Re: Clothing etiquette for the bench tech.

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From:"Carla Shoffeitt" <>,
Content-Type:text/plain; format=flowed

  We are required to wear lab coats at all times in all departments of our 
lab.  I believe it is hospital policy, rather than CAP requirement.  Also, 
our pathologists do wear labcoats at all times, too, but I don't think it is 
due to possible contamination fears, but rather a desire to have a 
professional look about them.  I do not require my techs to use gloves 
during microtomy or staining, but I encourage them to use them during manual 
staining and during special stains.  I agree with a fellow histonetter that 
the purpose of the labcoats is to protect from chemicals and/or their 
residue more so than biohazard contaminants.  Also, our laboratory policy 
does not allow us to wear jeans.

Carla Shoffeitt
Columbus Regional Medical Center, Cloumbus, GA.

>From: "Garza-Williams, Sara" <> (by way of 
>Subject: Clothing etiquette for the bench tech.
>Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 22:43:35 -0500
>Please, please I need the your help regarding my argument to a CAP
>inspector (lab general).
>She gave me a huge "Ding" regarding the fact that our techs were not
>wearing lab coats(in the cutting and staining area), they do wear gloves.
>She also justified her point by indicating because the techs were wearing
>jeans it was "unprofessional".  Of course, I could hardly contain myself
>and had try very hard to control myself from stating what I really wanted
>to say...
>I did tell her,  specimens were never triage in the main lab, so full PPE
>was irrelevant.  Our techs do wear nitrile gloves for protection from the
>reagents and chemicals.
>She said full PPE was essential because the blocks and slides were
>considered infectious. So of course I said "At what point does the slide
>and/or block ever become non-infectious-when it reaches the pathologist?"
>She said "They should continue to be considered infectious and that the
>pathologist should be wearing lab coats when they read out slides."  I said
>"Should the pathologist wear gloves as well, they have to touch the
>slide".  Our exchange went on and on until she said "I have to give you the
>My pathologist went ballistic, as I did.  He and I would like to know what
>do other labs do?
>We are determined to argue for principle sake only.  My pathologist feels
>that PPE is essential when you consider every situation with logic but he
>doesn't care if the techs cut naked (metaphorically). in the lab because
>they do such good work and work safe.
>So my question is,  Do you require techs to wear a lab coat in the main
>part of the lab?  What is your lab policy?  Our policy (approved by the
>Infectious Disease department)  specifically states that no PPE is required
>in the main lab area, but full PPE is required in the gross room ,morgue or
>when cutting frozen sections.
>Of the hospitals that I've seen (a least a dozen) none of them require
>their techs to wear coats.
>I'd love the hear from other labs.  Sorry about the long story but I'm
>still steaming....

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