[Histonet] bor practical
Information in general about the ASCP practicals:
When someone does not pass the practical exam, they are given a list of what
problems were found during the grading session.
The criteria for passing are sent to the candidates in the practical
booklet with the list of tissues needed, and are also published on the ASCP
Board of Registry webpage. http://www.ascp.org/bor/getcertified/index.asp
Click on HT or HTL, then click on Practical Exam Instructions. The list of
tissues may be different from session to session, but the list of grading
criteria (IV) is always the same.
These criteria are the same, regardless if the
- processing is by hand or on an enclosed processor
- sectioned by a rotary microtome or an electric model
- stained by hand or on machine, either H&E or special stains
- coverslipping is by hand or by machine
The histotech is responsible for the QUALITY of the final slide, regardless
of the method.
So, look at the list of problems, and see if there is a pattern.
- Was the correct tissue collected - small intestine, not large intestine,
- Was the minimum size of the tissue correct, and contain all requirements
(kidney with cortex and medulla, for example, or gallbladder containing
epithelium across one entire surface)?
- Was processing complete, or was there over or under processing?
- Was the tissue orientation correct during embedding - complete
cross-section of fallopian tube, for example? Skin embedded on edge to see
- Were there knife lines in all the sections? Or microchatter? Or
bubbles/holes/tears in the tissue? Too thick?
- Was there nuclear bubbling? Formalin pigment? Autolysis?
- Was labeling correct on the block and/or slide?
- Was there 2 tone eosin (cytoplasmic differentiation inadequate), or
contrast inadequate (nuclear or cytoplasmic staining too light or dark)?
- Was desired structure for the special stains understained or overstained,
or was counterstain too dark?
- Was the correct special stain done - PAS-Light Green, for example, not
- Were there bubbles under the coverslips?
Use this list of problems to improve next time.
Peggy A. Wenk, HTL(ASCP)SLS
Program Director, Schools of Histotechnology
William Beaumont Hospital
Royal Oak, MI 48073
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