Performs subprofessional duties at autopsies, prepares autopsy and surgical specimens, and supervises histopathology activities.
Prepares surgical, cytological, and autopsy specimens. Receives and prepares specimens for fixation, dehydration, and impregnation processes by either manually or automatically sending specimens through a series of formalins, alcohols, clearing agents, and paraffin. Embeds tissues and prepares paraffin blocks for cutting on rotary microtome. Attaches cut tissues on specially prepared microslides and clears paraffin from tissue. Obtains tissue slides by surgical, cytological, or autopsy number. Submits finished tissue slides to the pathologist along with pertinent clinical data received from originating agency and gross examination by the pathologist. Performs special stains and procedures. Performs duties at autopsies. Serves as technical assistant at autopsies. Assists pathologist in opening abdominal, pleural, and cranial cavities; examining various organs; and procuring and handling specimens from these organs. Prepares remains for transfer to mortuary, to include cleaning and closing all incisions. Labels and stores autopsy specimens until pathologist makes final examination prior to fixing, embedding, and staining. Maintains histopathology records and instruments. Maintains complete records of all surgical, cytological, and autopsy specimens, to include filing and storing of paraffin blocks and stained tissue slides by accession number. Prepares and ships blocks, slides and diagnostic reports to various military and civilian medical facilities. Maintains all surgical and autopsy instruments, to include sharpening and cleaning microtome blades, knives, scissors, and chisels. Performs quality assurance. Evaluates current and new procedures for implementation and effectiveness. Monitors specimen handling, cutting, and staining quality; and equipment and controlled substances inventory. Assists in maintaining accreditation standards.