RE: [Histonet] Workload

From:"Zajic Kari"

Hi Karen.
I had a similar situation in my lab. In my opinion, 2 techs is sufficient assuming you do not do alot of frozen sections, secretarial work, etc. We had 2 full time techs, did approximately 100-150 blocks a day (full processing/embedding), all special stains by hand, manual coverslipping, automated stainer and were done in 4.5 hours (typically). 
Now, the problem we ran into was all of the "extra" technical work needed in the lab, accessioning, grossing, frozen sections, send-outs, filing, reagent change, processing cytology cases (5-10 daily), etc. This was alot of extra work (our frozens were about 3-5 cases daily with 2 or more blocks on ea case) to put on 2 techs, not to mention all of the "supervisory" details done by one of the techs doing the benchwork. One of us had to come in at 6am to get the morning work out which left the other "late" tech alone after 2:30pm. Our operating room hours will run anywhere from 6a-9p with emergencies added in between...this left alot of late frozen sections in which we alternated the on-call.  

So, in my opinion, and I worked ALOT of OT in those days, if you have all those other duties, 2 techs is not sufficient. I needed a third part-timer to pick up the slack. If you are just doing what you stated (cutting/staining) you are ok. Again, just my opinion...

Kari Marie Zajic HT,MLT
Histology Supervisor
Palms West Hospital
Pathology Department
13001 State Road Eighty
Loxahatchee, Florida 33470
phone:      (561)798-6036
telefax:     (561)753-4298
voicemail: (561)753-4299
pager:       (561)610-4949

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-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of Rene J
Sent: Thursday, August 03, 2006 10:24 AM
To: Heckford, Karen - SMMC-SF; Histonet (E-mail)
Subject: Re: [Histonet] Workload

  80-100 cassettes/day is way below average. Under separate cover I am sending you an article I just published in Advance for MLP (3 July/06) that will give you some idea of averages for all histology tasks (both licensed and unlicensed).
  René J.

"Heckford, Karen - SMMC-SF"  wrote:
  Hello Everyone, I was wondering if someone could give me some feedback on
some questions. Do you think 80-100 cassettes a day is too much for one
tech in a 8 hour period? We are looking at only a few special stains and
probably not a lot of recuts. No IHC's. I am trying to figure out schedules
and perhaps hiring a part timer. H&E will be continuous feed autostainer
and special stains will be done by hand. If you did have 2 techs. could
they reasonably get 80-100 cassettes done from embedding to
coverslipped(done by hand) in 4 hours. I am right now a one person show
thinking about expanding.
Karen Heckford HT (ASCP) CE
Lead Histology Technician
Histology/Pathololgy Department
St. Mary's Medical Center
450 Stanyan St.
San Francisco, Ca. 94117
415-668-1000 ext. 6167
Fax: 415-750-8123
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