[Histonet] On passing BOR exam


Joan Holtz asks about passing the BOR exam.

I was shocked a few years ago when I read the ASCP newsletter that gave statistics for the registry exams. Many histotechs failed the HT and HTL practicals.
Now, not talking about Joans laboratory or anyone else's in particular, I suspect many applicants bang out their exam slides like they do their daily work slides and send them off without critically examining them first.
In our laboratory we receive slides for consultation which are sub-standard. Obviously those laboratories think they are acceptable.
With HT and HTL practical exam slides you should produce the best d*** slides you can! You have plenty of time. Scrounge for the best fixed tissues. Submit tissues of right size allowing for shrinkage. Process correctly. Cut correctly. Produce best stained slides you can. In histology, it is easy to produce adequate slides, but hard to produce perfect slides.The slides should be of right thickness, no scores, folds, precipitates, background staining etc. The staining should be perfect! Remember, if you submit a poorly stained slide, you are telling the examiner thats you best work.
In my laboratory when preparing for practical exams, I expect histotechs to make multiple blocks, and multiple stained slides from those blocks. We sit down together several times and look closely at those slides. There is much going back and re-submitting tissue. We have only had one histotech fail the practical in 25 years (And that tech did not want me to see those slides!)

Mike Titford
USA Pathology
Mobile AL USA

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