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From:"Tim Morken" <>
Date:Mon, 24 May 1999 20:44:52 EDT
Content-Type:text/plain; format=flowed;


You have a good point about knowing the stain from start to finish. the 
problem is now occuring in immunochmistry as well where people learn first 
on an automated stainer and never follow a slide through the process of 
washes and incubations. They just put the slide and reagents on the machine, 
push a button and come back a few hours later to take the slides out. I 
consider myself much better educated for having done it all manually for 
many years. People should at least learn the process with the manual method 
so they know what is going on in the machine.

Tim Morken, B.A., EMT(MSA), HTL(ASCP)
Infectious Disease Pathology
Centers for Disease Control
1600 Clifton Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30333


FAX:  (404)639-3043

----Original Message Follows----
From: "Histomail\\" <>
To: <>
Date: Sun, 23 May 1999 12:48:49 +1000

Dear Histonetters,
I am as the above subject states, particularly so as I see more and more
kits appearing on the market for Special Stains, eg. Gram Kits, PAS kits,
Mod. Steiner Kits, Argentiffan etc. the list is growing. One of my former
Directors of Pathology and friend once told me that there is no such thing
as a Special Stain, it's just that some stains are performed more frequently
than others, and since that time I've enjoyed nothing better than being able
to perform as many and as varied as I could get my sticky fingers into- they
really are the icing on the cake.
Histologists, Histotechnicans, Histotechnologists and Histoscientists would
all do well to have a close look at our counterparts in Haematology, who now
not only do not make up much of their own staining solutions, reagents or
buffers, have even stopped borrowing our schiff and Perls stain reagents,
because they now have a kit to do it instead- this has also been accompanied
with replacement of qualified staff with Lab Assistants with little or no
experience save to load the Coulter Counter, Syzmex whatever, to the extent
that the staff of say 12 Haematologists/technicans are reconfigured to 10
Lab Assistants, one haematology technican and one Haematologist. And while
most Lab Assistants can become extremely valuable, too many Institutions are
insisting that these persons rotate through other disiplines such that they
become Jacks of all trades and Masters of none!
Far too many persons at bench level would now experience difficulty in
making say Lugol's Iodine solution, and would be busily scratching their
heads trying to figure out why the material won't dissolve.
In the pursuit of Higher qualifications etc. for Histology persons, please
ensure that there will be a solid foundation in basic histolaboratory
techniques including the solution preparation of and performance of as many
special stains as possible, perhaps even a two year post graduate certifed
bench experience would also be applicable for those who might do a full time
three yr. BSc. App. Sci. whatever.
Basic skills are being lost probably because of the throughput pressures at
bench level, what ever the causes, they need to be addressed for future
Histopersons so they have adequate tools to serve the needs of the Patient,
the Practice and their own Professionalism.
Just my two bob's worth. Mike (Downunder)

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