RE: Histology-related "Older than Dirt"

From:Connie McManus

i remember helping the pathologist gross the surgicals.  We sat in a room
that was about 15 ft x 20 ft.  No ventilation, no windows and 1 liter tubs
of formallin sitting on the counter --- ON A HEATING PAD!!!--- and a big
open tub of formalin that had our processing basket (the old metal kind)
right next to me as I wrote out each cassette number and plopped into the
basket.  We all went home with severe headaches after working on the
surgical floor and to this day, I my sense of smell is not very sensitive.
Wearing goggles, gloves and other protective apparrel was often wished for,
but never actually done.  Those were NOT such good old days!

connie mcmanus

-----Original Message-----
From: Cheasty, Sandra []
Sent: Friday, March 07, 2003 9:49 AM
To: HistoNet (E-mail)
Subject: Histology-related "Older than Dirt"

I suppose some of these are still being carried out in histology labs...

*	Hand-sharpening steel knives (and putting a curse on the pathologists who
were careless in removing staples)
*	Home-made Schiff's reagent (Is it "straw" colored yet? And how many bright
pink lab floors are still in existence from accidents?)
*	Smoking in the lab (when I first started working as a histo lab assistant
in 1978, we had little ashtrays next to our microtomes)
*	Practical jokes with sliver nitrate (today a cause for immediate dismissal
and probably a lawsuit)
*	Eating in the morgue (it WAS right next to the cafeteria)
*	Changing the oil on the old technicon processor (remember when that stuff
would start to smoke?)
*	Pathologists doing lymph node dissections without gloves (OSHA-SHMOSHA!)
*	Leaky cardboard containers for placentas
*	Round metal cassettes with ill-fitting snap-on lids (you put a piece of
paper with the case number in the cassette with the specimen)
*	Throwing formalin and xylene (and everything else) down the drain
*	Using old pathology reports for making note pads (HIPAA-SCHMIPAA)

I can hardly wait to see what other ancient practices have occurred...

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