Re: [Histonet] teaching histology newbee
I taught undergraduate histology for three years. The basic slide
preparation equipment was available and I thought it would be important
for students to have an appreciation of all the work that goes into
making slides even if they never had to do this again when they went to
medical or dental school (and I had supervised and worked in research
histology labs), or they might decide to go into histology as a career
or use it in research. I had contacted some other histology professors
and learned that they only did slide reading during their labs. I stuck
to just normal histology, although I am also trained in pathology. (One
of the histology profs I contacted said he had never had any pathology
experience, so only used "normal" prepared slides to teach.)
The course was 4 credits, one 2 1/2-hour lecture and one 2 1/2-hour lab
each week for one semester.
Lectures followed the selected textbook (Wheater's or Gartner and
Hiatt). I found it useful to review the previous lecture at the
beginning of the next lecture (after the lab that had used those
organs/tissues). I prepared brief bulleted notes for both lectures and
labs and provided them to the students on what I thought they should
really know as undergrads (realizing that if they did go on to med or
dental school the subject will be taught in much more depth). The lab
lectures touched on most all of the topics Rene mentioned.
The lab was roughly half techniques and half slide reading based on the
lecture topic. For the techniques part we obtained a beheaded rat from
the psychology department (which uses the brain for nervous system
studies) and dissected it in class, and also a fish (from a field
fisheries biologist), and clams (from grocery store), and students could
bring in their own research animal if they wished (we had corals and
insects). Each was dissected and representative portions of organs and
tissues were fixed in NBF and Bouin's (for freshwater and terrestrial
organisms), or seawater-formalin and Helly's made with zinc chloride
(for marine organisms). Students then took turns trimming tissues into
cassettes, embedding, sectioning (to make 4 slides from each block), and
stained with Harris's H&E, Cason's (5-min aniline blue procedure), and
alcian blue/PAS with and without diastase. For the final lab report,
students were given 5 "mystery blocks" and the slides for each of those
(usually a mix, for example liver from rat fixed with Bouin's and NBF,
liver from fish 2 fixatives, whole clam), and then had to identify which
organs/tissues were present, also explain the quality of the staining
and why the fixation might have mattered and what was wrong with the
histoslides. (We did not have time to work on perfecting sections, so
just went with what was produced in one or two lab sessions.) The final
three labs 1 hour was devoted to working with the students as they
studied their histoslides and providing clues to help them identify what
they had (and pointing out why). If we found a pathologic change,
parasite, or pathogen, I pointed it out. It was a bit hectic at times....
Of course, I had students who never understood that they should attend
the lectures, really WORK on slide reading (they were given worksheets
with directions for which slides to use, what to identify, and sketching
and received points for completing them), and thought the slide prep was
a waste of time. I also had students who "got the message" and realized
that the "mystery blocks" exercise gave them a taste of what a
pathologist would encounter when facing a new histoslide for diagnosis.
I wish you good luck in this endeavor! There are several good Web sites
these days for additional histology study. Let me know if you'd like
Esther Peters, Ph.D.
George Mason University
Rene J Buesa wrote:
> Hi Malcom:
> Between 1991 and 1996 I taught 10 times a Histology Review course aimed at histotechs
> that were going to take the state certification examination.
> What I am going to do is to give you the general scope of the printed course and the number
> of pages dedicated to each subject:
> 1- Historical account with an overview of the types of techniques-----6 pp.
> 2- Laboratory mathematics (preparation of all types of solutions/dilutions)---16 pp.
> 3- Fixation/fixatives types/uses/advantages/disadvantages----11 pp.
> 4- Dehydrating/clearing agents -- 2pp.
> 5- Cutting and extremely difficult specimens to cut---18 pp.
> 6- Decalcification procedures ---4 pp.
> 7- Summary of electron microscopy---2 pp.
> 8- Principles of frozen sectioning, celloidin, carbowax and double embedding--- 3pp.
> 9- Staining of some special tissue components ---- 18 pp.
> 10- Use of the microwave oven in the histology lab./ oven calibrations --- 7 pp
> 11- Microscopy--- 5pp.
> 12- The fundamental importance of cellular surface in biology--- 5pp.
> 13- "DOS" and "DON'TS" in the histology laboratory--- 6pp.
> 14- Safety in the histology laboratory ---4 pp
> 15- Quality control ---5 pp
> 16- Fundaments of immunohistochemistry procedures --- 17 pp
> 17- Assorted information (some things I considered would help the students to know
> regarding the histology lab/procedures)--- 6 pp
> 18- Summary of other special procedures --- 6 pp.
> This review was given during 8 hours (lunch break), earned the attendants 8 CEU and this text was the guideline to be
> "seasoned" with 2-3 "carrousels" full of slides (specially photos of the IHC procedures and
> photomicrographs of all the "special stains" done at my lab).
> Perhaps this will help you to "chery-pick" what you want to present at your course.
> Rene J.
> Malcolm McCallum wrote:
> I will be teaching an undergraduate histology this spring. For those of you who teach this, what fraction of the course do you devote to techniques versus anatomy? Do you include pathology, if so, how extensively? How extensively do you require them to understand the differences among stains, and how do you structure your laboratories? Anything else I should consider?
> Malcolm L. McCallum
> Assistant Professor
> Department of Biological Sciences
> Texas A&M University Texarkana
> 2600 Robison Rd.
> Texarkana, TX 75501
> O: 1-903-233-3134
> H: 1-903-791-3843
> Homepage: https://www.eagle.tamut.edu/faculty/mmccallum/index.html
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