Will Your Doctor Tell You When They Error?

  A case I remember well involved a simple endometrial scraping, a curetting, a common type of specimen. An error occurred and it nearly resulted in a patient getting treatment for cancer that she didn’t have. As a patient, do you think the lab should have reported this error? It caused the patient no harm.…… Continue reading Will Your Doctor Tell You When They Error?

Pink Slip

I didn’t know why Nancy wasn’t at work today, again. I asked and learned she has the rest of the week off. We don’t work the same shift but it was obvious she hadn’t been there because she is one of the powerhouse cutters. What I mean by that is, she cuts a lot and…… Continue reading Pink Slip

Foreign Bodies

Body parts, as well as things that shouldn’t be in the body, get sent to the Histology Lab. At one of my first positions as a tech, I saw a McDonald’s coffee cup that had been pulled from a person’s colon. It was filled with cement and shoved up there and got stuck.   At that time, I…… Continue reading Foreign Bodies

Lost Again

They lost another patient’s specimen today. I noticed the supervisor, assistant supervisor, lead tech, and two of my fellow techs searching under every piece of equipment, desk, and through all the garbage. They came around to each of us who were cutting to see if the lost block was among our blocks. Maybe it was…… Continue reading Lost Again

Fast Work in the Histology Lab

Karen is going on maternity leave and that is met with sorrow. It’s not that she is so fantastic to work with. She is nice and she tells funny stories, but the thing everyone loves is how fast she can cut blocks. Cut blocks. Maybe you don’t know what I’m talking about. If you have…… Continue reading Fast Work in the Histology Lab

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