Grossing Technology Today and Tomorrow

Izak B. Dimenstein, MD, PhD, HT (ASCP)


Lab Med. 2020;51(4):337-344. 

In This Article

Grossing Histotechnologist Training Program

Histotechnologists are becoming increasingly involved in grossing technology at the preanalytical and partially analytical stages of microscope slide preparation, which is now defined as a high-complexity procedure. Assigning the biopsy specimen and small-specimen grossing to histotechnicians without adequate training is common practice. Adherence to the formal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments education requirements for high-complexity tests does not ensure an understanding of the particularities of grossing surgical specimens. There is no substitute for systematic academic training, which can be provided by an accredited program.

The logical solution would be to include a course on grossing in the histotechnology school program's curriculum. The starting point should be the formulation of the program's principles and the scope of training that is determined by the limits of histotechnologists' grossing responsibilities in the surgical pathology laboratory.

Figure 5 presents a potential grossing histotechnologist training program. The course should include classes in grossing technology and the anatomic pathology of a limited set of specimens, which can be assigned for grossing by a histotechnologist. The theoretical course should be supported through practice at the grossing table in the surgical pathology laboratory. American Society for Clinical Pathology certification might be the final stage of training and eligibility for grossing technologists.[19] Changing the management's attitude from grossing high-complexity specimens by non-pathologists' eligibility to the ability to perform one of the most important tests for diagnosis is essential for quality assurance.

Figure 5.

Grossing histologist training program.