Re: BOR exam etc

From:Barry Rittman

Tim and Marsha
When I entered the field of histotechnology, it was regarded as a profession in
which while you were training you expected to receive a pittance (in my case
equivalent of $10 a week). Once trained you could,  however, expect better pay
and some other benefits but would not necessarily become wealthy. Emphasis was
on training and retaining skilled technicians. These were also times when having
any job was necessary and it was not always easy to get employment. These were
also times when a single income was sufficient to maintain a household.
Not only have those times gone but the work force has also changed dramatically.

Although  I have been working in the field since 1957,  I look at what would be
my attitude if I had the the current needs of a young person starting in the
field. Almost everyone, unless a hermit, expect significantly more as far as
standard of living than I used to.  No longer is work necessarily the item of
greatest importance in peoples lives. For a significant number of people it is a
means to an end, a method of obtaining sufficient funds to live in the manner
that you desire.  On top of this several tasks in the field have become somewhat
robotic (not necessarily always bad), more state and governmental regulations,
more emphasis on productivity, performance evaluation and the bottom line.
Everything has become more of a rush with consequent increase in stress and most
important in my mind, much less time to think. The career path in
histotechnology has become less clear. The non uniformity in training in
different laboratories has also increased. Once a person achieves a certain
level of training and experience and  are productive, they should be able to
expect a good salary and level of respect. The situation at least in the States,
in my view has, in the past 15 years been largely driven by the bottom line, at
least in most diagnostic laboratories. Despite this it is to the credit of both
the NSH and local societies and to the histotechs themselves that as a group the
histotechs are relatively well trained and are dedicated.
It seems to me that situations like these are pendulum like. The pendulum seems
to have been driven by the bottom line, now hopefully it will swing back in the
other direction and salaries will rise and conditions significantly improve.
I think that many employers do not appreciate two important facts.
One is that a highly skilled histotechnologisrt can do significantly more work
and more effectively than if that salary is split to hire two technicians that
can on paper fulfill the "minimum requirements". The attainment of such high
skills requires formal training as well as continual OJT, one without the other
is useless. it is in the interest of the employer to retain that skilled
Second is that while some individuals leave the job for another position because
of a higher salary, the majority leave because they feel that they are not
appreciated or that their employer is not flexible enough.

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