[Histonet] Embedding process improvement and competency assessment

Rene J Buesa rjbuesa <@t> yahoo.com
Wed Aug 24 14:17:59 CDT 2011

Please do not miss-understand what I am going to write you but I still find extremely difficult to wrap my mind around the fact that somebody without practical knowledge of histology can become a manager of a histology laboratory. 
You will have a very hard time going about your tasks and you will probably make some judgment mistakes.
I have proposed many times that medical technologists are the answer to the shortage of histotechs, but because I think MT can be trained and add to their theoretical knowledge of the lab the skills to become good histotecha.
Your question is an example of the difficulties you are encountering because one of the responsibilities of the histology manager is to develop and write the competencies for each task based on his/her experience. 
Since you do not have such experience your only solution will be to rely on others and if your select the wrong one, you will end with "soft" competencies that will adversely affect the overall work flow of the lab.
Excuse for this rant. Now, if you want, I can send you the embedding competencies I developed for my lab.
René J.

--- On Wed, 8/24/11, D'Attilio, Shelley <SDattili <@t> stormontvail.org> wrote:

From: D'Attilio, Shelley <SDattili <@t> stormontvail.org>
Subject: [Histonet] Embedding process improvement and competency assessment
To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Date: Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 1:55 PM

Hi all,
I'm looking on ways to assess competency on embedding skills.  I am a medical technologist managing histotechnologists, so I don't actually know how to embed anything.  Luckily, I have been able to promote a registered histotech to a front-line supervisor position in the lab and improving our techs' embedding skills, particularly on skins, is a process improvement project for the coming year.

I would love some tips on how you assess competency on this important skill.  Is direct observation the only way, or do you use other techniques in conjunction with direct observation?  Any good resources out there that has lots of photos of actual specimens?  Any ideas for measuring improvement?

Thanks in advance for your help,

Shelley D'Attilio MT(ASCP)
Manager, Chemistry, Cytology and Histology
Dept. of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Stormont-Vail HealthCare
Topeka, Kansas

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