Course Title: Perform histological tests

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

Course Code: ONPS5668C

Course Title: Perform histological tests

School: 155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5283 - Diploma of Laboratory Technology (Pathology Testing)

Course Contact: Amberlee Mitton

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 5053

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Teachers: Asmaa Hasanein & Christine Andrews


Nominal Hours: 150

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

MSL974006A Perform biological procedures

MSL973007A Perform microscopic examination

MSL973004A Perform aseptic techniques

Course Description

This unit of competency covers the ability to perform tests and procedures associated with processing and staining tissues for examination of tissue structure and abnormalities by pathologists and scientists to assist with disease diagnosis. The unit covers tests and procedures that are associated with anatomical pathology (including frozen sections), and may involve the use of automated processors and staining machines.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

MSL975003A Perform histological tests


1. Process specimens and associated request forms

Performance Criteria:

1.1. Check and match specimens and request forms
before they are accepted
1.2. Return specimens and request forms that do not
comply with requirements to their source with
reasons for non-acceptance
1.3. Process routine and non-routine specimens
according to enterprise protocols
1.4. Log acceptable specimens, applying required
document tracking mechanisms
1.5. Dispatch specimens to referral laboratories as
1.6. Store specimens appropriately until required for


2. Prepare specimens for cut up

Performance Criteria:

2.1. Arrange tissues and request forms in cut-up area
2.2. Label tissue cassettes as required to maintain
identity during subsequent procedures
2.3. Prepare containers for transport of tissues to
2.4. Select tissue fixative to prepare tissue for subsequent
2.5. Weigh organs and count tissue chips and shavings
2.6. Take notes of gross features of specimens during
cut-up if required


3. Process tissue

Performance Criteria:

3.1. Select processor program and reagents
3.2. Inspect processor reagents for deterioration and
adequate volume
3.3. Follow processing requirements for non-routine
techniques, including histochemistry
3.4. Monitor processor regularly during processing
sequence where appropriate


4. Embed tissue

Performance Criteria:

4.1. Select embedding medium that is compatible with
infiltrating agent
4.2. Check that temperature of embedding medium is
suitable for embedding process
4.3. Check that volume of embedding medium is
sufficient for uninterrupted embedding of processor
4.4. Embed tissue in correct orientation
4.5. Apply procedures to prevent cross-contamination between patient tissues
4.6. Allow block to solidify according to requirements of
embedding medium


5. Cut tissue sections

Performance Criteria:

5.1. Check that flotation bath is ready and satisfactory
for use
5.2. Prepare microtome and associated equipment to
accommodate requirements of tissue batch
5.3. Secure block in microtome following specified
safety procedures
5.4. Label required number of microscope slides with
patient identification as prescribed by enterprise
5.5. Cut tissue sections according to needs of subsequent
5.6. Float sections onto water bath to flatten tissues
5.7. Pick up sections onto microscope slides ensuring
patient identification on slides matches that on block
5.8. Apply procedures to prevent cross-contamination
between patient tissues
5.9. Maintain tissue sections in conditions compatible
with intended subsequent procedures


6. Stain tissue sections

Performance Criteria:

6.1. Apply staining procedures to demonstrate required
morphological features
6.2. Prepare labile reagents for immediate use
6.3. Select reagents for specified technique, ensuring
reagent sequence matches standard procedure
6.4. Stain sections according to method accommodating
any authorised variations and applying required
quality control
6.5. Mount slides using medium compatible with
staining technique
6.6. Examine sections microscopically to ensure
expected staining outcomes are achieved and
procedural artefacts are detected
6.7. Confirm macroscopically or microscopically that
tissue type conforms with labelling and pathologist
6.8. Participate in final check to establish that the
number of slides tallies with the worksheet
6.9. Attach permanent label giving specimen details as
required by enterprise


7. Contribute to efficient provision of histological services

Performance Criteria:

7.1. Monitor and maintain resources for pathologists incut-up area
7.2. Liaise with clinical and nursing staff if required by
enterprise regarding tissue fixative requirements in
areas, such as wards, theatres and mortuary
7.3. Monitor and maintain volumes of fixatives in areas,
such as wards, theatres and mortuary
7.4. Store slides and blocks according to legal and
enterprise requirements under conditions that prevent


8. Maintain a safe environment

Performance Criteria:

8.1. Use established safe work practices and personal
protective equipment to ensure personal safety and
that of other laboratory personnel
8.2. Handle non-fixed tissues safely to minimise
cross-infection and contamination of personnel and
8.3. Store fixed tissues as specified to minimise exposure
of personnel to dangerous fumes and vapours
8.4. Clean up spills using appropriate techniques to
protect personnel, work area and environment from
8.5. Minimise the generation of wastes
8.6. Ensure the safe disposal of biohazardous materials
and other laboratory wastes in accordance with
enterprise procedures


9. Maintain laboratory records

Performance Criteria:

9.1. Make entries on report forms or into computer
systems, accurately calculating, recording or
transcribing data as required
9.2. File and store tissue sections to facilitate efficient
retrieval as required
9.3. Maintain instrument logs as required by
accreditation checks
9.4. Maintain confidentiality and security of all clinical
information, and laboratory data and records

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

 Weekly theory  - Delivered online by Christine Andrews

  • Library introduction session
  • Interactive online tools
  • Question and answer
  • Blackboard discussion boards
  • Online quiz

Weekly prac and theory - Delivered by Asmaa Hasanein

  • practical activities
  • theory classes

Teaching Schedule

Weekly prac - delivered by Asmaa

Week 1 Mon 9th Feb Intro To Histology
Week 2 Mon 16th Feb Epithelial Tissue + Preparation of Tissue
Week 3 Mon 23rd Feb Connective Tissue + Fixation and Decalcification
Week 4 Mon 2nd March Muscular Tissue + Tissue Processing and Embedding
Week 5 Mon 9th March Skeletal Tissue+ Microtomy
MICROSCOPY + MICROTOMY Every week until end of semester
Week 6 Mon 16th March Nervous Tissue + H+E Staining
Week 7 Mon 23rd March Online Quiz 1 (Starts 23/3/15 9:00am – Ends 27/3/15 11:59pm)(Weeks 2 – 4)
ONLY - Preparation of Tissue, Fixation and Decalcification,Tissue Processing and Embedding.
Week 8 Mon 29th March Haemopoietic System
Week 9 Mon 6th April Student Vacation 2nd – 6st April
Week 10 Mon 13th April Skin
Week 11 Mon 20th April Digestive System
Week 12 Mon 27th April Glands Associated With the Digestive Tract
Week 13 Mon 4th May The Respiratory System
Week 14 Mon 11th May The Urinary System
Week 15 Mon 18th May The Reproductive System
Week 16 Mon 25th May REVISION CLASS
Week 17 Mon 1st June Online Theory Test (Weeks 1 – 15) Online Practical Test (Weeks 1 – 15)
(Starts 1/6/15 9:00am – Ends 7/6/15 11:59pm) 

Week 1 Mon 6th July Introduction
MICROTOMY Every week until end of semester
Week 2 Mon 13th July Cryotomy
Week 3 Mon 20th July Polarising microscopy/ fluorescent staining and IHC
Week 4 Mon 27th July Online Quiz 2 (Starts 27/3/15 9:00am – Ends 30/3/15 11:59pm)(Cryotomy/ Polarising microscopy/ fluorescent staining and IHC) & Introduction to Staining
Week 5 Mon 3rd August Collagen Staining
Week 6 Mon 10th August Elastic Tissue Staining
Week 7 Mon 17th August Silver Staining
Week 8 Mon 24th August N/A MID – SEMESTER EXAMS
Mon 31st August Student Vacation 31st – 6st September
Week 9 Mon 7th September Carbohydrate Staining
Week 10 Mon 14th September Mucins
Week 11 Mon 21st September
Week 12 Mon 28th September Pigments
Week 13 Mon 5th October Fibrin and Microorganisms
Week 14 Mon 12th October
Week 15 Mon 19th October Maintain Laboratory records
Week 16 Mon 26th October Online Quiz 3 (Starts 26/10/15 9:00am – Ends 30/10/15 11:59pm) (Maintain Laboratory records) 


Weekly theory (Semester 1 only) - Delivered online by Christine

Week 1  Topic 1: Histology & Intro to Immunity

Week 2 Topic 2: The biology of cancer

Week 3  Topic 3: Nerves, Nerve Biopsy & Leprosy

Week 4 Topic 4: Lymphatics, Lymph node biopsy & Lymphoma

Week 5 Labour Day Topic 5: Hematopoietic system, Bone marrow biopsy & Leukaemia

Week 6 Topic 6: Breast and breast cancer

Week 7  Revision

Week 8 Exam Week

Week  9 - End of semester 1 TBA - See blackboard for details

*** These dates and content are subject to change. Please check Blackboard for announcements

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

Asessment may include the following

written tests

practical reports

assignments & presentations

practical tests

Assessment Tasks


1. Online Theory Test (Weeks 1 – 13) 15%
2. Online Practical Test (Weeks 1 – 13) 15%
3. Online Quiz 1 5%
4. Online Quiz 2 5%
5. Online Quiz 3 5%
6. Practical observation and logbook 15%


1.  Online quiz  20%

2. Online quiz  20%

Assessment Matrix

See blackboard

Other Information

Assessment Information
This course is graded in accordance with competency-based assessment, but which also utilise graded assessment
CHD Competent with High Distinction (80 – 100%)
CDI Competent with Distinction (60 – 79%)
CC Competent with Credit (50 – 59%)
CAG Competency Achieved – Graded (0 – 49%)
NYC Not Yet Competent
DNS Did Not Submit for assessment

• To pass the course you need to pass, on average, each type of assessment (exams, pracs, and assignments etc.) For example, if there are two exams you need to have an average of 50% to pass and you also need to have passed the other assessment types. You can’t make up marks from one type of assessment to another (e.g. pass the exams but fail the prac component).
• Late work that is submitted without an application for an extension (see below) will not be corrected.
• APPLICATION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME FOR SUBMISSION OF ASSESSABLE WORK - A student may apply for an extension of up to 7 days from the original due date. They must lodge the application form (available online at least 24 hours before the due date. The application is lodged with the School Admin Office on Level 6, Bdg 51. Students requiring longer extensions must apply for SPECIAL CONSIDERATION.
• For missed assessments such as exams- you (& your doctor if you are sick) must fill out a special consideration form. This form must be lodged online with supporting evidence prior to, or within, 48 hours of the scheduled time of examination


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