RE: [Histonet] On passing BOR exam


Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you!  I am shocked by the laid-back attitude
that many people today take in approaching the practical exam.  They
don't seem to even read the grading criteria required to produce the
slides capable of passing.  Each slide sent in to be graded should first
be graded by the technician against these grading guidelines.  There
should really be no surprises.  If you don't know enough about histology
to grade your own slides you really shouldn't be certified as a
histotech.  As far as automation goes I think all practical exam slides
should be produced WITHOUT automation.  I don't ever want to hire a
histotech that can't do a GMS by hand. Sorry if this seems harsh but as
a lab manager I want to see the BOR stamp of approval mean something.
Quit wringing your hands; take a look at the list of errors provided by
the grader and produce slides that avoid those mistakes.
Charles Embrey, Pathologists' Assistant, HT(ASCP)
Histology Manager
Carle Clinic, Urbana Illinois  

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of
Sent: Tuesday, December 28, 2004 10:44 AM
Subject: [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
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
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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