Tina, MT, ASCP, has dedicated more than 10 years to Our Lady of the Lake Health. Throughout her journey from medical technologist to chemistry lab supervisor, Tina has been inspired by her work and felt supported as she’s grown in her career.
After earning her biology degree from Southern University, Tina started working in our ministry through a medical technician program. Medical techs conduct a wide variety of diagnostic tests on clinical specimens to gather data providers use to diagnose, treat and monitor patients’ health conditions. Their technical skills and quality work ensure accurate lab results.
“I did my clinicals here, and they had tons of openings,” Tina says. “Once you’re a student and you do your clinicals here, if you do a good job, you get a position here. And that’s what brought me to the Lake.”
After working as a med tech for seven years, Tina took a break to focus on her family. Her priorities changed after becoming a parent to twins, and she now has a 3-year-old son as well.
Returning to Full-Time Work
In early 2020, right before the COVID-19 pandemic, Tina came back to work for Our Lady of the Lake in her med tech role. “I came back here honestly because of the people,” Tina says.
Her supervisor left shortly after Tina’s return, and she was encouraged to apply for the open position. Although hesitant at first, Tina’s husband encouraged her to take on the new challenge. She got the job and has thrived as a chemistry lab supervisor since 2021.
The transition to leadership came during an incredibly difficult time as Tina had to navigate major staffing shortages during the pandemic.
“It’s been tough, but I can still say that I really like what I do here,” she says. “The lab is a great place to work and we have a lot of support.”
In her new role, Tina focused on creating a positive work environment and communicating openly, and she had the support of hospital leadership every step of the way.
“Anything I need, I can feel comfortable going and talk to my manager or even a director just to ask them for advice or if I need something for the department, they’re supportive,” Tina says.
A Career Highlight
One of Tina’s proudest accomplishments is leading her team to implement an innovative new diagnostic tool to detect sepsis. Sepsis kills more than 270,000 adults in the U.S. each year, and before this first-of-its-kind technology, there wasn’t a reliable sepsis test.
Our Lady of the Lake’s collaboration with medical diagnostic company Cytovale led to FDA approval of the IntelliSep test in January 2023, and Tina’s team does the work of running the tests on the new technology.
“That was pretty exciting, being the first facility to have it,” Tina says. “And it’s going to be everywhere and make a big difference for patients.”
Additional improvements, including high-tech automation, continue at the lab, which is the most advanced in Greater Baton Rouge.
“There are some exciting things happening in the lab right now,” Tina says.
Behind-the-Scenes Balance and Inspiration
Tina works hard to maintain open communication with her team. “I feel like communication is the best when you try to be as honest as possible,” she says. Tina also understands the challenges of work-life balance as a working mom and prioritizes helping her team find the balance they need.
“It’s very challenging trying to work full time and have a family,” Tina says. “My priorities definitely changed since becoming a parent and thinking about them more than myself.”
Tina finds inspiration knowing her team’s work impacts patient care even though they don’t interact directly with patients. “You think about how that sample in your hand could be your mom, your brother or sister’s sample,” she says. “That’s what keeps me going — just thinking about the patient and somebody’s family.”
Listening plays a role in everything, including Tina’s work in the lab.
“I listen to team members and my peers, what they need, and how I can help them in the best way,” Tina says. “Overall, I can say I do feel heard.”
Across her decade-plus career with Our Lady of the Lake, Tina has felt empowered to grow as a leader. More importantly, she finds purpose in the lab’s vital — though at times unseen — role serving patients every day.