Re: Workload of blocks and slides

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From:Tim Morken <>
Date:Tue, 29 Jun 1999 15:25:24 EDT
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I have always approached this problem by showing how work has increased over 
a period of time. This avoids the trap of talking about how much work a tech 
"should" do. There are too  many variables in labs to compare one to another 
unless you strictly define the work being done.

Hopefully you have records detailing your workload over the past five 
(minimum) to ten years (ideal). Make up some tables with the hard numbers of 
cases, blocks, H&E slides, special stain slides, immuno slides, Frozen 
sections, etc. If your staff works overtime, detail if it has increased over 
the time period (a good indication of understaffing).

The hard numbers are more convincing than CAP workload recording, unless you 
have used the same recording system over the entire time period and it is 
THE accepted way of recording workload in your hospital. One thing the CAP 
figures can give you is an indication of how many techs you "should" have 
(That can backfire however!). Work with the hard numbers as much as 
possible; no one can argue with them.

If your hospital is like most places you will show a substantial increase in 
workload with little or no increase in staff. Then make predictions for the 
next five years using the numbers you have generated. The last hospital I 
was at we were increasing workload 10 percent a year. I got three extra 
staff using these methods.

Tim Morken, B.A., EMT(MSA), HTL(ASCP)
Infectious Disease Pathology
Centers for Disease Control
1600 Clifton Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30333


Phone: (404) 639-3964
FAX:  (404)639-3043

----Original Message Follows----
From: (Mickie L. Johnson)
To: "'HistoNet Server'" <>
Subject: Workload of blocks and slides
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 1999 08:30:22 -0700

Hi Histonetters,
I would appreciate any input any of you could provide about staffing and WL.
We have 6 FTE HT's, and 3.5 FTE Lab Assistants and 2 PA's who handle 29000
surgical cases per year with a daily average of 360 paraffin blocks and 778
H&E slides plus special stains and 2-3 IHC runs on a Dako stainer.  We feel
understaffed and need statistics to justify more personnel, especially HT's.
Any input any of you could offer would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.


Michael L. Johnson, HT/HTL(ASCP)
Histology Supervisor
Sacred Heart Medical Center
W. 101 8th Avenue
Spokane, Washington 99220
(509) 626-4418
FAX (509) 455-2052

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