CJD: Contagious Dementia

CJD: Contagious Dementia One of my co-workers has inhaled a specimen infected with Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, CJD. There was a case that no one knew was CJD. She cut it, which creates thin paraffin ribbons. The ribbon broke. It fluttered at her face and she breathed. The next day a pathologist called our lab and told…… Continue reading CJD: Contagious Dementia

Trash

Patient biopsies can be accidentally thrown away. When I first started this job they didn’t save the trash, as was common practice at other jobs. They tossed out a few biopsies, as happens once or twice a month, and couldn’t retrieve them because the trash was taken away the night before. Now they save the trash. They save…… Continue reading Trash

A Boy-man in the Lab

A buffoon, a boy-man, an ass works in our lab and has caused the destruction of biopsies. I say he is a buffoon and an ass because he uses distractions and poor lab practices to disrupt the rest of us who have to work with him. He is a boy in a man’s body, interested…… Continue reading A Boy-man in the Lab

Good Help is Hard to Find

Our supervisor has been searching for good techs for months. She wants someone who will work midnight shift, work fast, understand everything they are taught right away, not call off, not complain, and not quit when they are pressured to do more. She has hired, fired, and lost (they quit) at lease seven people in…… Continue reading Good Help is Hard to Find

What About Mammograms from the Lab’s Point of View?

My husband found an article about mammograms in the New York Times this weekend. It raised the question about women being over diagnosed, undergoing breast cancer treatment, and being subjected to surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation for no reason. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/22/opinion/cancer-survivor-or-victim-of-overdiagnosis.html?_r=0 I have added links to an abstract that discusses this same question. (An abstract is a summation of data…… Continue reading What About Mammograms from the Lab’s Point of View?

Reprocessing

I sit at a microtome to do my job. I sit in a histology lab with other techs. I cut surgical blocks that contain small samples of human tissue; lung, heart, bowel, skin, bone, anything that is a part of a person. Some days all goes well. This day the tech sitting next to me…… Continue reading Reprocessing

Lost

You have had a mole removed. It could be cancer. It looked suspicious enough that your doctor removed it. He sent it to the lab and you never received a diagnosis. The specimen was lost. You can’t resubmit the specimen like you could blood or urine. It’s gone. What happens now? Did you get a…… Continue reading Lost