RE: [Histonet] Can you lose your skill?

From:"Bartlett, Jeanine"

I left the field of histology in 1983 and then went back in 1990.  I was
concerned because there had been so much advancement in the field that I
felt I would never catch up.  I wasn't concerned over my basic technical
skills.  My first day I sat down at the microtome to cut some prostate
blocks.  They were awful!  I couldn't believe how bad I was!  Then I
realized that the microtome, which was an old one, simply needed the
block holder tightened.  Voila!  Beautiful sections!  You don't lose the
technique but you may have to work on remembering the little details.

Jeanine Bartlett, HT(ASCP)
Centers for Disease Control
Infectious Disease Pathology Activity
1600 Clifton Road, MS/G-32
Atlanta, GA 30333

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Joe
Sent: Friday, April 09, 2004 1:49 PM
To: Barry R Rittman;
Subject: Re: [Histonet] Can you lose your skill?

I left Wilford Hall USAF medical center in 1986 to go to AFIP, only to
return back to Wilford Hall. During the time at AFIP, I did not see a
microtome for 5 years. Although I gained a wealth of training and
experience in immunos, when I returned back to a hospital setting, I had
to learn how to cut again. I almost ripped up my ASCP certificate.
    I have experienced a loss of technique myself, so I do believe you
can loose your skills. Been there, done that.  Good luck with fighting
USN, I fought the USAF not to go to AFIP, but, we all know how that
ended up. Good luck

Joe Nocito BS, HT (ASCP) QIHC
Histology Manager
Pathology Reference Lab
San Antonio, Texas
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Barry R Rittman" 
Sent: Friday, April 09, 2004 5:13 AM
Subject: RE: [Histonet] Can you lose your skill?

Although I do not have all the details, I do not believe that you are
approaching this from the right direction. If you are only doing 800
cases a year what is occupying the rest of your time there? If you have
"time on your hands" then the solution is up to you. It is not only
"hands on" but also researching the literature and taking courses that
will not only maintain but improve your skills. Is it possible for you
to start a small project that allows you to explore new methods for
demonstrating topics that you are interested in? Are you able to take
courses? I was in a similar situation in England and loved it as I was
able to expand my knowledge beyond the work for which I was responsible.
This was not only a stimulating experience but also improved my
perspective and appreciation for the routine work I had to carry out. If
you have the time and facilities,  I would take this as a golden
opportunity to not only maintain your skills but also broaden your
horizons. Barry

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Deltour,
Douglas D.(HM2)
Sent: Friday, April 09, 2004 4:53 AM
To: Histonet (E-mail)
Subject: [Histonet] Can you lose your skill?

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 have
been a Histotech since 2000 when I graduated from the school at AFIP. I
was sent to a place that did 6000 cases a year. We also did special
stains and autopsies. I was working there for two years when I
transferred to a place 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 no autopsies. I am supposed to
be here for three years but I am trying to fight it. I am telling
everyone that I am losing my skills being here. The people that control
this place tell me otherwise. There is one pathologist here 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
used? If you have not noticed already I am in the military, Navy that
is. I just need to confirm that a Histotech can lose their skill if not
used. I would 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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