[Histonet] a question on ethics

Joe Nocito JNocito <@t> Pathreflab.com
Fri Aug 13 08:00:22 CDT 2004

I sympathize greatly with you.  You really need to take all your
documentation to Risk Management today. Have you tried talking to your
manager's supervisor? If you have and nothing changed, I would go to that
person and tell them you are going to R.M. and that you were just telling
them as a courtesy and don't let them talk you out of going to R.M.  The
reason I say this is no one likes to be blind-sided and then they can't come
back and say you should have let them know.
	Prior military experience tells me to go through the management chain. In
this situation, I would have all my ducks lines up so there could be no
back-lash on you.
	You have the right and responsibility to be the patient's advocate. There
are too many horror stories about mixing specimens up. And I would
definitely start looking for another job.
	As always, the opinions of this author do not reflect the opinions of his

Joe Nocito, BS, HT(ASCP) QIHC
Histology Manager
Pathology Reference Lab
San Antonio, TX

-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
[mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu]On Behalf Of Ron Martin
Sent: Friday, August 13, 2004 4:27 AM
To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: [Histonet] a question on ethics

Fellow techs,
I am in a difficult situation and need some serious advice. I recently (4
months ago) accepted a technical supervisor position in a dermatology lab. I
went from a bench tech at my old job to this position. I also walked away
from a raise at my old position so I could step into a supervision position.
I took the new position because I was told by my manager that she would
teach me some supervision, management and financial skills that I currently
do not have as well as the growth potential of the company.This position is
not what I was told it would be. Part of my "duties" include emptying the
trash, clean the bathroom  (not happening) and taking her personal and
professional calls. The question on ethics is the high volume of mistakes
made by our technician, our offices and also by my manager herself.
I caught a mistake made by our tech a few weeks ago.She put the wrong tissue
on the wrong slides as she inverted the two cases. I caught her mistake
before it went out. One time she assigned the same number to two different
cases. She then sent the correct case out for a consult (which wasn't
needed) and put the wrong patient name on the slide. Every other day there
is something different.My manager will not terminate her as she knows I am
seeking employment elsewhere and she cannot afford to lose a tech.
One day my manager gave three cases the same accession number.She caught her
mistake on one of the cases but I still ended up with two cases with the
same number. When I first started there my manager had a case in which there
" was no tissue in the container". She said that she notified the office
about the situation however up to six weeks later the office was still
calling looking for results.At that point she wrote up an incident report
and dated it six weeks prior to coincide with the surgery date.
Our offices are not any better. One case came in with the wrong patient
information. It took about 7 weeks for the office to realize that they sent
the wrong patient information with the biopsy as the names were close in
spelling.  The offices continually send mistakes with incorrect spelling of
patients names and incorrect anatomical locations.
 I have tired to document everything but there are too many mistakes and I
don't have enough time or energy to keep up with them.My manager wants us to
do our own "internal quality control". My interpretation of this is that she
doesn't want our physician and risk manager to know of these mistakes. Are
these becoming common problems or is it just my situation?
I want to emphasize that I hope I am not being unethical myself for
revealing this information but I really need some advice and support.I have
very high standards and they are not being met in this current situation. I
am currently seeking a new position but I need employment and cannot resign
until another position becomes available. I would like to stay in Florida
and if anyone knows of any positions please inform me as I am at my wits
end. Thanks in advance.

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