By: Annie Allen
In this week's blog post, NSH member, Annie Allen, shares her experience attending NSH's Mohs Technician Training, last month:
Annie: After a 5 1/2-hour, fun-filled road trip from Boston to Newark N.J. (No, really! It was!), my fellow histotech travel companion and myself were excited to check into our hotel and prepare for a new training experience: stepping out of our microtome comfort zone and into the cool, quick world of cryostat sectioning for Mohs procedure.
To provide a little background, Mohs procedure is not new. Fredrick E. Mohs developed the procedure in the 1930’s. It was initially called Chemosurgery but was renamed in the 1960’s for its founder, when Perry Robins M.D., a dermatologist, worked with Fredrick Mohs to enhance the procedure. This micrographic surgery is done in stages while the patient waits. As a Mohs technician, you are an integral part of the process.
If you have ever considered attending the NSH accredited, BECK Consulting & Associates, Avantik sponsored, Mohs training (phew, quite a collaboration), it is my hope that this article will encourage you to attend. No matter if you attend as a newbie or a novice, this 2-day intensive has something for every skill level. Our host, Avantik, has the most inviting training space for this workshop, providing ample QS12 cryostats for all of the students for the hands on portion of the “wet-lab”.
If you will allow me, I will speak from the perspective of a histotech's point of view, as that is how I came to the training. I will tell you that the experience I brought to the class was one of limited cryostat use. The closest I got to a cryostat was keeping the pathologist company during surgical frozen sectioning during surgery. Occasionally hand cover slipping. Oh! I also kept the staining area fresh, clean, and up to compliance per SOP. Support tech to say the least. So, this training was a big step up from decontamination and cleaning.
The Beck C&A led training, provided equal, balanced time on hands-on tissue mapping and dyeing, equipment maintenance, cryostat sectioning, mucosa 2nd stage, cutting fat and wedging cartilage.
Areas discussed in the classroom portion of the training were, an introduction to Mohs, CLIA regulations, and how to properly document for your lab. They even covered how to write and set up your procedure manual. There was plenty of time for Q&A and plenty of warm friendly staff to assist you with any question you may have. They were extremely knowledgeable and most importantly, patient.
Lunch breaks, coffee breaks, snack breaks, and breakfast were provided! And not to forget the ever-popular wine, cheese and fruit reception hosted by Avantik, which added just the right classy touch to this training experience.
This training was well thought out and organized. So, grab a friend and exclaim” Road Trip”, or take a plane, but get yourself to a Mohs training workshop. You will come away with confidence in a new set of skills.
For those of you with more Mohs experience, NSH will be holding an Advanced Mohs Training Session in October, in New Jersey. Click here to learn more!
My closing advice- don’t wait to long to sign up, this one fills up super-fast! It’s easy to see why!