I have long ago dismissed any notion of becoming wealthy, having realised the many other things that are far more important in life. I will earn what I need to earn and spend it as well as I can. After what I hope to be a hedonistic old age!, I will leave what little is left to the family.
So what about microbiology labs? How does money affect them? We like to claim that we work in impoverished laboratories, and certainly some labs work to tight budgets. However in New Zealand where I currently work, it is difficult to imagine that any lab is desperately short of money relative to some of the laboratories in the developing world.
Of more interest to me is the microbiology lab that has too much money. What are the signs and effects of this? Here are a few suggestions based on a few of the many labs I have experienced throughout my career:
- Too many managers, leading to excess bureaucracy and difficulty getting decisions made.
- Too many unnecessary or superfluous tests being performed.
- Inefficient processing methods, overuse of antimicrobial susceptibility testing.
- Avoidance of making difficult decisions.
- Lack of hunger to modernise the service.
I have been in labs that are clearly playing to a tight budget, and also in labs that have been “dripping with money”. What is interesting however is how little difference there is in terms of performance between them….
Microbiology matters, money less so….