Fwd: Re: [Histonet] Can you lose your skill?

From:"LaCinda Burchell"

>>> LaCinda Burchell 04/09/04 10:17AM >>>
Hi Douglas,
  I have changed back and forth from broad based general hospital lab
experience to very specific research work over the years.  I know that I
have become very rusty in all sorts of areas.  I've tried to combat that
by keeping several excellent text books in my lab, and by keeping
constant connection with resources  like Histonet.  A couple of years
ago I had the chance to moonlight at a brand new Mohs lab.  It had been
three years since I'd last worked in Mohs.  I was very nervous on the
first day that I might have forgotten too much, or lost my skills.  It
turned out that I was a bit rusty, but when the first specimen was given
to me I was able to switch into the right gear and do everything
necessary.  By the third day in the new Mohs lab I felt as though I was
right back up  to speed.   Seven years ago I had many special stains
memorized.  Now I have to refer to texts in order to do most  of them. 
I think that yes, you may forget many things in the short term, and you
will feel slow and clumsy when you need to ramp up again in the future. 
But, if you want it bad enough you'll find your strengths again.  Are
the people with your new job open to/or excited about seeing any of the
wonderful things you can provide for them?  If you're "stuck" in a place
for a while in the Navy try to be the best example of someone eager to
learn anything, or figure out anything   put before you.  Be creative.
It will be a test of patience, but initiative of that sort may lead you
to the creation of new techniques and knowledge which will make you very
desirable to many employers in the future.  I know that the military can
be very rigid when it comes to the desires of one person.  As the mom of
a US Sailor I wish with all my heart that this unhappy location might
turn into all sorts of skills that will pad your resume should you want
to shift in to the civilian world again in the future.  For instance, is
there a camera attached to any of the scopes? If so, be insistent that
you want to become proficient with it's use. And, always listen closely
to the Pathologists around you.  If you ever hear them say "I wish....",
see it as  a chance to prove your true colors.)  Try to hang in there if
you must.  But in the meantime, if there is ever anything that I might
help you with please feel welcome to contact me.  I'll do my best!

LaCinda Burchell, BA, AS, HT(ASCP)
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Medical School
Asthma and Allergy Research IHC Lab
600 Highland Ave.  CSC  K4/913
Madison, Wisconsin  53792

Phone: 608-262-3518
FAX:     608-263-3746

>>> "Deltour, Douglas D.(HM2)"  04/09/04
04:52AM >>>
Hello everyone,
I have a kind of odd question for you. I would love to have all of the
experts and non-experts feedback. Let me start off by saying that I
been a Histotech since 2000 when I graduated from the school at AFIP. I
sent to a place that did 6000 cases a year. We also did special stains
autopsies. I was working there for two years when I transferred to a
that did 18,000 cases a year. Specials, autopsies, and immuno's. Now I
am at
a place where I do 800 cases a year. Maybe 5 special stains a year and
autopsies. I am supposed to be here for three years but I am trying to
it. I am telling everyone that I am losing my skills being here. The
that control this place tell me otherwise. There is one pathologist
right out of residency who will not confirm that my skills will erode.
He is
right out of residency and would not know. Anyway do you think that my
complaint is a legitimate complaint. Can you lose your skills if not
If you have not noticed already I am in the military, Navy that is. I
need to confirm that a Histotech can lose their skill if not used. I
appreciate any feedback, advice. Thank you.

HM2(FMF) Douglas D. Deltour 
Naval Hospital Sigonella Italy 
Anatomic Pathology, Histology Supervisor (HT)
FROM US: 01139095564862 DSN: 624-4862 
FAX FROM US: 01139095564680 DSN: 624-4680

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