So this post really started out as a post about Flower Gems and then turned into a whole "look how crafty our transfusion department was for lab week" thing.
Flower Gems (aka red blood cells)
These things are SO COOL! My coworker initially found them to make a string of lights to run down the middle of the lab. All you do is add water to these tiny, bead-like polymers and they expand to fit their space which, in this case, was test tubes. Next she popped a light into each tube and this was the result:
Tissue Paper Poof Balls (aka white blood cells)
Another coworker of mine made thousands of these for her wedding...so she volunteered to make a few more for our lab week decorations. They are are also super awesome! You take a square of tissue paper, fold it accordian style, gather it in the middle, and then poof it out. Then, if you are the only guy in the department sick of working with craft-hungry chics, you place said poof ball on your head. And see if anyone notices.
I received some parts to do a quick repair on an instrument of ours. When I was done, I was cleaning up and about to throw the packaging when I paused, looked at it, and thought: that looks like an alligator. So I found a few pom-poms and drew on a nose. Then a coworker thought it should be named Bruce and eat red blood cells. Then another coworker thought "if it eat's red blood cells, it should be called a hemolygator." So that's how Bruce, the Hemolygator and transfusion lab week mascot was born. He's still around. I dare anyone to throw him away.
This is actually the second time we've done this. The two ladies in the picture were the originators along with myself and another who no longer works here. I think we are also the only ones who participated in this--which is too bad because it is only the best activity that we have done. Ever. Basically, you decorate cookies to look like different types of red or white blood cells seen on a cell differential (a hematology test.) We had to do thousands (an exaggeration? I wish...) while we were students. It's fun to know all our hard work paid off when we get to use our knowledge in fun ways.