Special Stains

Weavie Wonder strikes again.


I was out yesterday, you may remember. So today I find out that she was all pissed off that she had to change the histomat…..she got all huffy about having to go and get propar out of the storage room and then having to go back and get formalin. And – oh, save me Jeebus – she had to fill the alcohol bottles.
See we have these big ass five gallon barrels of 95% alcohol. So rather than lugging these barrels around, we fill up smaller bottles to lug around. Since I am the one that uses them the most – being the one that fills the machine all the time – I fill them. I have no problem with that.
She spazzed yesterday because there was not enough alcohol in the smaller bottles to fill the machine. Mind you. Filling the machine is *her* job and therefore, so if filling the bottles. Me filling the machine is a help to her. It is not my responsibility. But I don’t mind doing it.
Anyway, she had the nerve to say “Goddammit! I thought that girl was supposed to fill these bottles!”
And everyone just stopped and looked at her.
J. – my hero – said “Excuse me?!? Are you referring to Heather? Heather who takes care of that machine all the time – which I might add, you are supposed to do – and doesn’t complain about it, ever?!?”
By that time, Weavie had had enough of the manual labor and collapsed into a chair muttering “she don’t do it all the time”. J. said “What?”…..”Nuthin’.”
It really cracks me up 🙂
I think she’s mostly just annoyed that not only was she not indispensable while she was out for that month….no one is making a big deal over her being back.
Anyway.
J. was teaching me some special stains today.
We have a big stainer that we use for most of the biopsies. It’s all automated so that we don’t have to sit there and manually stain 300+ slides every day. Sweet. This big stainer uses hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) to stain the slides. Most of the biopsies can be read with this stain but for a more specifc diagnosis – say for bacteria, fungi or parasites – special stains are used.
Since J. is on special stains this week, she is teaching me.
And Weavie is quite annoyed about the whole thing. I asked J. a couple ofquestions, naturally, about a specific part of the procedure – what exactly was meant by this or how does a particular reaction work, etc. WW finally spit out “You don’t need to know that, just follow the directions – what do you care what it does as long as it gets done.”
J. and I just kind of looked at her for a minute, dumbfounded. But before J. could say anything to her, she huffed out of the lab claiming she needed a cigarette….guess me learning something new is stressing her out.
Anyway, I’m diggin’ the special stains…..then again, I’m the one that always had a full chemistry set to play with. My idea of going to a toy store was going to Edmund Scientific over in Jersey…..loved the glass room 🙂
After J. was done the staining she had to do for today, she went to the back room and started to trim in the biopsies for tomorrow. I kept out the stain book and copied the stains we did today onto cards that I can use when I’m staining.
I was too engrossed in what I was doing apparently, since WW was practically standing on top of me before I realized it and said “I don’t know why you’re bothering to do that now – you’re gonna have to have a notebook to use when you start staining anyway…..you better just wait and do it then.” and she started to close the book and walk off with it. I held it where it was and explained that I would much rather copy them one or two at a time now and familiarize myself with them rather than trying to grasp them all at once.
When she’s on staining, there is alot of cursing. Alot.
And alot more slides that have to re-done.
So, really. I think the best way is for me to do a few at a time. Get it in my head and be able to ask questions ahead of time……rather than after I fuck it up.
Acid Fast (run control slides)

    Carbol Fuchsin (room temp)
    – Basic Fuchsin 4g (6g)
    – Phenol Crystals 8g (12g)
    – 95% alcohol 20ml (30ml)
    – distilled water 100ml (150ml)
    – add one drop of Tergritol #7 for each 30ml of stain

      1. Run slides to distilled water
      2. Carbol Fuchsin for 45 minutes (filter and save)
      3. Running water for 5 minutes
      4. Decolorize in 3 changes of 3.75 ml of Nitric Acid in 150 ml of 95% alcohol
      5. Rinse well in water
      6. 95% alcohol for 1 minute
      7. Rinse well in water
      8. Quick dip in 1% Aqueous Methyline Blue (filter and save)
      9. Rinse in 2 changes of distilled water
      10. Dehydrate and mount

MacCallum-Goodpasture Gram Stain (run control slides)

    Goodpasture (good for 1 month)
    – 1.18 g Basic Fuchsin
    – 2.0 ml Aniline
    – 2.0 ml Phenol Liquid
    – 200 ml 30% Alcohol (63 ml 95% in 200 ml distilled water- 263 ml total)
    Sterling Gentian Violet
    – 20 g Crystal Violet
    – 40 ml Absolute Alcohol
    – 8.0 ml Aniline
    – 356 ml distilled water

      1. Run slides to distilled water
      2. Goodpasture for 10 minutes (filter and save)
      3. Rinse in water
      4. 3 changes of full strength formaling to differentiate slides
      5. Running water for 3 minutes
      6. Saturated Picric Acid for 4 minutes
      7. Rinse in water
      8. 95% alcohol for 30 seconds
      9. Rinse in water
      10. Sterling Gentian Violet for 3 minutes (filter and save)
      11. Rinse in water
      12. Gram’s Iodine for 1 minute
      13. Rinse in water
      14. Make 2 changes of equal parts Xylene and Aniline
      15. Blot slides with filter paper till almost dry
      16. Place slides in Xylene/Aniline until no more blue runs out
      17. Run to Xylene and mount

Tomorrow I’ll get GMS (Gomori’s Methenamine Silver) and PAS (Periodic Acid Schiff). J. did both of those today but I didn’t have time to copy them. She will be doing those two and more acid fast and gram (those are our most frequently requested stains) and a few others.
I’m having fun 🙂

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Posted on 05|03|2003, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Damn! WW is a real grump!

  2. “Grump”.
    Now that’s a nice way to put it. I actually think today I was very nice – considering I’m now that girl – and the worst thing I called her was ‘that miserable old lady’.

  3. I don’t think I could be nice to someone who referred to me as “that girl”. LOL!

  4. Well, I attribute it to menopause…..so I can make jokes about it – told them all I was gonna get my hair done like Marlo Thomas this weekend.
    In any case, this is still better than anything I had to deal with from the bunch over in clinical…..even on her worst day, Weavie isn’t as bad as them.

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