[Histonet] Need your help explaining that an automatic microtome does not relieve tediousness with tissue sample preparation.

Teresa harris TeresaJHarris <@t> msn.com
Sun Feb 26 01:14:43 CST 2012

Dear Histonet,

I have been employed by the same agency since 1993 as a histotechnologist.  I am responsible for histology, cytology and autopsies.  I am the only full-time technologist.  I even do the medical transcription when necessary.

One day I couldn't lift my coffee cup without severe pain.  I was diagnosed with severe lateral epicondylitis, right elbow.  Personally, I feel that the forceps I used to embed tissue and pick up ribbons of tissue from the microtome and spread that tissue out on the water bath was partially to blame.  It could also have been caused by labeling slides and blocks with a marker, scraping excess paraffin off the blocks, lifting gallons of chemicals to change the tissue processor and stainer, lifting bodies on and off the autopsy table, using the cryostat for frozen sections or from using the microtome.  Another possible cause would be the logging in of specimens into the computer or filing slides and blocks or staining slides.

Anyway, I need your help with a well-reasoned explanation.  I will quote the paragraph word for word that requires such explanation to help my cause.

"In preparing tissue samples for examination, this Office has been advised that a manual microtome was replaced in 2005 with an automatic microtome which requires the touch of a finger to start.  To the extent that you would've been exposed to any tediousness associated with tissue sample preparation, it seems that any upper extremity problem attributable to your exposure would've been while the manual microtome was still in use or within a reasonable period after it was retired.  Any delay in any onset of any upper extremity problem associated with this activity requires a well-reasoned explanation."

Well it sure took more than pushing a button to make that slide.  That much I am sure about.  We need to keep up the good work at educating those who have no idea what a histotech does.

Thank you for any explanations you want to kindly share.

Teresa Harris, HT, HTL(ASCP)QIHC
TeresaJHarris <@t> msn.com

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