Re: Grossing Manual (by way of Histonet)

Bill Thoendel at Pathology Medical in Norfolk, Nebraska asks:

We need to put a grossing manual together. Are there any websites available
to help with our project?

(Bill refers - for the otolith slicers now - to a procedure manual for
dissecting surgical specimens.)

I don't know of any Web resources for this. The usual way to do this is to
photocopy the back pages of Ackerman's big surgical pathology tome (a
previous edition if they aren't in the current edition, which I've never
seen) and put them in a volume nobody ever looks at except the Herrn
Inschpektors. Pathologists, after all, do learn these techniques in
residency, and they are not easy to learn out of a book, because they involve
spatial orientation so much.

In the last few years a number of articles have appeared in the Archives of
Pathology and the American Journal of Clinical Pathology, with detailed
information about how to handle particular major specimens. It would be
worthwhile for these to appear on the Web, except that worker bees (including
pathologists) in hospitals still don't usually have access to the Web, and
are unlikely to in the next decade.

What a new pathologist needs is a meticulously written description of how
specimens are accessioned and how specimens and blocks are numbered and
lettered within an accessioned case. On any new job I spend a lot of time
winkling this information out of the regular people who work there - mostly
people on the job who have never worked in any other laboratory, and who
assume that every laboratory works exactly the way they do. This portion of a
procedure manual really needs to be vetted by a "man from Mars" who doesn't
understand the workings of the laboratory writing the procedure.

None of these projects should be undertaken in the mad two weeks before the
JCAHO arrives on your doorstep!

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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