Re: [Histonet] Histology assistants

From:Rene J Buesa

Hi Tom:
  The following is my experience: lab assistants are the best way of increasing laboratory productivity and allowing the histotechs to do the work they know and like to do.
  In the last place I worked as supervisor, before retiring, a large reference lab, the lag of uncut blocks left from days before amounted to 3-4 days work. I was able to hire 2 lab asistants and at the end of my second month there were no uncut blocks left.
  The tasks the 2 lab asistants (1 came at 5:30 AM and the other at 1:00 PM, with an overlap of 1 hour) were the following: prepare the water baths for the first shift of HTs, change all reagents in the autostainer and in the tissue processors, operate the slides and cassettes numbering machines, keep the record of the blocks assigned to each HT and file them back, take care of drying the slides, run the H&E autostainer and the automatic coverslipper, match paper/work with the slides, deliver the slides to the pathologists, pull blocks for special requests and some other tasks that would be more costly if done by the HTs (the earn more money than the lab assistants) and that should not be done by them. Sometimes they helped in grossing but just the tasks related to  keeping records.
  The lab assistants were also supposed to start getting an idea about the histology work with the purpose to later on train in-house as a complement to their studies, because since the beginning the idea was for them to study as histotechs in the near future.
  If you can hire lab assistants and train them well you wil see how things will begin to run more smoothly in your lab.
  Rene J.

Tom McNemar  wrote:
  I would really like some input on this.....

How many places use assistants in Histology?

What kind of things do they do? Gross? Enter/obtain specimens? File?

Would really appreciate any and all thoughts. Thanks.

Tom McNemar, HT(ASCP)
Histology Co-ordinator
Licking Memorial Hospital
Newark, Ohio 43055 

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