We need the Associate Degree for HT

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From:"Tim Morken" <timcdc@hotmail.com>
Date:Fri, 30 Apr 1999 12:31:24 EDT
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There are some good histotechs out there who have learned a lot more than 
just how to cut some slides. I'm one of them and have no formal education in 
Histotechnology. Unfortunately, they are the exception. I have worked with 
many histotechs who, even though they passed the HT had no idea of basic 
biology or chemistry, even at the high school level. The Associates degree 
will simply give people a basic background to build on. I say it is long 

Having worked with many histo-techs from other countries I can say that most 
Histo lab tech education in the US is at the bottom of the barrel( by that I 
mean those that get strictly on-the-job training, not the accreditied 
programs, which are excellent for the most part). In most other countries 
Histotechs are fully trained medical technologists who specialise in 
Histopathology. In most other countries you must have a two-year degree just 
to work in a lab at all.

The US is deficient in that the vast majority of histotechs are expected to 
educate themselves. The vast majority of histotechs in the US just "end up" 
in the histology lab for random reasons, are on-the-job trained and get only 
the most cursory training at that. That is unfair to them, as it limits 
their advancement, and is unfair to patients because it means less than 
optimally-trained people are doing the work. You can argue all you want 
about how you "made" it in this profession without any formal education, but 
in the long run a comprehensive education makes a better technologist.

These days the Histo lab has become the most complicated area of the 
clinical lab. We are involved with more types of procedures than any other 
area, and we interact with every part other lab. Our personnel should be 
well trained to meet the challenge.

Tim Morken, B.A., EMT(MSA), HTL(ASCP)
Infectious Disease Pathology
Centers for Disease Control
1600 Clifton Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30333

email: tim9@cdc.gov

FAX:  (404)639-3043

----Original Message Follows----
From: LMGephart@aol.com
To: joseph_nocito@srhc.iwhs.org, histonet@Pathology.swmed.edu
Subject: Re: Associate Degree for HT
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1999 00:46:20 EDT

That's absurd.  What makes an Associate Degree so important?  I've been 
histology for 20 years without that piece of paper...and a darned good job,

What makes people think that a 2 year degree, a 4 year degree or even an
master's degree can make a skilled employee and a solid worker?  We've taken
the ASCP test and have proven ourselves.  That should be good enough.  Who's
great idea was it to diminish that by requiring a random number of college

Linda Gephart
All Saints Hospital
Fort Worth, TX

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