[Histonet] Hello everyone, I am new to this forum

Valerie Rodriguez vrodriguez10 <@t> gmail.com
Sat Mar 13 09:35:15 CST 2010

Hello everyone, I want to introduce myself to all the histotechs here. I
have visited this forum before but I finally subscribed today. My name is
Valerie, but please call me Val. I am an histotechnologist living in Puerto
Rico. I got interested in the field of histology in 2008. I always loved
Biology but I really did not wanted to study medicine, so I started to
search for careers that were related to medicine but did not required a
doctorate degree. First I wanted to study cytotechnology in my country but I
did not got admitted to that college because there were many people who
applied to the program  but a very small group was chosen. I remember that
my dermatologist told me that I should consider the career of
histotechnology instead because they are not a lot of people prepared in
this field. Since there are no histotech schools in Puerto Rico I decided to
study this career in the U.S. I graduated in 2009. I took the HTL ASCP test
in January of 2010 and successfully passed after my second try.

I finally got a job, which I started this month in a private laboratory in
my country, but instead of working with histology, I am preparing cytology
slides! At the begining I was told I was going to do histology in their
central laboratory, but I was sent to another laboratory in a private
hospital to perform frozen sections but to my surpise, they also told me I
was going to stain cytology stains of fine needle aspirations.

I have been a little overwhelmed because my expertise is not in cytology. I
may follow the protocol of the laboratory for staining these slides, but I
really don't have the knowledge of how to troubleshoot a problem in
cytology. For now I have been doing a good job, but I recently had a problem
with the staining, because the person who trained me did not gave me clear
instructions about when to change the solutions so, I did not changed the
H20 saline frequently. I tough it was once a week, but then after making
this mistake they told me it was like 3 times a week because this solution
gets dirty very quickly and can affect the quality of the details of the
stains, (they told me this too late because I already stained a whole rack
of slides).

Now I have to find some info on cytology so that I can understand this field
better and stay competitive because in my country you have to do everything,
unlike in the U.S where histotech do histology, cytotech do cytology and the
pathologist assistant only do the grossing, in here there are histotech that
have to do all.

Now, to the frozen sections. I still have not performed a real frozen
section by myself yet. I have just practiced using little pieces of chicken
and I have gotten good sections but, I need to practice with real tissue
because not all the tissues are the same and some are very difficult to cut.
I have more experience cutting sections with the microtome, embedding
blocks, doing routine H&E stains. I have not done an special stain yet, but
I have knowledge of all of them because histotech school and the ASCP
prepared me to know them, but I have little experience in frozen sectioning.
I have the knowledge but not the practice.

How ironic is life, I prepared myself 100% for histology and now I am doing
things that I though I would never do.

Do you have similar experiences? Could you provide me advice or good
resources about cytology and frozen sections?


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