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Member Spotlight - Katie Golab

Katie Golab ~ Wisconsin Diagnostic Laboratories Chapter    

Meet our featured member, Katie Golab, a Certified Technologist II in Hematology at Wisconsin Diagnostic Laboratories (WDL). Katie started working at WDL right after she graduated from college in May of 2016. Katie says, "How I became a Medical Laboratory Scientist was a little bit of a journey." She knew she wanted to go into the medical field, but all she really was sure of is that she didn't have the personality or skill set to excel in nursing, or medical school. She thought she wanted to be an x-ray technician, but her college of choice didn't have the major. Her adviser suggested she try Medical Technology. So, she took a one-week course where she learned about the profession, toured a lab, and found out what you could do with that major. Katie immediately fell in love with the profession when she toured the lab at the VA Medical Center and discovered what Medical Technologists do to impact patients' lives, without necessarily having a front line role. It was a perfect fit for Katie.

Having a union at her workplace means a lot to Katie, because she grew up in a union household, with her dad being an active member of Steamfitters Local 601. She thought it was amazing that the union tradition would continue on with her. From an early age, she had a great understanding of how important unions were for protecting workers' rights, and she feels this especially rings true in today's polarized political times. Katie said, "I'm very glad to be part of my union, because it means I have a group of people willing to stand with me if I notice anything that could be demoralizing or potentially detrimental to me and my co-workers."

Katie became involved in her union because she got to know her Chapter President, Charles De La Pena, when he worked on her shift. He would often ask her opinion on issues, because she was one of the youngest members of her union. She was looking for an active role in her union and she was asked to join in the negotiations for the Medical Technologist Career Ladder. Katie stated, "I really enjoyed being part of this commitee, because it helped me have a say in how techs can now forward their careers at WDL, without necessarily moving directly from a bench tech position into a management position. This allows technical excellence at the bench level to shine and creates key people who can be resources within all of the departments, and it has allowed me to become one of the youngest Certified Technologist II Techs at WDL." 

In her free time, Katie enjoys going out to high schools and giving presentations about different laboratory professions, from Lab Processors and assistants, to Histo and Cyto Techs, Medical Laboratory Scientists to Medical Laboratory Technicians, and all the way up to the pathology department. She  brings slides with her, if the students are able to look at microscopes and microbiology plates, so they can see what different organisms look like and what techs do with those plates. Katie said, "I bring the slides so they can be little 'Hematology Detectives' and get to look for different blood cancers. I started doing this to help expose students to lab careers before they get to college."

Katie loves her career choice, being a member of WFNHP Local 5000, and looks forward to advancing her position in her union over the next few years. 

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