RE: histotechs pay etc

From:"Morken, Tim"

Theresa wrote:

How true. The problem, as those people see it, is that by moving on to do
other types of procedures (ie, immuno, ISH, gross dictation) you have been
taken away from helping THEM do THEIR work. I know, I've been there.

I had a professor once who drilled into us that the way to make yourself
valuable at work was to do anything asked of you, especially if you weren't
hired to do that work. Then when push comes to shove, the boss knows they
can't AFFORD to let you go! That's how I've worked all my life; I never miss
an opportunity to learn something in the lab, no matter how off topic it is,
it will come in handy someday. 

I realized how much respect I had gained when the pathologists started
asking ME what antibodies to use for various cases. That was a bit scary,
but satisfying too. 

Keep at it and never mind those people talking behind your back. Soon enough
they'll be off somewhere else!

Tim Morken

-----Original Message-----
From: Johnson, Theresa []
Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 11:20 AM
To: Histonet (E-mail)
Subject: Re: histotechs pay etc

Very well put, Barry.  I agree with your suggested approach.  The more we
know, the better off we are personally and professionally.

Perhaps I'm in the minority, but I consider (many) histologists to be well
compensated, considering their minimum educational level.  Few other fields
offer the salaries we make for a high school education (in addition to the
OJT). I suspect it will be the job market, and not the increased educational
requirements, that eventually drive salaries up.

We (histologists) tend to compare our salary range with nurses, cytotechs,
and med techs based on the technical expertise of our work and where we fit
into the patient care arena, and complain about our coming up short.  Yes,
what we do is no less important than what they do.  But here again, the
market has driven their salaries up due to past and present critical
staffing shortages.  Their educational requirements are also higher than
what is currently required for histologists, so it's easier for
administration to justify higher salaries.

We all know that there are people who have degrees who are not necessarily
better technologists.  So requiring this isn't going to "fix" our
profession.  It will not give us the instant recognition and respect we all
crave.  And higher pay will not give us greater job satisfaction for the
long term.  And it may even create staffing shortages, but I doubt it.

Ironically, the group I've received the LEAST amount of respect from at work
were fellow histologists, the ones interested in producing marginally
acceptable work and complaining about the pathologists who expected better.
If respect is what we want, then we have to earn it, not demand it.  We need
to walk the talk.

Having said that, many excellent techs are burned out beyond the point of no
return.  Many can no longer function satisfactorally in their current
working environment (for a variety of reasons).  Perhaps it's time to move
on, whether it be a change of venue or change of career.  Ultimately YOU are
the only one who can judge what is best for YOU.  And we all need to
respect, even if we don't agree with, their need to do so.

Teri Johnson

Note:  The views expressed here are mine alone and do not reflect nor infer
those of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research.

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