Basic Tissue Orientation and Paraffin Embedding Technique (by LabCE)

2 P.A.C.E. contact hour(s)

(based on 457 customer ratings)

Author: Joelle Weaver MAOM, HTL(ASCP), QIHC
Reviewer: David W. Anderson, HT(ASCP)

Course provided by LabCE.

This course will discuss the fundamental methodology, purpose, and skills needed for basic to intermediate level proficiency in routine paraffin embedding of human tissue samples. Paraffin embedding is the standard technique used in nearly all clinical and most research histopathology laboratories to produce human tissue blocks for microtomy. The production of properly oriented, accurately labeled, and contamination-free blocks is an essential skill needed by the bench histologist. Some of the background knowledge needed for the embedding task includes: an understanding of tissue sampling, human anatomy, tissue identification skills, and attention to fine detail, accuracy, and manual dexterity.

See more courses in: Histology

Included In These Course Packages

Continuing Education Credits

P.A.C.E.® Contact Hours (acceptable for AMT, ASCP, and state recertification): 2 hour(s)
Course number 578-071-18, approved through 10/31/2020
Course number 20-684182, approved through 9/1/2020

Objectives

  • Apply human tissue sampling and anatomy concepts to identifying human tissue types commonly encountered in histopathology.
  • State the primary steps of paraffin embedding and the purpose of each step in the technical process.
  • Describe and list the tools and instrumentation needed for paraffin embedding.
  • Identify selection criteria, such as optimal temperature ranges, for the desired technical performance from a selected paraffin embedding media.
  • State guidelines and identify the correct 3-D orientation for human tissue specimens commonly encountered in histopathology.
  • Identify quality control (QC) measures which help prevent cross-contamination and which promote high quality tissue sections during subsequent microtomy.

Customer Ratings

(based on 457 customer ratings)

Course Outline

  • Background Knowledge
      • Introduction
      • Basic Anatomy and Tissue Identification
      • Spatial Reasoning and Visualization
      • Commonly Used Anatomic Direction Terms
      • Basic Tissue Sampling and Use of Tissue Marking Inks
  • Tools and Instrumentation
      • Tools and Instrumentation
      • Base Molds
      • Forceps and Other Tools
  • Purpose and Methodology
      • Purposes Accomplished by the Embedding Task
      • The Essential Steps in Routine Paraffin Embedding
      • Step One: Open Cassette
      • Step Two: Examine and Identify the Specimen
      • Step Three: Orient and Position Specimen According to Tissue Type
      • Final Steps: Four Through Seven
      • Review of the Basic Steps for Routine Paraffin Embedding
  • Paraffin Media
      • Modern Paraffin Media
      • Know Your Paraffin
      • Paraffin Temperatures
  • Basic Tissue Orientation
      • Basic Tissue Orientation
      • Uncomplicated Specimens
      • Small to Medium Sized Specimens with Multiple Pieces
      • Regularly Shaped, Medium Sized Pieces
      • Specimens Containing a Lumen
      • Appendix
      • Placenta
      • Cysts and Other Hollow Structures of Larger Circumference
      • Gynecological (GYN) Specimens
      • Endoscopic Biopsies
      • Skin Specimens
      • Elliptical Skin Specimens
      • Punch (Trephine) Biopsies
      • Shave Biopsies
      • Needle Biopsies
      • Breast Cores
      • Review: General Orientation Guidelines
  • Troubleshooting and Quality Control
      • Basic Quality Control
      • Preventing Cross-Contamination
      • Sub-optimal Specimens
      • Practices for Specimen Loss
      • Communication
  • References
      • References

Additional Information

Level of instruction: Beginning to intermediate
 
Intended audience:  This course is intended for histology bench technicians and technologists, new staff, and students.
 
Author information:  Joelle Weaver MAOM, HTL(ASCP), QIHC is a certified histotechnologist HTL from the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) with experience in clinical, research, and reference histopathology. She has received qualification from the ASCP in Immunohistochemistry and is a local ASCP representative for the Nashville, Tennessee area. Joelle's bachelor's degree was received from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio and her master's degree was awarded from Bluffton University in Bluffton, Ohio. She is also a graduate of a NAACLS accredited Histotechnology Program. Positions held include education coordinator, lead instructor, and program director of a NAACLS accredited HT certification training program.
 
Reviewer information:  David W. Anderson, HT(ASCP) has worked in the histology field for the past sixteen years and currently serves as the Supervisor of Histopathology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN.
 
Course description: This course will discuss the fundamental methodology, purpose, and skills needed for basic to intermediate level proficiency in routine paraffin embedding of human tissue samples. Paraffin embedding is the standard technique used in nearly all clinical and most research histopathology laboratories to produce human tissue blocks for microtomy. The production of properly oriented, accurately labeled, and contamination-free blocks is an essential skill needed by the bench histologist. Some of the background knowledge needed for the embedding task includes: an understanding of tissue sampling, human anatomy, tissue identification skills, and attention to fine detail, accuracy, and manual dexterity.

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Course provided by LabCE.
A histologist performing routine paraffin embedding.


A punch skin biopsy specimen.


Add additional molten paraffin after replacing the cassette bottom on top of the positioned specimen and base mold.


Diagram of the layer of the skin.


Choose appropriate mold size for specimen type leaving enough space around specimen for a paraffin border.


Specimen with requisition


Specimens 400x


liver biopsy



 
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