A new donor-funded grossing station is enabling the Anatomical Pathology department at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre to study tissue samples with shorter turnaround times than ever before.
Specimens are transferred from the operating room to a grossing station, where the tissue is dissected and examined for tumours and disease. Samples are then sent to a pathologist, who identifies the type of tumour or disease and determines the best treatment option for the patient.
“This new station has enhanced the way I do my job,” explains Sheri Bevandic, Pathologist’s Assistant at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre. “The station’s special lighting is a lot brighter than our older stations, which is extremely helpful as I’m often looking for things that are as little as 1 millimetre in size.”
The new grossing station has allowed an additional assistant to join the team, enabling more samples to be examined in a timelier manner. As of mid-May, nearly 4,000 specimens have been examined in 2017. In the past, some samples needed to be shipped to other Hamilton Health Sciences hospitals due to a capacity backlog. The new station now permits all specimens to be examined at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre.
“The addition of an extra team member is significant to us. The turnaround time is much quicker, so patients are getting their diagnoses and treatment plans faster.”
A hands-free computer system is connected to the grossing station, which records everything the pathologist’s assistant dictates. The new station also promotes a healthier working environment, as the hydraulics system permits assistants to work in a sitting or standing position. As sitting for long periods can lead to chronic health issues, the ability to work while standing is significant for staff.
“We are so very thankful for the donors who enabled the purchase of the station,” says Sheri. “This bigger station means we’re able to work on larger specimens that couldn’t be examined previously. This is especially important as we often deal with complex, multi-organ cases.”