[Histonet] Losing our art form--manual vs. automated

Thomas Proctor proctoth <@t> ohsu.edu
Fri Feb 2 13:05:25 CST 2007

I do not have any automated equipment; I routinely process paraffin and plastic resin and frozen blocks by hand, from dissection to sections to stains to micrographs.  Although I have over 5 years experience as a lab tech, I just started a new position running a histology core for an exclusive group of five investigators.  At times, it definately seems much more like art than science!  I've never used automated equipment, and I'm sure the benefits are great.  But I don't like the idea of not being in control, e.g. when machines break...

Those in that real story are happy they did not work under my supervisoin, because they would have been fired on the spot, NOT for NOT knowing how to hand-coverslip, but for the lack of initiative and not even bothering to look for the supervisor and ask what to do.
 They chose to iddle and enjoy payment witout work.
 Absolutely disgusting and unacceptable!
 René J.

Cheryl Kerry <tkngflght <@t> yahoo.com> wrote:
 Did you all hear the story (true) about the group of newly certified techs
and the cover slips?

One day the block load was larger than usual and, of course, the
coverslipper broke. The newly certified techs were standing around, hands in
pockets, because they couldn't turn out the slides.

When the old-school manager came in and asked what the holdup was, they
responded "We can't turn anything out--they aren't coverslipped." 

Flabbergasted, the manager donned gloves, sat down and showed them how to
apply coverslips the old fashioned way.


I interview 5 or 6 techs a day. I'm finding many have never had the
experience the fine art of the hand-stained H&E. I know these machines save
time, increase production, decrease variation, reduce chemical exposure--the
benefit list is endless. But shouldn't we all at least KNOW what these
machines are doing for us?

My two cents...


Cheryl Kerry, HT(ASCP)
Full Staff Inc.

Sign up for the FREE e-newsletter AP News--updates, tricks of the trade and
current issues for Anatomic Pathology Clinical Lab. Send a 'subscribe'
request to APNews <@t> fullstaff.org. Please include your name and specialty in
the body of the email. 

More information about the Histonet mailing list