Kids@work in a pathology-collection unit??

Needing some blood work done at my local unit today, I rocked up early, at 8.30 am so that I could be back at work by 9.00am.

All was good, I was called in by 8.40 am, but found that the room not only contained me and the blood-letter, but her **little daughter **as well. She was dancing around the room, playing with the gear and generally being a ‘presence’ whilst I was having blood samples drawn from my arm. :eek:

Now I understand that it can be hard getting child-care before school hours (although I happen to know that the school the kid attends DOES have that facility), and that it might have been an emergency or whatever, but for fucks sake, having your kid in while people are having medical procedures done is Just Not On, IMHO.

I didn’t say anything, being too awed at the time by the sheer affrontery, but I wondered how the rest of the folks (mainly elderly) would have felt about such a scenario? And now in the clear light of evening (ha) I wonder if I should make a formal complaint?

What would you do?

I would complain. That is not a safe thing, either for you who may experience a “bad stick” because mom is distracted. or for child who may be exposed to blood that is not hers. Plus, you have a right to that being a private procedure. Some people pass out or experience other reactions to having blood taken. No one needs an extra person hanging around, especially without being at least asked if it’s OK with them.

I would complain too. The inappropriate, it burns.

Contamination of sample-taking materials. Risk of exposure. Risk that she’ll drop something sharp and hurt herself, or drop something breakable and the shards hurt herself or others…

WTF is that woman thinking? I’d complain.

OMG, you had to see a child while you were getting your blood drawn?! Uh, wait. How did this harm you? Don’t give me “well, this could have happened…” or “that could have happened…” Were you in any way harmed?

Gah, what a bunch of busybody wussies.

Really? You’re arguing for the presence of an employee’s child, who is not old enough/self-composed enough to be able to sit quietly out of the way in an area where sensitive biohazards samples are being collected and where sharps are present?

What would I do? I’d roll my eyes, sigh internally and think, “geez, some people…”

And then I’d…no, wait, that’s pretty much it.

I don’t think it’s a good idea, I wouldn’t do it myself as a parent, I wouldn’t tolerate it if a coworker decided to bring her kid to work frequently - actually, in an emergency situation, okay, but stick her in a treatment room with some coloring books or something and keep the intercom on in case she needs something, or let her sit here with me behind the desk, not running around the sharps and vials. But I have to agree with even sven, too. You weren’t harmed, she wasn’t harmed, and while it’s not a good idea, it’s not the worst child endangerment ever, by a far shot.

Yes, but you’d want the kid to be kept out of the way, not playing with equipment and such. That’s why I put the caveat of “kid not sitting quietly/away from the Bad Stuff” in my response. I’ve seen some coworkers bring their kids on occasion, but the kids are kept in back offices with markers from the supply cabinets and coloring pages printed off the Internet, etc., not running through the exam rooms playing with medical stuff.

At the very least, I’m hoping the situation in the OP is very temporary and the mom can move the kid somewhere more appropriate within a half hour or so.

I don’t want the phlebotomist distracted in any way. I don’t want a TV on, I don’t want a friend or SO visiting, and I particularly don’t want the tech to be keeping half an eye on a child. This is not a question of having to be in the presence of a child, but rather, of professionalism and safety. There’s all kinds of things that a child shouldn’t be getting into in a lab. And if the kid is playing around with the gear, dancing around the room, and generally being active, she’s a danger to herself and to others. This is unacceptable.

Yes, I would complain. This kid is compromising her mother’s workplace.

I wouldn’t have given a shit. I think the real dangers of contamination are being wildly exaggerated here.

If a kid wanders through an automotive assembly line without being decapitated or spot-welded by a robot, does that make it OK? Does there really have to be an actual tragedy first, before safe procedures and common sense can be applied?

Highly unprofessional, but I’m not at all surprised to see the debate immediately sink into the familiar “child hater” vs. “child cultist” pattern we’ve come to expect on this board.

This isn’t an auto assembly plant, and children are not wind-up toys that fly about at random. Beyond all the “OMG get my smelling salts, this is just not done” stuff, the reality is that nobody is going to get hurt here. Labs keep fresh needles in containers and used needles in different containers- it’s not like the place is a huge porcupine of needles. Most kids, being familiar with kitchens, windows. etc. are able to be in the presence of glass without flinging it about or whatever. I wouldn’t leave a bunch of kids unattended in a pathology lab, but one kid with mom nearby- it’s not anymore dangerous than anything else (you know what is really scary? STREETS!) and realistically isn’t a danger to anyone. Mom have kids in the kitchen while they cook (knives! glass! hot things!) all the time without getting CPS called on them,

And if mom gets distracted and you have a bad stick (which didn’t happen and probably won’t)…well, so what? How old are you? Are you really such a baby that a split second of mild pain is worth even giving a second thought about (Ok, I know you have some rare clotting issue that makes getting blood drawn burn like fire, or whatever excuse you have.)

It’s a non-issue. If you don’t think children should be in the workplace, that is a different debate which I’m sure people will be glad to have. But be honest about your position and don’t dress it up in fake-o “I’m just concerned for their safety” excuses.

Software developers bringing little children to work has a long and venerable history, and the practice is supposedly the origin of the industry term “molly guard”.

My father owned a medical lab when I was a kid. We were in there from time-to-time while dad worked. I survived, and so did the patients. Much ado about nothing.

Really, I’m not on it for a child safety issue. That’s for the mother to pay (closer) attention to. An unsupervised/half-supervised child loose in a patient or lab area is unprofessional and puts samples and patient safety at risk. It’s exasperating but not dangerous when your kid puts salt in the sugar container or dumps flour on the floor when you’re working on something on the stove that is being problematic. It’s bad news when your kid takes the old patient stickers out of the garbage and relabels some tubes with the wrong name because she’s doing what Mommy does at work.

And yes, I do think getting a bad stick because Mommy is watching Dearie out of the corner of her eye (or Dearie yanks on Mommy’s sleeve) or is checking out her cell phone or is flirting with the cute guy from Transport isn’t acceptable. Excuse the fuck out of me for wanting someone wielding a needle to pay me close attention during the actual sticking-in-the-needle part. (People in our lab opt for the ‘keep people waiting while they text and flirt’ option, which is another matter.)

Plus if Public Health is doing an inspection that day, I suspect your department would be in deep shit. Our hospital puts out panicked E-mails when they hear about pending inspections, including about stuff like a cart left in a corridor or the presence of wedges used to prop doors open (even if not propping a door, we’re not supposed to have these). They’d blow a fucking gasket about a kid in the phlebotomy area.

Did anybody get a bad stick? Was the mother distracted? If I was the patient, I wouldn’t care at all. I don’t see any real danger. It wouldn’t be worth my indignation. Just because you technically can complain about something doesn’t mean it’s worth it. The mom was probably stuck. I’d try to have a little sympathy. I would not feel injured by having a kid in the room.

I didn’t say I would file a complaint (maybe if I saw the kid messing with specimens); I’m just saying there are good reasons to not let kids roam in a phlebotomy lab.

It is highly unprofessional for a hospital employee to bring a child into a sterilized lab, and I can pretty much guarantee that it is against regulations.
Report it.

Not only that, but I don’t want anyone in the lab who doesn’t have an official reason to be there when I’m having a procedure done to my body. Yeah fine, it’s not a pelvic exam but I’m still entitled to a modicum of privacy. Children/friends/spouses/vendors/whothefuckever have no business being a spectator to my medical treatment.

Are you for real?

Seriously. This is a violation of OSHA and HIPPA regulations. It is not a non-issue.