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Sr. Histotechnician, Full-time, Nights

Northwestern Medicine
Employment type: 
Full time
Required degree level: 
Vision Accommodations
Hearing Accommodations
Mental Health
Remote Position: 

In addition to the responsibilities of a Histotechnician, the Sr Histotechnician serves as a resource expert in a designated section providing technical/administrative assistance with staff training, competency assessments, quality control and instrument review, inventory supply, and new technology development. This position is responsible for communication with pathologists, residents, and coordinators regarding specimen problems. The position is also required to participate in the laboratory occurrence management program. 1. Performs technical procedures: Performs cassette-log reconciliation. Initiates appropriate programs on conventional and microwave tissue processors. Recognizes, resolves, and documents standard processor alarms. Embeds biopsy, routine surgical, and autopsy tissues per SOP. Recognizes adequacy of processing. Identifies and orients tissues correctly. Documents tracking and quality issues on embedding log. Performs and documents routine paraffin block reconciliation. Prioritizes blocks based on established guidelines. Operates microtome per SOP. Determines appropriate block orientation and alignment, knife angles, and settings to obtain representative sections. Recognizes acceptable vs. unacceptable sections; evaluates instances in which specific tissue might require a deviation from standard procedures to insure diagnostic sections are produced. Documents blocks cut in laboratory information system. Operates automated instrumentation to stain and coverslip microscopic slides. Performs manual methods during instrument downtimes. Recognizes, resolves, and documents unacceptable staining and coverslipping results and/or instrument failure. Labels slides, collates with paperwork, and submits to appropriate pathologist or resident. Documents appropriate tracking information. Performs special staining techniques using automated instrumentation and manual methods. Identifies appropriate positive and/or negative controls. Evaluates stains microscopically for acceptable results. Identifies and corrects staining deficiencies. Documents stains and quality issues. Maintains specimen integrity and accurate legible specimen identification throughout all technical and clerical processes. Records all documentation consistently and legibly. Maintains manual and electronic records for easy retrieval of data as necessary. Investigates, escalates, and documents any discrepancies or unresolved issues appropriately. Prioritizes technical workload based on assignment or established priorities, responds effectively to changes in workflow adjusting work to incorporate STAT requests or fluctuations in work volume. Exercises independent judgment in the performance of technical responsibilities. Practices the proficient and safe use of all equipment necessary for the completion of all duties and responsibilities within defined turn-around times. 2. Maintains system integrity in a designated section: Monitors laboratory inventory to ensure supply levels are appropriate and adequate. Verifies reagents and supplies meet defined acceptability criteria upon receipt and prior to use; takes action to ensure unacceptable items are removed from use. Performs inventory maintenance and supply ordering. Reviews instrument and equipment maintenance logs in a timely fashion and follows up as needed. Review and evaluates QC results and takes necessary corrective actions according to established protocol. Performs required Quality System responsibilities including initiating "Quality Investigation Reports". 3. Performs technical review in a designated section: Develops and maintains a higher level of expertise. Reviews pending logs for completeness, correctness, and consistency. Performs evaluation of positive and/or negative controls as necessary. Recognizes unusual results and completes appropriate follow-up actions. Evaluates instruments and test systems and makes recommendations for acquisition to senior management. 4. Troubleshoots and solves problems in designated section: Recognizes when unresolved problems need to be escalated and takes necessary follow-up action. Reviews pending logs and follows-up to ensure pending tests are completed or cancelled when appropriate. Cleans, disinfects, performs, and documents routine equipment and instrument maintenance per SOP. Performs advanced troubleshooting and repair. Calls for field service when necessary and is familiar with contractual terms of maintenance agreements. 5. Ensures quality of operations: Assumes delegated responsibilities in the absence of a coordinator. Ensures regulatory compliance in designated section. Participates in the orientation and training of new staff and students. Meets competency standards of the department and assists in the competency assessment of technical and support staff. Presents continuing education programs. Assiststhe Coordinator and Manager in monitoring the operations of designated areas to ensure that service standards and financial goals are met. Contributes in developing and is responsible for implementation of technical goals and standards. 6. Information Systems: Ensures integrity of Laboratory Information System by following established protocols and participating in the maintenance and enhancements of the LIS. Participates in instrument computer software updates. Demonstrates expertise in Information Technology; uses applications to streamline operations and facilitate service monitoring and data collection. 7. Ensures safety of operations: Maintains a clean and safe work environment to ensure efficient workflow and compliance with all regulatory requirements. Cleans and disinfects laboratory areas per SOP. Performs minor spill cleanup per SOP when necessary. Participates in Safety and Infection Control activities. Follows all required safety procedures, assumes a proactive role in laboratory safety. 8. Provides service excellence: Answers telephones when needed using NMH telephone etiquette. Maintains patient confidentiality. Assists patients and other contacts whenever need occurs. Fosters department and laboratory teamwork through effective communication. Takes initiative for personal development by attending teleconferences, educational sessions, and required meetings, etc. Performs other duties as assigned. Assists in specific process improvement projects. This position requires the individual to be extremely careful and aware of the importance of eliminating laboratory errors. Position will assist with problem resolution regarding patient specimens including root cause analysis. Position participates in departmental quality improvement activities. Some assignments involve long periods of standing and/or sitting. Some assignments involve lifting or pushing carts up to 50lbs. Some assignments involve walking to other hospital and clinic buildings. May be required to properly handle and dispose of hazardous materials. Personal protective equipment is provided by the laboratory and is worn in the department due to exposure to biohazardous and/or chemically hazardous materials. AA/EOE
Required: HT certification through the ASCP Board of Registry and five years technical experience in a histology laboratory. High school diploma. Strong attention to detail and number recognition skills. Excellent organizational skills; ability to multi-task and work within tight time constraints. Effective inter-personal skills. Computer experience with keyboard proficiency; strong knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel applications. Ability to maintain accurate and legible documentation. Familiarity with medical terminology. Desired: HTL certification through the ASCP Board of Registry and three years technical experience in a histology laboratory. B.S. degree in the biological, life sciences, medical laboratory technology, or other related field.

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