Course Number and Title: HTT 220 Histochemistry I
This course applies basic biology and chemistry principles to the study of fixation, processing, and staining of tissue specimens. Students learn various troubleshooting techniques and their applications relative to maintaining quality control in the histology lab.
Histotechnician Program Manual
Allied Health/Science Department Student Policy Manual
- Demonstrate a working knowledge of medical terminology commonly used in the anatomic pathology lab. (CCC 4; PGC 10)
- Calculate concentrations, and prepare various solutions from calculations. (CCC 6; PGC 2, 8)
- Demonstrate and differentiate fixatives/fixation types: chemical properties, actions, advantages versus disadvantages, troubleshooting, and procedure. (CCC 1, 2, 6; PGC 2, 4, 6, 7)
- List, define, and discuss the four steps of conventional tissue processing. (CCC 1, 2; PGC 2, 6, 7, 8)
- Discuss the ultrastructure elements of human cells relative to microscopic visualization. (CCC 1, 2; PGC 4)
- Compare, contrast, and demonstrate cellular staining methods, mechanisms, and equipment. (CCC 1, 2; PGC 2, 4, 5, 6, 7)
- Develop and evaluate a quality control/quality assurance plan for the histology lab. (CCC 1, 2; PGC 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 12)
- Demonstrate professional ethics. (CCC 1, 3, 4; PGC 9, 10)
See Core Curriculum Competencies and Program Graduate Competencies at the end of the syllabus. CCPOs are linked to every competency they develop.
Upon completion of this course, the student will:
- Demonstrate a working knowledge of medical terminology commonly used in the anatomic pathology lab.
- Describe the role of the pathologist's assistant.
- Define medical terminology.
- Identify and define the roots, suffixes, and prefixes of various medical terms.
- Calculate concentrations, and prepare various solutions from calculations.
- Define, calculate, and prepare percent solutions.
- Use mathematical formulas to calculate and prepare weight/volume, volume/volume, molar, and normal solutions, and solution dilutions.
- Convert Fahrenheit to Celsius and Celsius to Fahrenheit.
- Define and calculate gravimetric factor.
- Demonstrate and differentiate fixatives/fixation types: chemical properties, actions, advantages versus disadvantages, troubleshooting, and procedure.
- Compare and contrast, using 35mm slides, well-fixed and poorly fixed tissue.
- Review the objectives of a good fixative.
- Describe and contrast putrefaction and autolysis.
- Define and explain the concept of osmolality.
- Compare anionic and cationic fixatives.
- Contrast additive and non-additive fixation.
- List and explain various factors affecting fixation.
- Explain the action of formaldehyde on cytoplasmic and nuclear cellular components.
- Compare chemically formalin, formaldehyde, and paraformaldehyde.
- Name the fixative of choice for urate crystals.
- Define and discuss acidophilic and basophilic stains.
- List examples of fixatives that must be used to demonstrate particular tissue elements.
- List the artifactual pigments of fixation, and outline steps necessary to prevent them.
- Identify the ingredients of various fixatives.
- Compare and contrast heavy metal, aldehyde, and alcoholic fixation.
- List the primary ingredients of various fixatives.
- Compare the actions of heavy metals, aldehydes, and alcohols on tissue components.
- Demonstrate preparation of various fixatives.
- List, define, and discuss the four steps of conventional tissue processing.
- Distinguish free water from molecularly-bound water.
- Define and explain the mechanism of dehydration.
- Identify and distinguish the dehydrating properties of the four types of alcohols used in histology.
- Define universal solvent, and explain the term.
- Summarize the actions of dioxane, tertiary butanol, and tetrahydrofuran.
- Explain clear as it relates to tissue processing.
- List properties and actions, and explain advantages and disadvantages of various clearing agents.
- Describe xylene, limonene, and the aliphatic hydrocarbons, and identify physical features, disposal methods, and health concerns of each.
- Define tissue infiltration.
- Identify advantages and disadvantages of paraffin infiltration relative to other types of infiltration media.
- Relate melting point of paraffin to microtomy.
- Identify and classify potential tissue processing problems and determine methods to avoid them.
- Label a tissue processing schedule, and relate the effects of time and reagent concentration adjustments on tissue components.
- Discuss the ultrastructural elements of human cells relative to microscopic visualization.
- List and identify cellular components visible with light microscopy.
- List cellular components visible with alternate microscopic methods.
- Compare, contrast, and demonstrate cellular staining methods, mechanisms, and equipment.
- Define and illustrate ionic, hydrogen, and covalent bonding.
- Define and explain nuclear and cytoplasmic staining terminology.
- Explain mordanting.
- Describe and explain various mechanisms of staining of nuclear and cytoplasmic tissue elements.
- Discuss dye terminology relative to means of dye binding with cellular components.
- Compare and contrast progressive and regressive staining.
- Explain staining differentiation.
- Demonstrate preparation of hematoxylin and eosin solutions.
- Discuss potential hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining problems, and generate a plan with probable causes and resolutions.
- Demonstrate manual H&E staining on frozen and paraffin embedded tissue sections.
- Describe and demonstrate progressive and regressive H&E staining techniques.
- Demonstrate proper care and maintenance of automated slide staining equipment.
- Compare automated and manual staining methods.
- Compare microscopically manually and automatically stained tissue sections.
- Demonstrate and explain the mechanisms of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA) staining.
- Describe and discuss polychromatic staining.
- Develop and evaluate a quality control/quality assurance plan for the histology lab.
- Demonstrate daily instrument quality control.
- Evaluate and demonstrate quality control of H&E stained tissue sections.
- Develop and explain a quality control/quality assurance program for use in the clinical setting.
- Demonstrate professional ethics.
- Demonstrate professional ethics.
- Demonstrate punctuality and attendance.
- Demonstrate an attempt to improve professional and student ethics.
The grade will be determined using the Delaware Tech grading system:
Students should refer to the Student Handbook for information on the Academic Standing Policy, the Academic Integrity Policy, Student Rights and Responsibilities, and other policies relevant to their academic progress.
Calculated using the following weighted average
Percentage of final grade
Lecture Exams: 4 exams are weighted at 10% each (summative)
Final Exam: 1 exam weighted at 30% (summative)
Assignments: 4 assignments are weighted at 2.5% each (formative)
Histology Competency Checklist (summative)
Generic Abilities-Affective Objectives Assessment (summative)
- Apply clear and effective communication skills.
- Use critical thinking to solve problems.
- Collaborate to achieve a common goal.
- Demonstrate professional and ethical conduct.
- Use information literacy for effective vocational and/or academic research.
- Apply quantitative reasoning and/or scientific inquiry to solve practical problems.
- Receive and accession tissue specimens accurately.
- Prepare tissue specimens for microscopic examinations, including all routine procedures.
- Assist with frozen section procedures in histopathology.
- Identify tissue structures and their staining characteristics.
- Perform preventive and corrective maintenance of equipment and instruments or refer to appropriate sources for repairs.
- Explain factors that affect procedures and results, and take appropriate action within predetermined limits when corrections are indicated.
- Perform and monitor quality control within predetermined limits.
- Apply principles of safety to all clinical laboratory procedures.
- Demonstrate professional conduct and interpersonal communications skills with patients, the public, laboratory and other health care personnel.
- Describe the responsibilities of other laboratory and health care personnel and interact with them with respect for their jobs and patient care.
- Explain and act upon individual needs for continuing education as a function of growth and maintenance of professional competence.
- Exercise principles of management, safety and supervision within the clinical laboratory environment.
The College is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. Students are encouraged to schedule an appointment with the campus Disabilities Support Counselor to request an accommodation needed due to a disability. A listing of campus Disabilities Support Counselors and contact information can be found at the disabilities services web page or visit the campus Advising Center.