NSH asked the histotechs on our Histology Professionals Facebook page to share their tips for others in the profession. Thank you to them, for these brilliant words of wisdom:

  • "A drop of Dawn dish soap in your water bath will keep fatty sections from exploding. Cold curved forceps laying on your ice will then help break apart sections."

  • “Fixation->Processing->Embedding->Microtomy->Staining->Under the scope. Each step relies on the previous steps; if tissue is not fixed or processed correctly then your cutting and staining won’t be easy/good. If embedding isn’t done correctly then you won’t get what is needed, sectioning will be difficult, or you will eat through tissue, etc. Take the time to do each step correctly!”

Microtomy Troubleshooting:

  • “Dull blades tend to be the first thing I think of and change when I can’t get a section. 90% of the time that’s the issue!”

  • “Blades actually have two sides. One side gets dull flip it over and use the other side. It will be good as long as you haven’t nicked it.”

A Cohesive Workplace

  • “If you work in a lab where all techs share all of the duties try to establish a routine where everyone does everything basically the the same way. You need to be able to follow each other and finish what someone else starts without continually asking. It makes for smoothness and speed.”

  • “Follow procedures and protocols Don't take short cuts. They're in place for a reason.”

  • “Be kind to your coworkers, whether you/they have 1 day of experience or 50 years, you will ALWAYS learn something new every day.”

Patients Come First

  • “Always show compassion and put the patient first. Treat every block as if it were your family member or self, that needed the results, everything else will fall into place.”

  • “Quality over quantity”

Interested in more histology troubleshooting tips? Download NSH’s white paper, Expert Connect: Troubleshooting Tips.

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