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Continuing education for pathology laboratory technologists: a needs analysis in a Singapore teaching hospital
  1. Kong-Bing Tan,
  2. Thomas Paulraj Thamboo,
  3. Yaw-Chyn Lim
  1. Department of Pathology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, National University Hospital, Singapore
  1. Dr Tan Kong Bing, Department of Pathology, National University of Singapore, National University Hospital, Lower Kent Ridge Road, Singapore 119074, Singapore; pattankb{at}


Background/Aims: Continuing education is important to laboratory technologists. It helps them keep pace with the advances in medicine and pathology and thus to provide quality service. A survey was conducted to assess the attitudes of pathology laboratory technologists towards different educational activities.

Methods: Relevant continuing education activities include lectures, case discussions, journal clubs, short courses, scientific conferences and higher educational courses. Technologists were asked for their views on these various activities, scoring each item 1–5 out of 5.

Results: The response rate was 66% (19/29); respondents’ work experience ranged from <3 years to >20 years. Short courses was rated the most highly; 89% of respondents considered them good/excellent. General medical knowledge and the methods and rationale of key histopathology procedures were the preferred lecture topics. Most respondents (58%) were interested (4–5/5) to have their own journal club. 84% of respondents were fairly keen/keen (4–5/5) to participate in conferences. 74% responded that they were fairly keen/keen to consider pursuing higher education. 84% were fairly keen/keen to upgrade themselves and to assume higher responsibilities.

Discussion: The results indicate a positive outlook of technologists towards continuing education. The planning of future lecture topics has taken into account their preferences, and talks on the pursuit of higher education have been organised. It is hoped that these measures and others, will help boost the usefulness of continuing education and enhance the work environment.

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • This paper was presented, in part, as a poster at the 32nd annual meeting of the Australasian Division of the International Academy of Pathology, Sydney, Australia, 2–4 June 2006.