I work in the Pathology Department. I mainly work with these:
Glass microscope slides and blocks.
These are what a pathologist looks at under the microscope to diagnose cancer and other diseases. See how they sometimes mark them?
A big part of my job is to send these pathology slides out for patients who have been diagnosed with cancer or some other disease and want to get a second opinion or treatment elsewhere.
Let's say a newly diagnosed patient wants to have a second opinion. They make an appointment at the another hospital. That hospital's pathology department contacts us to have us send them the slides that the pathologist here used to make the diagnosis so that their pathologist can look at them too. I call this a case.
The first thing I do is print out all of the patients biopsy reports and send a request to the slide library for the slides. I can receive as little as one slide or as many as 60 per biopsy, depending on what part of the body. Some patients have had multiple biopsies. Sometimes they want slides from several years ago.
After I receive the slides I have to submit them all to the Surgical Pathology Officer (SPO). That is a pathologist who is assigned to review each case and make sure that the proper slides are being sent out. We use different colored cover sheets for this. Currently they are pink. We have about 6 SPO's and every week is a different one.
Once I receive the slides back from the SPO I put them in slide holders. These particular cases hold 5 slides each.
Then I get on the FedEx website,create a label pack them up and send them off!
After a while we get our slides back and a report from the hospital.
At any given time I can have from 5 to 20 cases in various stages of completion going at one time.
Sounds simple enough, right?
In the next post I'll tell you all of the things that can (and do!) go wrong!