Dolores V. Cacho is a Clinical Laboratory Scientist (CLS) in LVMC’s Laboratory Services department. She works three-night shifts, followed by a day shift. She was hired in September 2002, and in the second quarter of 2011 was chosen as Employee of the Quarter.
What is your favorite quote or motto?
“Stand up for what is right even if you are standing alone.”
What hobbies or interests do you have outside of work?
Outside of work, I am a crazy plant lover. I collect succulents and orchids. I call my orchid collection “my orKids" and my succulents as my soCutelent babies. Most of my orKids are in full bloom now and I have about 130 pots, mostly Cymbidiums, Dendrobiums, and few Cattleyas and Phalaenopsis.
What do you wish people knew about your job?
That the work of a Clinical Laboratory Scientist is not just to run or operate the different lab analyzers. CLS is the least known profession in the healthcare field. Some people even don't know that we exist, some think that those wearing white lab coats are just merely drawing blood. But do they ever think what we do with the blood sample afterward? The CLS are like the "detectives" in the medical world, we are working in the background carefully analyzing different tests with the ultimate goal of providing accurate results in order to save lives. To name a few duties of what a CLS does in the lab: we call the doctor if the patient's glucose is very high or very low and we call the doctor if someone's hemoglobin is so critically low that the patient may need a blood transfusion. It is the CLS who will also prepare those blood products for transfusion. We also run several lab tests that will help the doctor diagnose if the patient with chest pain is having a heart attack or not. We also determine which antibiotic is effective to treat an infection after analyzing certain bacterial cultures that will lead us to isolate and identify the pathogen. It is also the job of a CLS to run tests and tell if a patient is positive for Flu or HIV or Strep throat or if someone is having a drug or alcohol overdose. It is also the CLS who runs tests and can determine a person’s blood type.
What is one of your proudest moments?
When I was in Blood Bank and had to prepare blood products for a ‘super stat’ newborn blood transfusion, and knowing that the baby survived.
What is your favorite thing about the Lompoc Valley?
What I like most about Lompoc is the weather, and of course the flowers in the flower fields.
What do you like about working in healthcare?
Being able to help save lives by supplying clinicians/doctors with valuable laboratory results that will aid them with the right decisions, diagnosis, and treatment.