RE: headphones in Histology

From:Kimberly Carter <>

In the last 14 years, I have worked in 3 labs of various sizes. The rules
about radios and head phones fills the entire spectrum of possibilities. I
can say the use of radios and head phones are great for employee morale. 
The largest lab I worked in allowed headphones. There was 10-12 histotechs
cutting at once. Not everyone used head phones and no one had them up so
loud as not to hear everything else going on. And we did interact with one
another a lot. As a matter of fact, we were quite a chatty group. The
variety in tastes was great. From hard rock, easy listening, opera,
classical, country, alternative, and talk radio. The use of head phones was
only an issue in the lab that did not allow it. As adults, we all respected
each others rights and realized that the privilege could be taken away if
abused.(which it never was) I found when people put their headphones on,
they got down to business. Also, the small research lab I work in
now I have an assistant who is profoundly deaf. She and I are the only two
in the histology portion. And hearing is not an issue. I want to say that I
feel respected and valued as an employee in labs where the choice is mine
to make. Not another issue controlled by management. (Don't they have
bigger and better things to worry about?)  

Kim Carter
Ohio State University
Comprehensive Cancer Center
Columbus Ohio

I found this topic extremely interesting.   The issue of headphones
being raised as a safety factor.  It does not pose a safety danger.  I
work with in a lab with a severe hearing impaired technologist.  She
has been in the field for over 20 years.  There has never been a
safety incident due to her impairment.  It boils down to social
interactions between co-workers.  The headphones will likely decrease
verbal dialogs between coworkers but to imply a safety factor is
simply not the case.  

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