RE: [Histonet] Microtomy


You are 100% right that helping a technician is much more effective than
replacing one.  The big problem here is that while you are busy
psychoanalyzing her problems she is cutting through needle core biopsies
that may contain needed tissue for correct diagnosis.  I trained a PA
student last year from a nearby University and she had a real problem
with obsessive compulsive behavior when it came to cleaning between
cases on the grossing board.  She actually got the shakes when I took
her cleaning solution away but she was able to work through it and her
grossing speed doubled.  I fully believe in working through problems as
long as the patient is not in jeopardy but that is where I have to draw
the line.

Charles Embrey PA(ASCP)   

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Bryan
Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2005 2:42 PM
To: Histonet
Subject: Re: [Histonet] Microtomy

I would imagine this takes her some time to do, perhaps an hour or so.
would she be doing if she were not cleaning her knife holder.  Possibly
does not feel comfortable doing that other work and this may be a way to

avoid it.  If so, an answer could be to increase her confidence level
the other work.  It could also be she is not comfortable sectioning and
cleaning is a distractor to avoid facing the issue of poor quality, in
case further training would be needed.  Most employers find that
an employee to overcome problems is more effective than replacing one. 
However, the bottom line is that the work must be done properly.

Bryan Llewellyn

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Charles.Embrey" 
Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2005 12:27 PM
Subject: FW: [Histonet] Microtomy

-----Original Message-----
From: Charles.Embrey
Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2005 12:09 PM
To: 'Cindy DuBois'
Subject: RE: [Histonet] Microtomy

This is really such a sad question and highlights a growing problem in
many labs.  People are so afraid to "step on toes" that they have
forgotten how to be in charge.  The answer to this question is so
simple, TELL HER TO STOP DOING IT. You don't have to get into a huge
debate just tell her to stop.  If she refuses then she can look into
dismantling another lab's microtome.  If it were merely an increased
maintenance cost problem that would be one thing but from what you say
she is putting patient's tissue and diagnosis at risk and that cannot be

Charles Embrey, PA(ASCP)
Histology Manager
Carle Clinic

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Cindy
Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2005 11:52 AM
To: Histonet
Subject: [Histonet] Microtomy

This is a question for those techs who cut on a manual Reichert-Jung
  I have one tech who insists on completely taking apart her knife
holder everyday to clean it.  She removes the springs and all.  This
person is also the only tech who has trouble cutting and is constantly
having to recut a specimen or nearly cutting through needle biopsies.
  I maintain that handling the knife holder spring so much causes the
problems (knife won't clamp tight evenly, chatter and skipping).  The
other techs, including myself only dismantle and clean the knife holder
about once a month.  We have had to purchase new spring and bolts for
this microtome about every 6 months, whereas the other microtomes have
never had to be replaced.  How do I go about telling this person to quit
cleaning so much.
  I have had the knife holder and microtome serviced to make sure there
is nothing else wrong.  I have cut on that machine and find it cuts
beautifully as long as you don't take it apart after every 10 blocks to
clean behind the blade.

  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated,

  Cindy DuBois
  Integrated Pathology Assoc.
  Stockton CA

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