Course Title: Perform histological tests

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2016

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

Asmaa Hasanein

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 required
1.6.Store specimens appropriately until required for testing


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 processor
2.4.Select tissue fixative to prepare tissue for subsequent procedures
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 load
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 procedures
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 specifications
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 in cut-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 degeneration


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 environment
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 contamination
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 practical activities
face to face theory classes
online activities

Teaching Schedule


Semester 1

WeekDateTopic ContentAssessment
111th Feb1Intro To Histology 
218th Feb2Epithelial Tissue 
323rd Feb3Connective Tissue Guest Lecturer 
41st March4Muscular Tissue
Guest Lecturer
58th March5Nervous Tissue 
615th March6Haemopoietic System 
722nd March Revision 
829th March Easter break 
9week starting 4th April Theory Exam Thoery Exam 1-
topics 1-6
1012th April7Skin 
1119th April8Digestive system 
1226th April9Glands associated with the digestive tract 
133rd May10The Respiratory System 
1410th May11The Reproductive System 
1517th May Revision 
1624th May revision 
17week starting 30th May Theory Exam 
Practical Slide Test

Theory Exam 2:
Topics 7 – 11

Practical Slide Test:
Topics 1 – 11

Semester 2


15th July1Histology services and laboratory maintenance Preparation of TissueOnline Quiz 1 
212th July2Fixation and Decalcification 
319th July3Tissue Processing and EmbeddingOnline Quiz 2
426th July4Microtomy and Cryotomy 
52nd August5Introduction to Staining, Microtomy 
69th August6Polarising microscopy, fluorescent staining and IHC, MicrotomyOnline quiz 3
716th August7Collagen Staining 
823rd August exam week, no assessment
930th August8student break, no class 
106th Sept9Elastic Tissue Staining, Microtomy 
1113th Sept10Carbohydrate Staining , Microtomy 
1220th Sept11Mucin Staining, Microtomy 
1327th Sept12Pigments , Microtomy 
144th Oct13Fibrin and Microorganisms, Microtomy 
1511th Oct14Microtomy 
1618th Oct RevisionLogbook submission
17week starting 24th Oct Theory Exam 

Theory Exam 3: Topics 7 – 13



Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

Asessment may include the following

written tests

practical reports

assignments & presentations

practical tests

Assessment Tasks

3 Written theory exams: 15% each

1 practical test- slides: 15%

3 online quizzes: 5% each

Logbook (Sem 1: 10 Pracs. Semester 2: 8 Pracs):25%

Assessment Matrix

Other 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

Course Overview: Access Course Overview