Re: work organisation

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From:Mary Stevens <>,
Date:Thu, 13 May 1999 08:45:20 -0400


I am not in a Vet Dx lab, but with years of clinical and research histology experience - it seems 2 hours to cut 30-40 blocks is plenty of time, assuming the blcoks are of good quality.  It may be a bit tough to assume one person could embed & cut 30-40 blocks in that same time.  I would hate to see a specimen embedded incorrectly - thus making dx impossible, just because of pressure.  It really depends on the qualifications of your histotechs.  If they are relatively new in histo (1-2 years) - I wouldn't expect they could easily do what you've asked.  Keep in mind, they are still learning (hopefully) how to optimize their own techniques.  However, if the person is experienced (3-5 years) then they would be better equipped to push themselves confidently on a daily basis.  I think your expectations for staining and coverslipping to take 2 hours is reasonable.  Overall what your asking seems doable, but again it depends on the individual experience of your techs.  Is there any!
  break time built into your timelines?  When I was in clinical labs we lived and died by whether we could get a cup of coffee mid morning - it really decreased the teams motivation when we had to skip it for one reason or another.

I hope others get back to you, it'd be interesting to see what others think.

Good luck -


Mary Stevens BS, HT(ASCP)
Bone Biology & Applications
Histology Supervisor
Genetics Institute
2 Burtt Road
Andover, MA  01810
(978) 247-1667
Fax:  (978) 247-1389 

>>> Christine Lee <> - 5/12/1999 9:19 PM >>>
I would be very grateful to hear from other Veterinary diagnostic histology
laboratories details of therir work organisation.

We have 1.5 technicians.
Our processor starts at    5.50pm.
              finishes at  7.00am.

The junior tech. starts work at 7.30. Our workload averages 30-40 blocks/day.
Last year we cut 27,000 slides.

I  expect the tech to have finished embeding and cutting at 9.30.
(a)   So that the turn around time is consistant.
(b)   To avoid any risk of R.S.I.

The slides are dried for 30 mins at 60 degrees then H&E stained on an 
automatic staining machine.

I expect that the staining and coversliping and labeling will be completed 
by 11.30a.m. although mostly it is finished more kike 11.45.

 I would be very grateful for input from other Veterinary diagnostic 
laboratories and in particular University laboratories.

I am being accused of "harsh supervision" as these performance measurments 
are I am told, "ok for the human medicine world but the expectations are 
unrealistic for the Veterinary world. I disagree as our main clients are an
trainee Veterinary pathologists/animal hospital, with clients waiting 
anxiously for the diagnosis on their pets. These are the only reference time 
frames I stipulate.

Could other similar Veterinary diagnostic laboratories let me know how they 
Christine Lee,
Senior Scientific officer,
Veterinary Pathology and Anatomy,
University of Queensland.


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