I have been in clinical histotechnology for over 10 years now and made the switch to research 2 years ago at Northwestern University Feinburg School of Medicine. I absolutely agree with Sharon, Linda and Gayle. There are so many great things I get to do that just would not happen in the clinical setting. The mouse tissue presented some challenges. I figured as a 10 year certified tech I should be able to figure this out myself for godness sake. Most things from human clinical tissue translated, some did not. I had to do some networking and ask questions on the Histonet. Some of the things that I am now doing and hadn't done before are: Fruit flies (softening chitin); aspects of types of mouse tissue (brain, testes, and 11.5 - 14 dpc embryos); in situ for RNA (making all my own reagents and buffers rnase free - intro to DEPC water :-); dealing with new untested antibodies (quite a bit different than the tried and true clinical ab); freezing protocols for fixed frozens and fresh mouse tissue (especially brain, testes, embryos, lung); Mouse perfusion. I have been this awsome clinical tech and boy do I still have a lot to learn. It was unsettling at first. I love my research position at Northwestern. In two years I have expanded my knowledge faster than I ever would have in the clinical grind. It really has made me a more valuable tech.
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