I have trained a couple of Assistants. All they do here is accession and assist the pathologist with gross, enter and process Cytologies, coverslip, file slides and block, and change stainers. That keeps them pretty busy.
They do not do special stains, cut, or do frozens. Not because I feel that they cannot be taught to do those things, but you need some tasks excluded to justify the assistant's lower pay range or the tech's high range, depending on how you choose to look at it. You don't want to pay them less then ask them to do the more skilled tasks. As for embedding, I am very particular about that and would never give that job to an assistant.
Tom McNemar, HT(ASCP)
Licking Memorial Health Systems
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On Behalf Of McKnight,
Sent: Tuesday, June 10, 2008 10:11 AM
Subject: [Histonet] Advice on Training Histology Lab Assistants
I have a few people, now working in accessioning, who are interested in
working in Histology. I am thinking of potentially creating "Histology
Lab Assistant" positions to help them transition. They have already been
told that they will need to go through an accredited program to become
full Techs. We have one here in Indiana that I went through and it is
Can you all share your strategies for training? How do you separate what
Assistants are allowed to do from what Techs do? What regulatory
guidelines do you follow if any when deciding?
I was thinking of training them to embed and create sections first (on
limited specimen types). I would not allow certain biopsies or really
small specimens. Under regulations, would sectioning and embedding be
Any help or advice would be appreciated.
Tanisha N. McKnight, HT (ASCP)
Covance CLS Indianapolis
Specimen Management, Anatomic Pathology
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