don’t use a lot of perfume or cologne.
      3. Don’t bring up money; let the interviewer bring it up.
Recruiter Antwan toasts with red wine while sitting in a darkened restaurant
Recruiter Antwan Spivey will toast to you when he helps your job search in clinical or anatomic pathology.
Recruiter Antwan holds a fish still on his reel
While out fishing with friends in Jupiter, FL, Antwan caught a red snapper.
Recruiter Antwan sits centered on an outdoor bench in Cancun with two metal framed skeletons
Antwan sits centered on an outdoor bench at Taco y Tequila in Cancun, Mexico between two well dressed metal skeletons.
Recruiter Antwan and his wife flank a colorful Cancun sign at the Panama Jack Resorts
Antwan and his wife Kim flank the colorful Cancun sign on the beach at the Panama Jack Resorts where they visited in January of 2020.
Recruiter Antwan sits with a statue in Cancun
Antwan sits with a "friend" while shopping in Cancun, Mexico.
Feeling strong before tackling the Thurmanator Burger Challenge at Thurman Cafe in Columbus, OH.
Recruiter Antwan Spivey feeling strong before tackling the Thurmanator Burger Challenge at Thurman Cafe in Columbus, OH.
Wearing a black shirt, white pants and white suspenders, Antwan sits reading Travel & Leisure while holding a cigar in his right hand
Antwan spends some time at his birthday dinner making some travel plans.

When your assignment is complete, or to find a new one, check out our available contract jobs. Apply online or call your recruiter to discuss (and be sure to tell them what you imagined they looked like).

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Burnout: An Occupational Phenomenon

Working in a helping profession can exasperate potential feelings of burnout. This blog will define and identify burnout, and suggest techniques to help.

Burnout: An Occupational Phenomenon

Karen DiDonato ⋅ May 12, 2020

Have you ever felt burned out at work? Does the idea of continuing to work on a project or returning the next day put you in a dark place? You are not alone.

Psychologist Herbert Freudenberger coined the term “burnout” in 1974 after analyzing his own psychological state in response to working 12-hour days in his practice, then working until 2 AM in his clinic. He also saw the effects in the clinic’s formerly idealistic volunteers finding themselves depleted and weary, resenting patients and the clinic.

Dr. Freudenberger said in 1981 on NPR’s All Things Considered: “Burnout really is a response to stress. It’s a response to frustration. It’s a response to a demand that an individual may make upon themself in terms of a requirement for perfectionism or drive.”

As of May 2019, burnout is now recognized as a legitimate medical disorder by much of mainstream medicine. It has even been given its own ICD-10 code (Z73.0 – Burn-out state of vital exhaustion) by the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases, a diagnostic tool for medical providers.

Anyone can experience job burnout for a variety of reasons, but working in a helping profession—healthcare—already puts you at risk.

White haired man wearing labcoat behind laboratory equipment appearing burned out

Causes:

There are various causes for feeling burned out according to an article from the Mayo Clinic:

  • Lack of control. An inability to influence decisions that affect your job — such as your schedule, assignments or workload — could lead to job burnout. So could a lack of the resources you need to do your work.
  • Unclear job expectations. If you are unclear about the degree of authority you have or what your supervisor or others expect from you, you are not likely to feel comfortable at work.
  • Dysfunctional workplace dynamics. Perhaps you work with an office bully, or you feel undermined by colleagues or your boss micromanages your work. This can contribute to job stress.
  • Extremes of activity. When a job is monotonous or chaotic, you need constant energy to remain focused, which can lead to fatigue and job burnout.
  • Lack of social support. If you feel isolated at work and in your personal life, you might feel more stressed.
  • Work-life imbalance. If your work takes up so much of your time and effort that you don’t have the energy to spend time with your family and friends, you might burn out quickly.

But why should you address job burnout? It can have significant consequences, including: excessive stress, which can lead to vulnerability to illnesses; fatigue; insomnia; sadness, anger or irritability; alcohol or substance misuse; heart disease; high blood pressure; and/or type 2 diabetes.

Symptoms:

Noticing if you have burnout is the first step toward doing something about it. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), there are three main areas of symptoms considered to be signs of burnout:

Woman with fingers on both temples and eyes closed standing in front of black board with "stress" written multiple times
  1. Exhaustion: Do you feel drained and emotionally exhausted, unable to cope, tired and down, and do not have enough energy? Physical symptoms include things like pain and stomach or bowel problems. 
  2. Alienation from (work-related) activities: People who have burnout find their jobs increasingly stressful and frustrating. They may start being cynical about their working conditions and their colleagues. At the same time, they may increasingly distance themselves emotionally, and start feeling numb about their work. 
  3. Reduced performance: Burnout mainly affects everyday tasks at work, at home or when caring for family members. People with burnout are very negative about their tasks, find it hard to concentrate, are listless and lack creativity.

 

Addressing it:

If you feel burnout at your workplace, address it by employing these 10 steps:

  1. Changing your perspective: Go to work with positive energy and a positive belief in yourself.
  2. Establishing good self-care: Maintain healthy habits such as exercise, nutrition, interpersonal connections, and limit the use of quick fixes such as alcohol, nicotine or drug use.
  3. Setting healthy limits: Find a way to manage expectations in your workplace so that you do not become overextended.
  4. Keeping a healthy pace: Strive to get into the flow of your work, and take periodic breaks.
  5. Taking breaks from electronic devices: Do this at predetermined intervals so that you are not “always on.”
  6. Attaching your work efforts to something you value: Notice how your work makes something in the world, the culture, or in other people’s lives better.
  7. Being yourself: Do what you can to reduce the strain of having to project an image that is not authentic.
  8. Evaluating your options: Discuss specific concerns with your supervisor. Work together to change expectations or reach compromises or solutions. Set goals for what must get done and what can wait.
  9. Seeking support: Reach out to co-workers, friends or loved ones for support and collaboration to help you cope. If you have access to an employee assistance program, take advantage of relevant services.
  10. Practicing mindfulness: Mindfulness is the act of focusing on your breath and being intensely aware of what you are feeling at every moment, without interpretation or judgment. In a job setting, this practice involves facing situations with openness and patience, and without judgment.

If the work environment is the problem, contact your recruiter with any questions or concerns you may have. Trust in them to have a good rapport with the hiring managers. They can also step in on your behalf to help with concerns about unfair treatment, an unmanageable workload, a lack of clarity about your role, a lack of support, and many other issues.

Whatever you end up doing to help burnout, be kind to yourself. Keep an open mind as you consider your options. Don’t let a demanding or unrewarding job undermine your health.

If you are looking for a new job, we are also available to help. Scroll through our available jobs or give us a ring at (954) 346-3347.

Woman's hand holding a note that says "Take care of yourself"
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Keeping Fit on Assignment

Keeping New Year’s resolutions can be difficult to turn into habits. Let HCI help you understand what a habit is, how to form one, and how to stick to the most common resolution--getting fit--even when you are on assignment or traveling for pleasure.

Keeping Fit on Assignment

Karen DiDonato ⋅ January 29, 2020

Now that we have almost completed one full month into the new year, it’s time to check in on how you’re doing with your New Year’s resolutions. Are you sticking to whatever you proposed? Was it one of these commonly broken New Year’s resolutions?

  • Lose weight and get fit
  • Quit smoking
  • Learn something new
  • Eat healthier and diet
  • Get out of debt and save money
  • Spend more time with family
  • Travel to new places
  • Be less stressed
  • Volunteer
  • Drink less
A white mug of coffee sits next to a pen and paper reading "2020 New Year's Resolutions" with eye glasses and a green plant nearby.

A public opinion survey of 2,011 Americans shows that 38% of Americans planned to make New Year’s resolutions for 2020. If you didn’t quite stick to your resolutions, you are not alone. According to Forbes, “Studies have shown that less than 25% of people actually stay committed to their resolutions after just 30 days, and only 8% accomplish them.”

For the purpose of this blog, I will focus solely on the first commonly broken resolution, getting fit, but you can apply these ideas to any other undertaking. After all, any of the above resolutions can be accomplished by creating the habits needed to accomplish the micro-tasks that step up to the actual goal.

An article posted to Forbes.com outlined what habits are and how to get them to stick. One interesting point was to reward yourself for whatever it is you want to continue. Behavioral psychology expert Charles Duhigg, mentioned in the article, surmises that addictive and destructive habits have an immediate reward system built in. It’s the same for positive and healthy habits. So if you want to work out, reward yourself afterward by eating a small bit of dark chocolate or drinking your favorite coffee. By permitting yourself a “guilty pleasure”, you will effectively stimulate the release of neurotransmitters and pleasure chemicals that will eventually come, in time, after you complete your workout.

A brown haired woman nibbles a square of dark chocolate

The article also mentions not attempting to do too much too soon thereby setting yourself up for failure.

As an example, if you are very out of shape because you haven’t worked out at all in 10 years and you decide you will run a marathon in three months, you will likely fail. Instead choose smaller goals, and celebrate them when you accomplish them! Keeping with the idea of a marathon, you would start slowly by taking walks, then work yourself up to speed walks, then interval training, etc. The key is to keep your training manageable. Just like the moral in Aesop’s The Hare and the Tortoise, “Slow and steady wins the race”–don’t rush it; you will be less likely to be injured.

A tortoise crosses a yellow line that says "Finish" with a brown rabbit not far behind

Most importantly is to understand you will not be perfect in your pursuit to better yourself. If you slip up one day, get back on track the next and don’t look back. You are already doing better than before you started your quest.

A person walks shoe-less along a road toward the background where green trees underline a blue sky.

So now that we better understand creating exercise habits with longevity, what if you go on vacation? What if you take a travel assignment and you can’t go to your gym or walk the hills by your home? There is no need to toss your exercise regime out the window because you can now take your routine with you!

Fitness apps are all the rage right now and they certainly are plentiful. Some are free while some require a subscription to use the service. But since you likely carry your phone everywhere you go, you can also carry your trainer and your gym as well.

There are no more excuses not to workout while you are away from your routine.

Listed below are some (but not all) apps for both Android and iOS. Take a peek to see what interests you (strength training, running, yoga, bootcamps) and get on it.

Aaptiv

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/aaptiv-1-audio-fitness-app/id869058995
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.aaptiv.android&hl=en_US

adidas Training by Runtastic

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/adidas-training-by-runtastic/id1035263816
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.runtastic.android.results.lite&hl=en_US

All / Out Studio

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/all-out-studio/id1464002763
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.apphearstus&hl=en_US

Asana Rebel

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/asana-rebel-yoga-and-fitness/id1067860796
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.asanayoga.asanarebel

Daily Yoga

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/daily-yoga-workout-fitness/id545849922
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dailyyoga.inc&hl=en_US

Fitbit Coach

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/fitbit-coach/id535640259
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fitstar.pt&hl=en_US

FitOn

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/fiton-fitness-workout-plans/id1442473191
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fiton.android&hl=en_US

Freeletics

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/freeletics-workout-fitness/id654810212
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.freeletics.lite&hl=en_US

Glo – Yoga and Meditation

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/glo-yoga-and-meditation/id1023475268
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.glo.mobile&hl=en_US

Home Workouts — No Equipment

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/home-workout-no-equipments/id1313192037
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=homeworkout.homeworkouts.noequipment&hl=en_US

Jefit

https://apps.apple.com/app/apple-store/id449810000
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=je.fit&hl=en_US

NEOU

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/neo-u/id1436991935
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.neou.fitness

Nike Training Club

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/nike-training-club/id301521403
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nike.ntc

PEAR

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/pear-personal-fitness-coach/id563723189
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.pearsports.android.samsung&hl=en_US

Peloton

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/peloton-guided-workouts/id792750948
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.onepeloton.callisto&hl=en_US

Sworkit

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/sworkit-workouts-plans/id527219710
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=sworkitapp.sworkit.com

If you haven’t yet started working on your resolutions, today is the best day to start being your best self. If one of your resolutions is to find a new job in the clinical or anatomic laboratory, HCI is your best source. Take a look at our open jobs at www.labcareer.com/jobs or call us at (954) 346-4475.

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The Best of California

We currently have an abundance of contract and permanent positions in the state of California. Connect with us; we will be happy to help you find a nearby permanent position or a contract assignment in the clinical or anatomic laboratory.

The Best of California

Karen DiDonato ⋅ December 10, 2019

California has something for everyone: sun, surf, mountains, deserts, forests, farmland, and more! With 840 miles of coastline, the Golden State is known for its warm Mediterranean climate, but it varies quite a bit. From moist temperate rain forest in the north to dry desert in the interior, as well as snow packs in the mountains. California has both the highest elevation (Mount Whitney at 14,505 feet) as well as the lowest elevation in the contiguous United States (Badwater Basin at -279 feet).

We currently have multiple laboratory jobs in the Golden State. From travel opportunities to permanent positions and everything in between, let us help you find a laboratory job in California that suits you perfectly.

Here are a few locations to check out:

Big Sur

An unforgettable section of the central coast of California with a rugged and beautiful coastline. This popular destination boats stunning views, redwood forests, hiking, beaches, and other recreational opportunities.

Dark green and steep mountainous terrain flowing into the blue ocean

Catalina Island

This destination is just 22 miles offshore from Long Beach and about an hour by boat from Long Beach. Get there quicker with only 15 minutes via helicopter. The island is only 22 miles in length and 8 miles across and is stunning. Enjoy its subtropical climate year round with a water temperature as high as 70 degrees in August. Take a Hummer or Segway tour, go scuba diving or parasailing. Consider hiking, ziplining, or paddleboarding, or take it easy by shopping, visiting spas, or lounging on its beaches.

Boats dot the blue water with brown hill rising on the left

Hollywood

This neighborhood of Los Angeles is an iconic symbol of the entertainment business. Visit the Hollywood sign, the Walk of Fame, Madame Tussauds wax museum, Paramount Studios, and so much more.

White Hollywood sign with blue sky

Lake Tahoe

The largest freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada. It is a major tourist attraction in both Nevada and California with winter sports, summer outdoor recreation, and gorgeous scenery.

Blue sky, blue water, snow capped mountains in the background

Los Angeles

With their rich cultural heritage, take some time to visit art galleries and theater productions and enjoy the nightlife and eateries from food trucks to five star Michelin-rated restaurants. Stay active on 75 miles of coastline and hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails.

Sun shines through the hazy smog over skyscrapers of LA

Monterey & Carmel

This is an outdoor-lovers paradise. Rent bikes to ride along the coastline while gawking at homes worth in the millions of dollars, walk the many trails in Carmel Mission, or stroll the white sand beaches. Be sure to check out the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium (a must see for families).

Multicolored buildings built over a wooden pier reflecting on blue water on a cloudy day

Pacific Grove

Known for its traditional Main Street, USA feel, Pacific Grove is also a great area for kayaking, surfing, and fishing. Check out Point Pinos, the oldest continuously-operating lighthouse on the West Coast. If you are visiting between October and February, you will be lucky enough to be in the most popular wintering-over spots for the Monarch butterfly.

A monarch butterfly feeds from a flower with orange petals

San Francisco

San Francisco is more than just its well-known year-round fog, iconic Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, and colorful Victorian houses. It’s Fisherman’s Wharf with amazing views, sourdough bread, and sea lions abound; it’s the Marina District which includes the Palace of Fine Arts. For the best views, check out Crissy Field for prime Golden Gate Bridge views and Dolores Park for viewing downtown San Francisco. Day trip to Angel Island or Alcatraz.

The orange Golden Gate bridge in the foreground with sailboats dotting the blue waters of San Francisco Bay

San Diego

With 70 miles of coastline and warm temperatures, San Diego’s beaches are a top attraction. Go surfing, sport fishing, sailing, paddleboarding, scuba diving, or stay on land for hiking, rock climbing, golfing, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Prefer a higher view? Try paragliding, hang gliding, or skydiving. If beaches aren’t on your to-do list, check out one of 17 museums and performing arts venues. Or spend the day shopping and the evening at Gaslamp Quarter with 16 blocks packed with restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.

Yachts slumber in a calm marina with skyscrapers in the background

Santa Barbara

With over 300 days of sunshine, the climate will call you outdoors. Enjoy the beaches, Channel Islands Marine Preserve, whale watching, biking, kayaking, and so much more. Or check out the urban wine scene with tasting rooms and working wineries, or travel 45 minutes to see rolling vineyards as far as the eye can see.

A brown restaurant sits on Stearns Wharf

Santa Cruz

Go to a wine tasting, view redwoods, visit a beach boardwalk, or walk some of the 29 miles of coastline. Delight the child in you at the amusement park at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk that overlooks the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. While you are there, walk the half mile on the Santa Cruz Wharf, the longest timber pile pier in the world. You may see whales, sea lions, dolphins, or sea otters, or surfers ripping the famous surfing location, Steamer Lane.

A timber pile pier wharf juts into the ocean with waves crashing on the beach

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

Start your trek in the hot foothills and end in the cold alpine peaks, or anywhere in between. You’ll be amazed by the groves of giant sequoia trees.

A fenced-lined paved walking trail winds its way through huge brown sequoia trees

There is definitely something for everyone in California.

If you are looking for a permanent position, we’ve got it. Prefer a 13-week contract position? We’ve got that too. Check out our open California jobs using this link or give us a call at (954) 346-4475.

Get ready to pack your backs and start singing this tune on your way to the Golden State:

California Here I come

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Autumn: A Season Ripe for Apple Picking

Make some memories this autumn at a pick-your-own apple orchard. HCI is happy to help you find a nearby permanent position or a contract assignment in the clinical or anatomic laboratory.

Autumn: A Season Ripe for Apple Picking

Karen DiDonato ⋅ October 1, 2019

The nights are getting cooler now that it’s autumn. And with cooler temperatures comes ripening apples.

As a child I remember stuffing my newly purchased 1 peck bag with the apples I picked myself off the trees heavy with fruit. I recall wearing a short-sleeved t-shirt topped with a warm flannel shirt that I often later discarded after getting too hot from running around the orchard. Once I had filled my bag and eaten my fill of just plucked apples, I’d almost always require a cup of freshly pressed cider (hot or cold; it never mattered to me) and, if I was lucky, a warm apple cider donut.

In North America, apples grow in all temperate zones, but grow best where there is a cold winter and moderate summer temperatures with a good amount of humidity. In Massachusetts, where I lived until adulthood, there were numerous pick-your-own apple orchards from the greater Boston area all the way to the Berkshires.

I always preferred smaller mom & pop orchards that always had cats walking around and invariably a huge one dimensional red apple cut from plywood in which I would stick my head for silly photo ops. There were also huge commercial orchards, some that cordon off sections as pick-your-own areas.

According to USApple, the national trade association for the U.S. apple industry, apples are grown commercially in 32 states. The top ten apple-producing states are Washington, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, California, Virginia, North Carolina, Oregon, Ohio, and Idaho.

Lucky for you, apple lover, HCI is happy to help get you to these states (and many more) to pick your own!

Let us know where you’d like to go and we’ll be happy to help you find a clinical or anatomic laboratory contract assignment nearby. Prefer a permanent position? We’ve got that too! Check out our open jobs here.

PS, now that it’s fall, it’s time for your flu shot.

Hand reaching for an apple on a tree
Plywood cutout of a red apple in front of a large white barn on a bluebird day in Maine
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New Referral Program for Lab Travelers

When our clients and employees refer laboratory travelers to us, it's the best thank you we can ask for. To show our appreciation, we're offering two amazing gifts that won't last long!

Announcing a New Short Term Referral Program

Karen DiDonato ⋅ August 8, 2019

Frog using snails as earbuds

Don’t be like this guy! Upgrade your headphones to the latest Apple AirPods.

I know, they are pricey, but I’m happy to announce our new short-term referral program where you can get a pair for FREE! Need a new cell phone? We’ve got you covered with an absolutely free iPhone XS!

This is a temporary program, so be sure to get in on it soon!

Refer a laboratory traveler to receive a new pair of FREE Apple AirPods!

Apple AirPods

HealthCare Connections, Inc. (HCI) will send you FREE Apple AirPods as a thank you gift for referring a laboratory traveler.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Refer a new traveler to us
  2. We place them on a travel contract
  3. When they complete a minimum of six weeks (240 hours) of their 13-week assignment, we will mail you the Apple AirPods absolutely free!

Need an iPhone XS to go with your AirPods?

Apple iPhone XS

Here’s how it’ll work:

  1. Refer 3 new travelers to us
  2. We place all 3 on travel contracts
  3. When all 3 travelers complete their 13-week assignments (minimum of 500 hours), we will mail you the Apple iPhone XS absolutely free!

But how do you send in your referrals? It’s super easy!

To qualify, referrals must not have had contact with HCI within one (1) year. All referred travelers must begin before September 16, 2019. AirPods will be mailed directly upon the completion of, at minimum, six weeks after commencing contract position; iPhones will be mailed upon the completion of the entire 13-week assignment. No purchase or payment is necessary to win.

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