RE: [Histonet] Can you lose your skill?

From:"Gladney, Diane C Ms MACH"

Douglas,

I disagree with you. I am the wife of a retired Army NCO. We traveled all
over the world and I had to take whatever lab position was available. I have
worked in Blood Chemistry, and even worked in an Army Oil Analysis Lab in
Panama. I couldn't get a job at the Army Hospital in Panama because of the
Panama Canal Treaty...the locals had 90% hire status because of the treaty.
The only reason that I got the job that I did have was because it required a
security clearance and the locals could not get the clearance. My lab
chemistry background made me qualified to work in a job that I had never had
any kind of exposure to do. With a little training, I was highly proficient
at that job. You will find that the lab science background may find you
working in jobs that you never imagined.  My first love has always been
Histology, but over my 25 years of civil service (33 total years in lab
field) I have worked several jobs in different lab environments. I never
lost any of my skills. I have performed all duties in the Histology Lab. You
may be a little slow at things at first if you haven't done them in a long
time, but it is like riding a bicycle....you never forget. Just a little
practice and you are back up to speed. Now, others may disagree with me, but
each person is different. If you feel that you cannot perform certain duties
just because it has been a long time, I advise you to have more confidence
in yourself and your training. If you love doing Histology work, then you
won't have many problems moving on to other facilities that offer more work.
I know that what you are doing now is not as challenging as a large lab. Be
patient; the Navy will move you somewhere else soon enough. If you are
bored, ask about doing some special projects. If you can contact a
pathologist at a larger facility that may be working on a special project or
some research work, ask if they would send you the tissue blocks to cut and
stain. I am currently working closely with a pathologist at Eisenhower Army
Medical Center on a special project that he is spearheading. I work at a
small Army hospital, so the project gives me new challenges. This
pathologist sends me the tissue blocks which I cut and stain with the H & E
stain or any other special stains that he may want performed. The only
stains that I don't perform are immuno since we don't do those type of
stains here (these are ship outs for us). I have worked with pathologist
from the local VA Hospital on special projects, too. So, there are several
ways to keep your skills up if you just look for the opportunities. Also,
you have a great opportunity to study, study, study. I can't say this
enough. I wish that I had the extra time to do this more often.

Hope that this gives you more insight. I know that you must feel very
frustrated. It is hard working for a pathologist just out of
residency....been there, done that, and sometimes find myself doing it
again!

Happy Cutting,
Diane

Diane C. Gladney, HT (ASCP)
Histology /Cytology Supervisor
Moncrief Army Community Hospital
P.O. BOX 484
4500 Stuart Ave.
FT. Jackson, SC 29207

(803) 751-2530
DSN 734-2530

EMAIL: diane.gladney@se.amedd.army.mil  OR
                 dcgx1@aol.com


-----Original Message-----
From: Rebecca Barnhart [mailto:RBARNHART@summithealth.org]
Sent: Friday, April 09, 2004 12:06 PM
To: histonet@lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: Re: [Histonet] Can you lose your skill?


I agree with everyone else, learn as much as possible, it never hurts. 
I was hired as a phlebotomist, with no experience what so ever.  I took
the opportunity to learn all aspects of the lab and other areas.  First
I became comfortable in phlebotomy and then I  learned the office,
including transcription. This enabled me to be trained in histology
(where I now primally reside) and I have been trained to do the
grossing.  I went back to school for histo tech and got my HT.  I also
do some of the lab billing, time cards, monthly reports, statistic,
registration and I have became the computer guru.  I set up and maintain
the Pathology module of our computer system and I do all kinds of other
fun computer based projects to occupy my time.  I can do almost anything
in the lab, except in the main lab running the blood test.  So when
pathology is slow I always have something to do, which makes some days
more hectic then others (like when I am the only histo tech and have to
do all the transcription myself) but it is always fun and I enjoy
everything I do.  I love every part of my job and it always stays
interesting and I do not wake up in the morning and think "oh god I have
to go to work again today".  I look forward to coming to work.   I have
told every manager that has been here and the pathologist that if they
want to teach me I will learn.  

Becky

>>> "Linda Blazek"  04/09/04 10:38AM >>>
I agree with everyone about spending your spare time learning new and
perfecting old skills and procedures.  I have been a histotech since
1973 with a seven year break.  When I returned to histology, within a
couple of weeks it was like I had never left.  I have spent the last
18
years learning every new skill I could find (including transcription).

Today though, I am wondering if that was so smart as I am the only
person holding down the fort.  The transcriptionist is ill, one tech
has
the day off and who knows why the other tech didn't show up today.  We
have had two frozens so far with another looming and several special
stains that need done.  I think I need roller skates today!  

Linda  Blazek, HT (ASCP)
Department of Pathology
Children's Medical Center
1 Children's Plaza
Dayton, Ohio  45404
(937) 641-3358
fax (937)641-5482
blazekl@childrensdayton.org 


>>> "Deltour, Douglas D.(HM2)"  4/9/2004
5:52:51 AM >>>
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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