From:Tim Webster <>

Hi all,

Isn't this an issue of common sense?  I can see no legitimate safety reasons
as to why headphones are a problem, with the exception of the wires getting
tangled, - or more importantly - being startled when somebody interupts your
cocoon of bliss, and slicing of a digit. But if the music (or whatever)
enables you to perform better, then yipee!

It does require that the histology department work as a team (as John
Comensky pointed out) If workers are not smart enough to figure this out,
you have to ask if they are smart enough to doing "high complexity testing"
per CLIA 88 in the first place!

Incidentally, we don't wear headphones because as Mary Bryhan says, we like
to rock too!

Tim Webster
Northwestern Medical Center
Fairfield Street, VT
(802) 524-1070

-----Original Message-----
From: J. Comensky []
Sent: Wednesday, February 07, 2001 8:24 AM
To: O'Brien, Sue
Cc: 'Morken, Tim'; ''
Subject: RE: Pitter-Patter...RE: HEADPHONES IN HISTOLOGY

I've worked in several labs, some of which people chose to wear
headphones, and some didn't.  It was always up to the person, but I must
say that keeping it limited to when they were cutting, or embedding, and
at a
reasonable volume so if someone had a question, so they wouldn't have 
to yell or grab the person were priorities as well!  There would always be
a separate person doing frozens, and answering the phone, as those were
rotations assigned during a given week.

Another advantage is, as we all know, the labs we work in tend to be high
pressure, and there are all kinds of personalities we sometimes get along
with, and sometimes we don't.  Sometimes listening to soothing music,
other than what might be blaring on the "community" radio in house
can be a relief. 

If headphones help alleviate any kind of stress, then they should be
allowed, and even considered theraputic to a certain degree.  There was  
an employee who was so stressed out, that they were given the "OK" to
play music in an area otherwise not allowed to have music because of this. 

John Comensky, HT(ASCP) Histology
University of Washington Medical Center
Phone-206-598-4028 Fax-206-598-7774

On Mon, 5 Feb 2001, O'Brien, Sue wrote:

> So - who's answering the phone(s)? Listening to automation/instrumentation
> for abnormal sounds (e.g. slides crashing on auto coverslipper)?
> to co-workers work related queries? Just my opinion, but a histology lab
> a professional workplace, not an entertainment center. (Radio's set so
> they do not interfere with work flow should do the trick!). 
> Sue O'Brien, Histology Supervisor
> Burdette Tomlin Memorial Hospital
> Cape May Court House, NJ  08210
> e-mail:
> P.S. Of course, if your lab doubles as a secretarial area, and that is
> the pathology transcription takes place - then that is another whole
> matter....)
> 	-----Original Message-----
> 	From:	Morken, Tim []
> 	Sent:	Monday, February 05, 2001 12:55 PM
> 	To:
> 	Subject:	Pitter-Patter...RE: HEADPHONES IN HISTOLOGY
> 	They might not hear a pathologist coming until it's too late!
> 	-----Original Message-----
> 	From: Jill Stevens-Becker []
> 	Sent: Monday, February 05, 2001 12:01 PM
> 	To:
> 	Does anyone know if there are any safety issues or requirements with
> people 
> 	wearing headphones in the histology lab?
> 	Thanks
> 	Jill
> 	Kaiser,CO
> 	_________________________________________________________________
> 	Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at

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