Memorial Heroes: Betsy Banuelos, Microbiology supervisor


November 20, 2020

What is your official title?

Microbiology supervisor.

How long have you worked here at Memorial Medical Center?

Almost 4 years.

How did you come into this position?

I was hired as a medical technologist and was asked to specialize in microbiology. I agreed because I am very interested in microbiology. Within two years, I found out about an opening position for a micro supervisor; I decided to apply because I know I can improve the methodology of lab tests for better patient care, reduce turnaround time and improve efficiency in this department. The position was offered to me after a few candidates and I accepted.

What was your motivation for a career in Healthcare?

I have had a passion to help people/animals since I was little. I am deaf and have encountered many barriers which prevented me from reaching my dream where I could work in a medical field. Instead of giving up, my passion drives me to keep going, and here I am.

What is a typical day like for you?

Hospital labs are always open. We analyze blood, urine and other body fluids for patients in hospitals, nursing homes and clinics. We interpret results, problem-solve and analyze data that is used to detect disease and infections.

How would you describe your role’s responsibilities?

My responsibilities are maintaining my role in microbiology, writing/revising laboratory procedures and involve training students/technologists. I analyze, research, plan and implement new procedures. I manage daily operations for laboratory.

In what areas do you help patients?

I test samples of body tissue, blood and fluids to diagnose infections, monitor treatments or track disease outbreaks. In addition to the normal reporting of results, surveillance reports of infectious agents, such as drug-resistant bacteria, acid-fast bacilli smear-positive patients and CoV-2 positive patients must be immediately reported to the infection control team.

What are some of your interests outside of work?

I attend El Paso Regional Day School Program for the Deaf (elementary, middle and high school) to inspire the kids to push themselves much further to reach their goals/dreams regardless of their disability. I also attend the EPCC Interpreter program to teach interpreters how to work with deaf/hearing impaired patients/families and teach them my sign language lexicon that I had created.

What is your favorite part about working for Memorial Medical Center?

I like working cooperatively with other people to improve another person’s life. MMC has an excellent support structure, there is always help available for whatever problem I have and my accommodations are met. I always feel more comfortable working for MMC.