Re: histotechs pay etc

From:Bill Sinai


I agree with all your sentiments.  I also was generally trained in a very
similar manner to your self and made Histotechnology my career by choice.  I
have strived over the years to maintain some idea of what the current trends
in other disciplines as I feel we Histotechs probably need this broad
knowledge to perform our work satisfactorily.

Bill Sinai
Subject: histotechs pay etc

> Please delete if you are tired of hearing about this topic.
> Everyone who writes to the Histonet deserves some respect for taking the
> time to voice their opinion. If you have derogatory comments I
> respectfully suggest that you send them directly to the individual
> concerned, to send them to all of us is,  in my opinion unprofessional.
> There have been several comments about treatment of histotechs by
> pathologists.  It is dangerous to generalize. I have been treated well
> by some pathologists and felt part of the team and poorly by others. The
> latter were fortunately in the minority and often did this because of
> their ignorance of my role and my level of skill.  I consider that in
> such cases most will change their attitude if I make them aware of the
> role of the histotech and they will come to respect the histotech as a
> critical part of the team. This requires mutual respect and this is
> something that has to be developed. As a good example it is not
> appropriate to introduce lets say the pathologist as Dr. Haupsburg and
> the histotech as James. I regard this as a kind of one upmanship and
> demeaning to James,  Dr. Haupsburg and Mr. Jones would be more
> appropriate. If you are part of a team then it should be either first
> names (unless in front of patients) or appropriate titles. I cannot tell
> you how much this ticked me off before I got my PhD!!
> The histotech also needs to have self respect both for their own
> abilities and for the work they do.  If they do not then this is like
> the cartoon when one deer looks at the other and sees a target birthmark
> on their chest "bummer of a marking Joe".  You cannot expect others to
> respect you if you do not respect yourself. If you are not a continual
> student learning something every day then you may not be happy in your
> job.
> On the job training. I trained in England but have lived in the States
> 33 years and been a citizen for 25. I feel that I  have a slightly
> different perspective  than individuals who were born, raised and
> trained in the States.  I feel strongly that on the job training is
> often not a quantifiable item and that a formal training program is
> best. At least individuals who have gone through this training can be
> compared, apples to apples.  I appreciate the training that I received
> in England (although it is probably different now), where all trained
> initially as MLTs and then specialized in Histopathology etc. Initial
> training was one day a week and two evenings at classes for 3 years.
> Specializing another two years.  This time training was paid for by the
> employer. Exams were written, practical and oral examinations and often
> grueling. A set of questions on the practical allowed to you to
> determine your own schedule for clinical chemistry, histology,
> microbiology and so on. You were under stress (kind of like working in a
> lab?).
> Apples to apples. It is difficult in the States to compare individuals.
> Some labs provide superb experience and good OJT, others are pitiful in
> requiring maximum output with minimal or no training. What does 10 years
> experience mean? Can an individuals who has ten years of work whose
> skills can be mastered in a year be considered to have ten years
> experience? I don't think so. I think that they have one years
> experience ten times over.
> Until employers realize the skill necessary for histotechnology then
> salaries will not increase much. Neither will there be recognition for
> the need of formal training to start with and continual training over
> the entire career. Training that is supported both  philosophically and
> financially. Certification as mentioned by some of our colleagues in the
> UK recently would be a big step in that direction.
> In this era when the boundaries of histolotechnology, cytology,
> biochemistry and other disciplines are becoming less clear, I believe
> that it is time to look at our overall approach to histotechnology. As
> with most disciplines today the emphasis is "what do we need to know" or
> more correctly "what is the minimum we need to know". "If I read these
> notes will I pass the test".  I am convinced that I do a significantly
> better job because of the broad training I received as a MLT even
> though  I work in histology. Because of this "other training"  I look at
> things in a different light.  I believe that the splitting of MLTs,
> histotechs and  cytotechs in the States was a retrograde step. As far as
> I am concerned the broader the educational base and training the better
> off both the histotech and the employer.
> I would be interested to know if  there are histotechs out there who
> feel the  same.
> Thank you for your patience in reading this.
> Barry

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