[Histonet] Re: Cutting Blocks

joelle weaver joelleweaver <@t> hotmail.com
Sat Oct 27 04:23:26 CDT 2012

TimI think yours is one of the best contributions ( so far ) to this thread as far as summing things up. I think that this number is just a number and is useless without application using insight. You don't have to use an 8 hour period, you can still get an idea of how *efficient* the process is using any time factor. You just need an overall rate really to do some process control. As William has emphaszied, all this is useless if you don't end up with a product of quality regardless of how quickly you produce. I usually deduct from the productivity, the rework introduced by sloppiness,  incompleteness and just plain not caring. That way your number reflects what you actually produce in whatever time period, that is really of VALUE and QUALITY. Since managers have to use some kind of number to monitor the process from the "birds eye view", then at least this way the reflected output number you feed them is controlled for quality and not just performing quickly- so just getting a certain number is is not so heavily encouraged. All process control just creates a system which encourages the desired result. You can control things and processes fairly easily,  the people part is more complex, but because it is more challenging, doesn't mean you should give up- which I see a lot with many managers. No one said there would be an easy answer!I do concede that it is quite difficult to create internal motivations such as caring, dedication, and pride. However I feel that you can certainly encourage the outward behaviors that often result from these internal motivations by rewarding said behaviors within formal evaluations, public accomadations, perks like projects and the like ( you alluded to this). People who already care will be so relieved for finally being recognized for what they already do, and maybe just maybe, the people who don't- will realize they have to step it up. Or, they move on, and that is not so bad either if they are holding your team back.  If you do not encourage the positive and ignore, or at least not reward the mediocre,  you will get just what " you have asked for" ( in effect),  and the least of what you expect from quite a few. "Some people live to work, and some people work to live"- so it is said. The problem is that what we do is not the same as stocking cans of green beans at Krogers, and so we have to give and expect more. ( No offense intended to stockers- just making a point!) .  Ultimately it is up to the leadership to strive to create a system that encourages and rewards our ideal- including the task that got this discussion going- staying on task and working diligently to make high quality slides in the most timely manner possible -because it matters- and because someone is waiting to get perhaps life changing news. 

Joelle Weaver MAOM, HTL (ASCP) QIHC
 > From: thiggins <@t> cddmedical.com
> To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
> Date: Fri, 26 Oct 2012 09:47:20 -0500
> Subject: [Histonet] Re: Cutting Blocks
> All great points, awesome information, that’s why we all enjoy histonet.
> One thing I've learned over the 20 plus years in histology is every person 
> is different and you cant stick them all in the same box.  I personally 
> don't believe 40 blocks an hour is unreasonable as an average as long as you 
> account for time spent doing other functions in the lab.
> Some supervisor, admin. heads, whomever, want to divided the number of 
> blocks cut by a 8 hr. work day, not fair to the employee who also has to 
> load the slides, clean, answer phones, get interrupted by pathologist, use 
> the restroom (god forbid) and the hundreds of other tasks that some they are 
> not given credit for.
> I am all for high production with quality sections, it can happen with a 
> well taught ,seasoned, hard working technician that strives to be a good 
> tech.  That is another part of the equation, some tech (hard to believe) 
> don't care to be "the best they can be" and just want to get in there and do 
> there work and go home.  You can try and shoe horn them into the same mold, 
> or you can try to understand that not everyone is dedicated and has the same 
> skill set.   This is the time they get evaluated and receive the same 
> evaluation as the work they have put forth.  Best way for them to get the 
> message you are trying to get across given you have been up front with them 
> preceding the evaluation.
> Tough subject and everyone has a opinion on what is right.
> My two cents.
> Tim
> Joelle Weaver MAOM, HTL (ASCP) QIHC
> > From: contact <@t> histocare.com
> > Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2012 11:23:07 -0500
> > To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
> > Subject: [Histonet] Number of blocks
> >
> > Hi,
> >
> > To most folks that number does seem high but I've met many old school 
> > techs who can do this easily. One of my first learning experiences was 
> > watching a 57 year old woman crank out tons of slides with no errors and 
> > who regularly got praises from the pathologists for producing the most 
> > beautiful slides.
> >
> > While I have never been required to produce a certain amount within a 
> > certain window, I have built up the ability to cut a lot more than 50 per 
> > hour. I have even doubled this number. Of course it depends on the tissue 
> > type, but assuming properly decalcified bone, nothing popping out of the 
> > block, and a cold block of ice, it's very easy for me to produce a high 
> > quality slide at 3,4,5 microns. I get compliments all the time of my 
> > slides.
> >
> > My methods are quite different from most techs though. When facing, I 
> > don't waste movements. I actually count the rotations and spend less than 
> > 8 seconds facing each block. I also get the right section usually in about 
> > the third or fourth crank and I only put at the most two sections in the 
> > water bath to pick up.
> >
> > I don't cut unnecessary ribbons just to have them sit in the water bath 
> > and eventually have to wipe away with the Kimwipe, which in my opinion is 
> > wasteful of both materials and time. I also make sure I have enough ice to 
> > keep the blocks very cold and adequately hydrated.
> >
> > I'm not sure if being in decent physical
> > shape matters but I think it gives me the arm stamina to do this. I use 
> > only my wrists and fingers and not my whole arm in the rotational motion.
> >
> > Hope this helps,
> >
> >
> > M
> >
> >
> > www.HistoCare.com
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