Re: Number of Tech's vs. number of blocks

Hello all,

I found the following in my notes, scraps, miscellaneous protocols and superfluous info file.  Please note the date.


Matt Bowers, HT(ASCP)
American Bio-Safety, Inc.
Rocklin, CA

Regina H. Hermann, NSH Workload Recording
May 1996

The College of American Pathologists (CAP) Laboratory Management Index Program (LMIP) has provided the following workload guidelines for the delivery of quality slides. PLEASE NOTE: Only the actual histology slide production and grossing areas workload for histologists and laboratory assistants are included. The counting for the         production of a slide includes accessioning of the specimen, assisting during grossing, any work involved in processing (programming, changing solutions on the processor, etc.), embedding, sectioning, routine and special staining (including making solutions and cleaning up), coverslipping, performing any recuts, as well as filing and retrieving. No cytology prep, autopsy prep, or clerical functions other than accessioning is included.

Each well trained histologic technician or histotechnologist can be expected to produce approximately 3,000 slides per quarter, or 12,000 slides per year.  Included in these totals are 2,500 H&E-stained slides and 500 of the common special stains per quarter, or 10,000 H&E's and 2,000 special stains per year. If only rare special stains are requested, more set-up time is required. 12,000 slides per year is equivalent to approximately 50 slides per day.  These are average numbers for a lab where much of the work is not automated. Most labs produce about 40% more slides than blocks, including recuts.

FOR EXAMPLE:  A large laboratory, producing about 60,000 slides per year, would be well advised to staff it with five (5) histologic technicians and/or technologists plus two (2) laboratory assistants. This staffing allows for days off, vacations, and sick time. Supervisory duties can be delegated to one staff member or split between them, with the supervisory personnel assuming about one-half of the technical/bench duties.  Filling in for missing personnel and helping on especially busy days should almost fill a supervisor's quota for technical duties in any large laboratory (60,000 plus slides per year). Included in supervisory duties are personnel management, quality assurance, budgeting, requisitioning of supplies, some risk management, and major troubleshooting.

The laboratory assistants should be able to: assist the pathologist at the grossing table; file and retrieve wet tissues, slides and blocks; maintain the tissue processor according to established protocols; and restock supplies. Filing and retrieval has become increasingly important in the age of second opinions and reviews of patient's previous surgeries.

In a non-automated lab, 50 slides (H&E-stained sections, special stains, and recuts) a day sounds like a reasonable workload, but any problems encountered can dramatically reduce an individual's ability to perform at that level."

========Original Message========
Subj: RE: Number of Tech's vs. number of blocks
Date: 6/3/2002 8:45:15 AM Pacific Daylight Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)

I really don't think you will find a standard.    Every lab is different in
the services offered.   We are a 3 person lab.   Doing 60 blocks a  day on
average.  (not including autopsies)  We also do cytology, immunos, special
stains and log all specimens.   We file slides, blocks, kodachromes and
arrange autopsies.   We dump specimens, change processors/stainers and
assist with gross.    I write procedures, do QC/QA, troubleshoot all stains
and a couple of other odds jobs for the clinical lab.  (maintain clinical
laboratory lab coats and coordinate our hospital's blood drives)    There's
probably stuff I've forgotten.   We are busy most of the time.   There are
some days with a light workload and some days when we cannot get it all
done.    Every hospital is different.   How anyone can say with XX number of
blocks you need XX number of techs seems unreasonable to me.

> -----Original Message-----
> From:    boju []
> Sent:    Saturday, June 01, 2002 3:11 PM
> To:    Fran Adams;
> Subject:    Re: Number of Tech's vs. number of blocks
> Hi where I work there are 2 Histology techs. We average 80-100 blocks a
> day
> ,we do all the histology and assist the Pathologist in the grossing area.
> We
> also do the paperwork  QA/Qc and other  whatever it takes jobs. We don't
> do
> Immuno or Cytology. We usually average 4-8 hrs. a week overtime and have
> asked for more staff but  boss says that's a maybe? I do not know  what
> the
> average workload should be per tech. but someone should lighten us on
> things. Where would you find a standard?
>       Judy .
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Fran Adams" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Friday, May 31, 2002 1:11 PM
> Subject: Number of Tech's vs. number of blocks
> > Hi everyone,
> >
> > We're in the process of trying to find out how many Histology
> > Technician/Technologist are needed to run a lab efficently.
> >
> > We have four registered histology techs and one grossing room tech.
> > Half of the day, one of the histology techs helps out with doing
> Cytology
> > processing.
> >
> > We average 205 blocks per day.  Three techs are cutting and one is
> putting
> > all the slides together.  The grossing room tech cuts the frozens but
> > sometimes we have to help him out.
> >
> > We do not do immuno's but we do special stains.  Of course, the number
> of
> > sp. stains, recuts, etc. vary.  We stay busy.  I'm the supervisor,and am
> > also a bench tech. Most of my supervisory work gets pushed aside.
> >
> > If any of you could, please take a minute to give me some feedback so
> we'll
> > know if we're over worked or not!  And yes, there are many days when at
> > least one or two of us work overtime.
> >
> > Thanks in advance ,
> > Fran Adams
> > Histology Supervisor
> > The Medical Center of Central GA
> > Macon, GA
> >
> > _________________________________________________________________
> > Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at
> >
> >

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