[Histonet] Advice on Training Histology Lab Assistants

Rene J Buesa rjbuesa <@t> yahoo.com
Tue Jun 10 10:17:59 CDT 2008

I have always applied a "rule of thumb" to determine what a lab assistant can or cannot do:
  "IF whatever is going to be done relates with the SPECIMEN in a way that the specimen can be altered/damaged in any irreversible way, then it is NOT a task for the assistant".
  Examples: description, cassetting, embedding or sectioning.
  René J.

"McKnight, Tanisha" <tanisha.mcknight <@t> covance.com> wrote:
  Hello All:

I have a few people, now working in accessioning, who are interested in
working in Histology. I am thinking of potentially creating "Histology
Lab Assistant" positions to help them transition. They have already been
told that they will need to go through an accredited program to become
full Techs. We have one here in Indiana that I went through and it is

Can you all share your strategies for training? How do you separate what
Assistants are allowed to do from what Techs do? What regulatory
guidelines do you follow if any when deciding? 

I was thinking of training them to embed and create sections first (on
limited specimen types). I would not allow certain biopsies or really
small specimens. Under regulations, would sectioning and embedding be
considered "testing"? 

Any help or advice would be appreciated.

Tanisha N. McKnight, HT (ASCP)
Covance CLS Indianapolis
Specimen Management, Anatomic Pathology

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