[Histonet] Slightly OT: Lab kids

Mark Tarango marktarango <@t> gmail.com
Thu Jun 5 12:03:12 CDT 2008

I got my start in the histology lab in high school, and I'm 28 now.  The
techs tried hard to keep me out of the lab, since I was just the courier at
the time.  I don't even think it was legal to be the courier at 16, but the
pathologist who owned the lab knew I had a driver's licence (and he liked me
since I was science club president lol).

I worked in another lab that was owned by the histotech when I was 17-19.
She would have her elderly mother (in her 90's) wash and re-fill formalin
bottles.  I can't say how many times I walked into the lab and find her
mom squirting herself with formalin and not even realizing it (thinking it
was ending up in the bottle).  Her mom was far more dangerous in the lab
than I was, except for the time I set the lab on fire!  (but it didn't burn

On Thu, Jun 5, 2008 at 9:22 AM, Breeden, Sara <sbreeden <@t> nmda.nmsu.edu>

> I second Linda Blazek's, and other's, posts about working in a lab as a
> teen. Our hospital was too small for Candystripers and I wanted in on
> the "action", so I pestered the med tech until he offered me a job at 50
> cents/hour out of his own pocket. I got to wash urine bottles and
> Vacutainer tubes and make culture media but I graduated to doing EKGs,
> running the autoclave in the surgery suite, and a hundred other things.
> There was no histo lab and I had no idea what histo was! After a couple
> years of college and when the hospital finally hired a pathologist/lab
> director, she asked me to place an ad in the local paper for a
> "histotech" and when she told me what it was, I told her she didn't need
> to place an ad - I wanted to do it. She sent me to Roswell (yes - that
> Roswell - which might explain a lot about me...) to work with a
> histotech for 30 days. When I returned, we ordered all the equipment and
> I was up and running. That was 1968 and here I am - OLD like Linda and
> having just as much fun. How coincidental that so many of us
> Experienced, Well-Seasoned HTs got our start purely by accident! All of
> us E,W-Ss (Experienced...) should contribute Funny Early Histology
> Stories and I'll get it into book form! At last - an idea for my
> profitable retirement!  Okay - back to work!
> Sally Breeden, HT(ASCP)
> NM Dept. of Agriculture
> Veterinary Diagnostic Services
> PO Box 4700
> Albuquerque, NM  87106
> 505-841-2576
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