Laboratory medicine involves many different disciplines, all helping to contribute to specialized care.
For Renee Giroux, her work in pathology is vital for informing care decisions related to cancer.
Renee is the manager of pathology in the integrated laboratory serving Grand River and St. Mary’s hospitals. She oversees two areas: histology or the study of the microscopic structure of tissues and cytology or the study of the structure, function and chemistry of cells.
Renee and her team members may not come into direct contact with patients. However the needs of patients are very much on the minds of lab staff as they provide expert care with test specimens.
How did you get into laboratory sciences, and when did you start at GRH?
I joined GRH in July 2016. I have always had an interest in the sciences as a teen and discovered the medical laboratory world, and I never looked back!
What does your average day looks like?
I usually start my day with a plan – but the constant world of change doesn’t always allow for that plan to happen. As I am the manager of the pathology department which is comprised of the histology and cytology technical teams at GRH and St. Mary’s, I focus on optimizing and empowering my team to deliver timely services to our team of pathologists.
We focus on high-quality tissue and fluid processing to enable the pathologist team to identify various disease states and malignancies, primarily for patients in Grand River’s cancer centre.
What do you like about your role at the hospital?
I like the camaraderie of a close knit team that extends beyond the walls of the laboratory. I have been able to leverage my past career of working in all of the other laboratory disciplines to learn histology and cytology. The opportunity to develop and grow is priceless.
Histology and cytology are prime departments to which we can apply Lean thinking and technological advancements. I am excited to lead the team through that.
How do you build a rapport with your team?
I have developed an appreciation for what they do so I can understand their pain points. I have daily huddles with my teams and that ensures that I am in the know and they can count on me to support them as issues arise. My doors are always open.
What’s the one thing that you’d like someone to know about the lab and its people?
We see and recognize every specimen as a person and loved one of somebody. We may not always see the patient directly, but we operate as if we do.