Re: Responding To Tissue Processor Alarms & Being On Call

From:Vicki Gauch

We have a rotational schedule between several of our more experienced techs. Whoever is on call is responsible for answering any pages from the OR, wards, or the tissue processor alarm. That person will first call in to see if it is something that can be handled over the phone in which case they would only receive the weekly on-call pay we get.  If the person has to come in, they are paid for 3 hours if they are here less than one hour.  We have not had to use other facilities as we normally have one processor as back up (though sometimes we use that one too and we hold our breath) but I am sure we would have no problem arranging something like that.  It would be decided at that time who would be responsible for dropping off and picking up the specimens.

Vicki Gauch
Albany, NY

>>> "Jones, Laura"  12/04/02 03:06PM >>>
Hi!  We are interested in finding out how other labs handle the inevitable
middle of the night phone calls when the alarm sounds on the tissue
processor.  Who is responsible for dragging him or herself into the lab at
three a.m. to resolve the problem, and does that person get paid to be "on
call"?  Also, if your processor is going to be down for a few days or more,
and a neighboring facility is gracious enough to process your tissues,
(Thank You, Northside!!!) who is the lucky one driving miles away to deliver
and pick up the tissues?  How is that person compensated for this service?  

Here is our situation.  Our Pathologist acts as our supervisor.  We have
three techs, so we have decided to rotate the months between the three of us
to be responsible for answering those middle of the night calls.  We do not
get paid to be "on call", but we do punch in when we get here, and then
punch out when we leave.  If we are here for an hour, they like us to try to
leave an hour early at some time during the week to balance it out.  When
our processor has been down for days at a time, we have driven our tissues
to a neighboring hospital ourselves, and picked it up in the mornings
ourselves as well.  For this, we are paid mileage from hospital to hospital,
and our start time is considered to be the time we arrive at to pick up the

We would very much appreciate your input and suggestions!  Thanks very much!

Laura Jones
Sharon Regional Health System
Sharon, PA

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