RE: [Histonet] "Brit" Hitotech/Firestorm?

From:"Rittman, Barry R"

The major problem with the situation in the USA re histotech that I see
There is a shortage of histotechs and instead of improving the salary
and career prospects many health organizations are hiring people who are
not trained and will work for much less, keeping the overall salary base
low. Cannot blame the people who are taking these jobs as they have to
have some work. 
This situation will not change unless we have some attitude changes in
management and in the training that is available.
I personally would prefer the NSH to have its own testing and its own
testing centers, for all histotechs at a certain level to have to be
certified and for all individuals below this level to be in formal
training programs. This requires some sort of standardization for
training and testing across the country. While I hate the thought of the
federal government being in charge of anything, I think that this is the
only way in which respect for the profession and salaries will increase.
Finally we have a big public relations gap. Very few members of the
general public have any idea what histotechs do.

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Terry
Sent: Saturday, August 06, 2005 7:34 AM
Subject: Re: [Histonet] "Brit" Hitotech/Firestorm?

HI everyone

I feel the urge to join this discussion.  I got into the field of
15 years ago and enjoyed the work and the concepts.  I wanted to move up
the field ao I earned my HTL (ASCP) instead of the HT(ASCP) since I have
Bachelor's degree in Biology.  That didn't get me any more respect or
  Still trying to improve my situation I earn a Master's degree in
Administration and I once again my employment has not improved.  As a
of fact my employment situation has gotten worse since I earned a
degree.  I had acheived a position as a supervisor only to be "run out
the lab" by an arrogant PA and, I can only assume, seasoned histotechs
fear change.

Any way now I have been working as a traveling histotech.  The pay is
than if I had a permanent job.  The facility I am at now recently hired
person to be trained as a tech.  This new employee has a GED not a high 
school dipolma and he has no background in in science or medicine.  He
doing good given his background but I find it kind of a insult to
techs like myself that that someone without education or experience has
hired to do the same job that us techs have studied extensively.

Now I am done traveling and am trying to get a histotech job close to my

home town so I can live in my house and more importantly live with my
I have applied for tech positions and either haven't heard from the
except for a rejection letter.  When I can get a hold of a hireing 
supervisor I have been told that "this is a entry level position and it 
doesn't pay well", "you are overqualified", and, this really surprised
"your skill set will not go well in our laboratory".  Someone on this
mentioned about being "black listed" I feel that I have now entered that

list.  Most likely I have more education than the people that I would be

reporting to and they probably feel threatened by me.  Someone suggested

that I "dumb down" my resume and exclude some education and my
but I do not like the idea of excluding accomplishments that I am proud

Lastly, as for wages, histotechs are grossly underpaid while Pathologist

Assistants are grossly overpaid!!!!

Thanks for letting me vent.  Sincerely,

Another fustrated histotech.

>From: "Sarah Jones" 
>Subject: Re: [Histonet] "Brit" Hitotech/Firestorm?
>Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2005 16:12:29 -0700
>I have to remind you here, Diana, that you are speaking for yourself
>with your statement about "in NA we tend to stay put".  That may be for

>people.  However, I have found throughout my ~40 year career in
>Histotechnology (especially in the last half of it!!) the only way to
get a
>decent raise is to pack up and move on.  Unfortunately, here in NA our
>annual raises do not even keep up with the cost of living.  In fact, it
>down-right terrible!!  I have my HTL and got my CM recently, I am proud
>say.  However, I haven't received any additional compensation for
>and I doubt I ever will.  (HTL for 24 yrs.)
>Which brings up something else:  The ASCP used to be the American
>Clinical Pathologists.  It is now the American Society of Clinical
>Pathology.  What changed?  I'm not sure.  Does anyone know, except the
>'insiders', that is?  I do have first-hand knowledge of what used to
>The Pathologists ran it, and they had a lot to do with where Histotechs
>sat -- low on the rung of the Pathology Laboratory ladder for YEARS.
>Registry was in my home town in Muncie, Indiana, and my Mother was the
>secretary to the Registrar for many years.  (This was all before it was
>centralized in Chicago.  Prior to the relocation to Chicago, the
>was in the town where the Chairman of the Board was located.  L. 
>M.D., was the Chairman of the Board for ~30 years that I know of, and
>was the Registry located in Muncie.)  There are other things I could
>you; but I was sworn to secrecy years ago, and I will honor that
>Suffice it to say, the Pathologists wanted to keep the salaries of the
>Histotechs down, and did everything in their power to do so.  'Nuff
>When I started into the field of Histotechnology at the University of
>Chicago back in 1965, the Techies associated with the ASCP were trying
>change the requirements for Histotechs, but to no avail.  Not until
>of 2005 did the change they were attempting to accomplish way back then
>prevail.  I didn't really understand what was happening  then, but
today I
>do.  There are MANY places here in the USA (where there is a severe 
>of Histotechs) where they will still hire techs that are not licensed.
>fact, there are places where a licensed Histologic Technician OR a
>Histotechnologist are black-listed by the other techs--most likely in
>that their own incompetence might be discovered!
>The cost of living in certain areas of the country are no longer taken
>consideration in the way they were in the past when it comes to hiring
>techs.  That also saddens me.  How is it that they think I can live in
>most expensive county in California that pays the lowest wages of any 
>in California??  That is craziness in my book!!!!  Yet they wonder why
>cannot find good Histotechs here in this county!  GO FIGURE!!
>Anyway, I could go on and on, but I won't.  Hope this sheds some light
>some things for some folks.  Please address any personal questions to:
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Diana McCaig" 
>Sent: Friday, August 05, 2005 10:41 AM
>Subject: RE: [Histonet] "Brit" Hitotech/Firestorm?
> >
> > What are you all using to compare the wage scales.  Biomedical 
> > not get paid as well as we do in North America if you factor in
> > of living.  I understand there is a recent trend to increase the
> > order to keep them on board as there is a lot of migration to
> > throughout a career where in NA we tend to stay put.
> > Diana McCaig, MLT
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Larry Woody []
> > Sent: Friday, August 05, 2005 1:35 PM
> > To:;
> > Subject: Re: [Histonet] "Brit" Hitotech/Firestorm?
> >
> > You may want to try some of the big biotech companies where there is
> > a need for people with more skills in the lab and the compensation
> > better than a medical lab.
> >
> > wrote:Rogerson Kemlo carries on the discussion
> > about histotechnologist training.
> >
> > In regards to hospital histology labs in the USA:
> >
> > I don't want to start a firestorm of criticism here, but I think
> > there is a real danger that in Great Britain those technologists
> > in the histology laboratories may be over qualified.A few months ago

> > the Histonet, someone in the U.K. was bemoaning the lack of
> > technologists in the U.K., and how short staffed they were. Was that
> > the bar had been set too high? Was the level of education required
> > for the compensation received? Has a "closed shop" (to use a union 
> > effect, been created?
> > Here in the United States there are hundreds of community type
> > hospitals and smaller medical centers that have histology
> > those laboratories work histotechnologists doing a fine job with a
> > education than a fully qualified histotechnologist in the U.K.. At
> > end of the spectrum are histology laboratories here doing more
> > procedures where degrees and extra training are required.
> > However, histotechnology training in the U.K. and USA are inherently
> > different. When I lived in the U.K. years and years ago (and it may
> > changed now), all the hospitals were government owned, lab personnel
> > day off each week with pay to attend IMLT classes, and the classes
> > free. To work in a hospital laboratory you had to be "State
> > In the USA hospitals are owned by all sorts of organizations. You
> > don't get "day release" to attend classes. If you do attend classes,

> > has to come from somewhere to pay for it. Further you may live 
> > from the nearest college where you can attend classes.Since the 
> > organisations may be "for profit" or even "Non-profit", they want to

> > money by not paying too higher salaries. Most often they pay what
> > hospitals in the area pay for the same type work.
> > The 50 states have different requirements for working in their
> > hospital laboratories.
> > Hospitals have coped with these differences by making histology
> > laboratories a separate section of the laboratory, with
> > technicians/technologists trained just to work in that lab.
> > I think a histotechnologist from the U.K. could easily find a
> > position in the USA, but they might feel underappreciated and
> > (maybe even under challanged!)
> > Well, that's my two bits worth!
> >
> > Mike Titford
> > USA Pathology
> > Mobile AL USA
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> >
> >
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