Biomedical Laboratory Science Day, April 15.

BLS Day is an opportunity to promote public awareness of the theme and the contributions made by the profession as it relates to health care.

The theme for 2017 and 2018 BLS Day is "Antibiotic Resistance".

In 1996 at the World Congress in Oslo, the General Assembly of Delegates (GAD) agreed to establish a world-wide Biomedical Laboratory Science Day (BLS Day). This day is for the promotion and celebration of the key role Biomedical Laboratory Scientists have in diagnosis and treatment of patients.

The theme for the day is selected by the IFBLS Board of Directors and is related to health issues and support the UN and WHO Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The theme is used for two years.

Why is it important to celebrate the BLS Day?

Biomedical Laboratory Scientists are one of the largest groups of health-care professionals, and have a vital role in medicine and public health. The best person to promote our profession is a confident Biomedical Laboratory Scientist. We understand our role in healthcare and are the best to carry our message.

Getting Started

Planning a BLS Day activity can be a great way to get acquainted with your colleagues, even those in another section or facility. Your working group could involve frontline staff, students, educators, managers, researchers and industry representatives. Identify possible projects. Together you can achieve great results. Don't be afraid to try something new!

Focus on the theme

The IFBLS theme is meant to guide your project, not to restrict your activities. You may decide to focus on the complete theme, only one aspect or a theme that is more relevant to the area you live or work. It is important to have a clear idea of what and why you are celebrating.

Choose your audience

It is essential to identify your target audience. It could be the general public reading the newspaper, watching TV or shopping. Perhaps it's patients and families within your hospital or clinic. It could be other health care workers, children at school or teenagers making career choices. Perhaps a community group is seeking interesting speakers. Your presentation and material must be appropriate to your audience.

Set realistic goals! The national news service may not be interested in your presentation to young children at school but perhaps a picture and story in the local newspaper or even on your hospital website is possible. Consider all of the possibilities.

Choose your method

Your target audience will help to identify your message and the type of event you should plan. You may use the IFBLS theme and the materials in your projects. BLS Day topics can be presented in various ways:

Hands on activities
Presentations
Displays
Web-based information

Interactive events allow the audience to join in and improve understanding.

Always use display materials and terminologies that are suitable for your target audience.

Avoid displaying materials that will offend or frighten your audience. Try to make it fun and interesting.

How to Celebrate

The type of project you provide will depend on your resources, availability of volunteers and suitable space. Here are some examples:

Display Posters – make your own to promote your special project or use the theme poster available at www.ifbls.org. Your national association may also provide materials. Place them in visible locations such as waiting rooms, elevators, lobbies as permitted by the building management.

Open House in the Laboratory – invite patients, families, blood donors and other health-care personnel. This could be a good opportunity to promote new testing.

Education activity for your colleagues – Plan an evening seminar or a lunchtime presentation. Offer to speak to other health care professionals.

Contact the local press: Newspapers or radio/TV. Write a short press release to describe the event. Remember to indicate the names of local contact persons.

Promote BLS Day in the hospital's internal newspaper, internal website, on social media etc.

Prepare in Advance

Plan

Finalize the equipment that is needed. Obtain permission to remove laboratory equipment for off-site displays.

And Finally

Please share with the IFBLS office how you celebrated BLS Day. We would also appreciate any of your event photos and stories.

Good luck, enjoy and make it something special for everyone!