From:"Morken, Tim"

I'm afraid I agree with your manager. 

Productivity is how much work you get done in a given time. From the
dictionary: "The rate at which goods or services are produced especially
output per unit of labor. "

Productivity would be measured as you have described.

Competency is the ability to do a task. From the dictionary: "Properly or
sufficiently qualified"

A compentency test would be:
Ability to section with precision (within a defined set of artifacts)
Ability to produce a "good" H&E.
Ability to produce a given special stain.
To measure these you give the person the task and they bring you the result,
but you don't necesarily watch how they get the result (unless you define
following a certain procedure as part of the competency). If it passes the
test, they are competent for that task. Ful competency testin requires real
testing of each task they are required to do.

What you may be aiming for is Proficiency: "the quality of having great
facility and competence "

A proficient person will be competent and have high productivity.

Tim Morken

-----Original Message-----
From: Soto, Roxanne []
Sent: Thursday, November 14, 2002 5:54 PM
To: Histonet (E-mail)

I know that this subject has been brought many times before, but I really
need some advice.  I had to develop competencies at my organization because
the techs have not had to be in several years, nor have they been help
accountable for anything.  To come up with an objective number for embedding
and microtomy, I watched them for several days and timed them all.  I came
up with a "lab average" and to be competent they had to be within 70% of the
lab average.  For example, the lab average for microtomy was 84 slides per
hour and to be competent they had to cut 59 slides per hour with less than a
2% error rate (error rate is based on depth and wrinkles, etc.).  I have
several employees that are well below that number.  They think that I am
being unrealistic in my expectations of them.  My manager and I disagree on
what competent means.  He feels that I am asking for productivity and not
competency, I think they are one in the same.  He feels that to be competent
that have to show they know how to do their job, I told him to be competent
they have to be productive.  He asked me today if there were any articles
about productivity standards in histology.  So is there such a thing?
Now I have other things on my competency as well, such as, accessioning,
frozens, special stains, processing, microwave processing, etc.  My next
question is, what do you do if you have a tech that doesn't pass the
competency?  I have been told that I have to re-train them, even if they
have been a tech for 30 years.  How does your organization handle this?
On the down side of this, is my techs.  They don't care about the
competencies because even if they are not competent, nothing will happen to
them, so they don't care.  One tech can come in and bust there butt and they
will get the same benefits and raise as a tech that comes in and does
absolutely nothing.  I have been trying to change this since I got here, but
until I have documentation to back me up, I am stuck.  
You advice would be greatly appreciated.

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