Pathology Specialist II / 40 Hrs. / Day / Pathology / BWH
Brigham & Women's Hospital(BWH)

Boston, Massachusetts

GENERAL SUMMARY/ OVERVIEW STATEMENT: Summarize the nature and level of work performed.

In the Department of Pathology Frozen Section Room, the Pathology Specialist - Frozen Section prepares high complexity and routine frozen section slides for diagnostic intraoperative evaluation of surgical specimens under the supervision of the Technical Supervisor. Works in high pressure, often stressful conditions in collaboration with Pathologists, Pathology Residents, Pathologists' Assistants, Pathology Specialists and Operating Room Staff. Receives, triages, reconciles, and accessions most anatomic pathology specimen types received in the Frozen Section Room directly from the Operating Suite. Acts as the first line of quality control during the accessioning process - troubleshooting specimens received with insufficient documentation or required clinical information. Oversees daily critical and routine maintenance and supply inventory of Frozen Section Laboratory. The Pathology Specialist performs daily frozen section slide archiving and aids staff on routine and special projects. Assists in training new residents in frozen section technique and triaging of specimens. Performs other technical and ad hoc administrative tasks in the laboratory. Assists and coordinates with Pathologists' Assistant's to contact research personnel and disburse research allocation samples.

PRINCIPAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: Indicate key areas of responsibility, major job duties, special projects and key objectives for this position. These items should be evaluated throughout the year and included in the written annual evaluation.


Ensures correct patient labeling of all materials received. Ensures that requests for service by clinicians meets regulatory standards set by The Joint Commission and other agencies.

Receive, reconcile and triage most anatomic pathology specimen types received directly from the Operating Suite.

Accession and enter data of patient medical record information into laboratory information system (LIS), assign surgical pathology accession numbers, edit and confirm patient charge information using LIS.

Generate barcoded labels, label surgical specimens, print specimen cassettes and ensure quality assurance by cross checking Epic specimen labels and requisition.

Demonstrates the highest level of technical expertise in specimen cryotomy and staining for intraoperative diagnosis and review.

Orients, trains and guides residents to the frozen section room and instructs them in frozen section technique.

Routinely assists residents in accessioning, cryotomy, and staining of a full range of specimens.

Verifies proper operation of critical frozen section equipment daily. Records and maintains functional verification and maintenance files as required by Commonwealth and The Joint Commission.

Trouble shoots equipment problems and initiates repair or contacts service representative. Documents problem and notifies Technical Supervisor.

Maintains frozen section staining solutions daily to ensure optimal staining quality for diagnosis and prompts daily quality assessment. Under urgent conditions, makes precise changes to solutions in consultation with senior staff.

Organizes and manages a system of scanning and filing frozen section slides and delivers them to residents' room for review.

Ensures ready status of Frozen Section Room by maintaining availability of clean instruments and consumable supplies. Organizes and maintains instruments and dissecting supplies for each workstation under conditions requiring rapid turnaround.

Maintains a clean laboratory environment in the Frozen Section Room with daily cleaning including work instruments, surfaces, cabinets and sinks.

Maintains diagnostic viability and integrity of all specimens and patient information. Sustains a high level of awareness to myriad discrepancies that can create severe risk management issues.

Works in concert with designated research Pathologists' Assistants and Pathology Residents to ensure that research tissue is appropriately triaged, procured, and disbursed.

Assist senior staff by assuring consistent and proper acquisition of tissue from specimens for departmental or inter-departmental purposes such as clinical studies, teaching, and research.

Maintains and captures daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly metrics for the Frozen Section Room.

Respond to telephone inquiries regarding surgical specimens and related information. Forward technical questions to the Technical Supervisor, as appropriate.


Properly prepares infectious biohazardous waste for transport in a manner that meets the requirements of BWH Environmental Safety and Health Policy.

Coordinates with Environmental Affairs to monitor Satellite Accumulation Areas (SAA) within the Frozen Section Room. Handles chemical wastes in compliance with MWRA and hospital regulations.

Assists staff as appropriate with routine and special projects.

Maintains established department policies, procedures and objectives, including the areas of quality assurance, safety, environmental and infection control.

Follows all The Joint Commission Patient Safety Goals and related BWH Laboratory and Hospital Policies.

Performs all other duties and responsibilities as directed.

SKILLS/ ABILITIES/ COMPETENCIES REQUIRED: (MUST be realistic, neither overstated nor understated, and related to the essential functions of the job.)

Excellent time management and organizational skills.

Aptitude for attention to detail.
Communication and interpersonal skills to permit collaborative and effective working relationships with co-workers.
Ability to work in a high-stress, fast-paced work area without losing composure or compromising accuracy.

WORKING CONDITIONS: Describe the conditions in which the work is performed.

Daily exposure to formaldehyde, xylene and other hazardous chemicals and fixatives. Contact with infectious organisms. Exposure to unpleasant odors, blood and body fluids. Frequent use of scalpels, razor blades, and sharp instruments. Risk is manageable when proper procedures and precautions are observed and rigorously practiced. Occasional lifting of 45-pound formalin containers. Working in sometimes crowded, relatively small space.

QUALIFICATIONS: (MUST be realistic, neither overstated nor understated, and related to the essential functions of the job.)

  • Bachelor's degree is required. A degree in biology, chemistry, or related field is preferred.
  • Familiar with medical terminology and human anatomy.
  • Basic understanding of histologic principles and practice is preferred.
  • One-year experience sectioning tissue using standard histologic technique is preferred.
  • Ability to perform routine and advanced frozen section procedures highly desirable.
  • Other qualifications as described in the Federal Register, 42 CFR, Subpart M 493.1403 - 1495.

  • EEO Statement
    Brigham and Women's Hospital is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, protected veteran status, or on the basis of disability.

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