[Histonet] Number of blocks

Brendal Finlay brendal.finlay <@t> medicalcenterclinic.com
Thu Oct 25 09:20:44 CDT 2012

Many years ago in histology training at AFIP, we were taught that the
"quota" was 30 blocks an hour.  As someone stated before, certain
tissue types are easy to cut and are 1-2 sections per slide making
that 40-50 block/hr rate a bit reasonable. When you're leveling
prostates, skins, cutting specials or unstained, working with dry,
difficult, or fatty tissue, slide turn out time is increased. 

I remember recently seeing someone talking about cutting 80 blocks/hr
and the folks I work with could see the multiple question marks above
my head because that seems impossible to me at less than 30 seconds
per block.  No offense to anyone who can do this.  More power to

I looked in a few histology books, but could not find a written
reference on how "fast" a tech should cut.  Consistent, good sections
placed on the slide in a neat manner should also be factored into the

*hops off soapbox*

Brendal C.Finlay, HT (ASCP)

-----Original message-----
From: Dorothy Ragland-Glass techmana12 <@t> yahoo.com
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2012 08:10:20 -0500
To: "Bartlett, Jeanine (CDC/OID/NCEZID)" jqb7 <@t> cdc.gov, Mike
Pencempence <@t> grhs.net, "Histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
"Histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: RE: [Histonet] Number of blocks

> No. My main duty is Ihc, but I heard the other techs, mostly the
ones new to histology and some older techs who informed them on how
obsurd and impossible that task would be for them to try to live up to
that standard. The newbees thought that was what the speed of a
histotech should be. They were told it did not matter what the tissue
was accordding to CAP. Us older techs know different. But we need
written documentation to show the young turks who are being bullied.
Is there something to written to give them a leg to stand up.
> "Bartlett, Jeanine (CDC/OID/NCEZID)"wrote:
> >Absolutely! 40-50 bone marrows is completely different from 40-50
fallopian tubes. Are you just cutting one section per block?
> >
> >Jeanine H. Bartlett
> >Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
> >Infectious Diseases Pathology Branch
> >404-639-3590
> >jeanine.bartlett <@t> cdc.hhs.gov
> >
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
[mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of Mike
> >Sent: Thursday, October 25, 2012 8:50 AM
> >To: Dorothy Ragland-Glass; Histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
> >Subject: RE: [Histonet] Number of blocks 
> >
> >As a histo lab supervisor I would never ask nor demand that my
techs do something that I cannot do myself. I would have to say that
that number sounds a little high to me, but it woulddepend on the type
of specimens being cut.
> >
> >Just my thought, Mike
> >
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
> >[mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of
Dorothy Ragland-Glass
> >Sent: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 7:38 AM
> >To: Histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
> >Subject: [Histonet] Number of blocks 
> >
> >
> >It was annouced by a histo lab manager that techs are expected to
> >40-50 blocks per hour. That seems to me to be rather high. I don't
see quality slides being turned out. It is quantity and profit above
patient care. I am old school, and I remember something about quality
and patient first. Besides what kind of impact on morality of the
techs, back problems and carpal tunnel syndrom is laying ahead for the
cutter after cranking the microtome repeatedly thatmany blocks without
a break.
> >
> >
> >_______________________________________________
> >Histonet mailing list
> >Histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
> >http://lists.utsouthwestern.edu/mailman/listinfo/histonet

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