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

From:"Morken, Tim - Labvision"

 Pam wrote: "We need better PR for the field as most people have not idea
what a histologist is, much less does what we do. "

You're right. 

It takes some extra work and no one is going to pay you for it, but it is
fun and rewarding. 

Here are some things I do:

Have a booth at career days for junior colleges (two-year degree
"vocational" schools for the non-US Histonetters) and high schools. 
Give talks at the colleges and high schools in my area about our field
(Teachers are desparate for these kinds of talks that will show students
thay can use what they are learning).
Sponsor interns at our company. Most of these are volunteer positions.
(There are a LOT of high school and colledge students who are really
interested in exploring the various opportunities. They are happy to work
for free to get some experience. If you give them just a little training
they can often find a job at their college working in a research lab. One
word of advice: don't treat them like grunts to do only the dirty work.)
Offer to write articles about the field for your local weekly newspaper -
they will love you forever.
I helped to get a sidebar about histotechnology into a nationally-used high
school biology text book. 

The point is the "We" you mention is everyone who works in the field and is
interested in seeing it advance. The NSH produces a brochure and a video,
but no one will see it unless "we" show it to them. ASCP has some nice
webpages showing the Histology field, but unless "we" point people to it,
they won't see it. 

I encourage every histologist to do at least one thing each year to promote
the field. 

Tim Morken

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of
Sent: Monday, August 08, 2005 10:51 AM
To: Rittman, Barry R; histonet
Subject: RE: [Histonet] "Brit" Hitotech/Firestorm?

I agree wholehaeartedly with Barry.  We need better PR for the field as most
people have not idea what a histologist is, much less does what we do.  The
brief acknowledgements on the crime shows and CSI saying well this is the
histology reort or more often pathology report or send it to histology or
pathology will not get us any recoginition.  Everyone knows blood and body
fluids go to a laboratory for testing few know about surgical specimens or
what is done with them.

The pahologist are still happy to hire anyone who says they want to learn
histology and not worry about a degree because for too long we have allowed
it and ASCP (pathologist) were getting off cheap.  They don't want to pay a
going rate for a field we have not stood and fought for in the past.
Education has remained the most important thing for med tech and yet they
are more automated today and less hands on than we will ever be.  We need
more schools and as Barry suggests even though we all hate the word
standarization we will only grow and get recognition when the field is able
to show we have testing and abilities we can prove.  

No one wants to pay the same for a person who learned on the job as for the
person who has a degree.  I know many histologist who were OJT and trust
them with my specimens however, the times have changed and we need to change
to grow starting with NSH and the members coming up with ways to let people
know who we are and what we do.   Sorry if this steps on some toes however
my first years in histology were all OJT and I am proud of what I learned
and that I had the chance learn more over the years.

Pam Marcum
-------------- Original message -------------- 

> 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. 
> Barry 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: 
> [] On Behalf Of Terry 
> Murphy 
> Sent: Saturday, August 06, 2005 7:34 AM 
> To:; 
> Subject: Re: [Histonet] "Brit" Hitotech/Firestorm? 
> HI everyone
> I feel the urge to join this discussion. I got into the field of
> histology 
> 15 years ago and enjoyed the work and the concepts. I wanted to move up 
> in 
> the field ao I earned my HTL (ASCP) instead of the HT(ASCP) since I have 
> a 
> Bachelor's degree in Biology. That didn't get me any more respect or 
> money. 
> Still trying to improve my situation I earn a Master's degree in 
> Health 
> Administration and I once again my employment has not improved. As a 
> matter 
> of fact my employment situation has gotten worse since I earned a 
> Master's 
> degree. I had acheived a position as a supervisor only to be "run out 
> of 
> the lab" by an arrogant PA and, I can only assume, seasoned histotechs 
> that 
> fear change. 
> Any way now I have been working as a traveling histotech. The pay is
> better 
> than if I had a permanent job. The facility I am at now recently hired 
> a 
> 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 
> is 
> doing good given his background but I find it kind of a insult to 
> educated 
> techs like myself that that someone without education or experience has 
> been 
> 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
> wife. 
> I have applied for tech positions and either haven't heard from the 
> facility 
> 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 
> me, 
> "your skill set will not go well in our laboratory". Someone on this 
> board 
> 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
> publication 
> but I do not like the idea of excluding accomplishments that I am proud 
> of. 
> 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"
> >To: 
> >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
> only
> >with your statement about "in NA we tend to stay put". That may be 
> >for
> >some
> >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 
> is
> >down-right terrible!! I have my HTL and got my CM recently, I am 
> >proud
> to
> >say. However, I haven't received any additional compensation for
> either,
> >and I doubt I ever will. (HTL for 24 yrs.)
> > 
> >Which brings up something else: The ASCP used to be the American
> Society
> >of
> >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 
> be.
> >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. 
> The
> >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 
> Registry
> >was in the town where the Chairman of the Board was located. L.
> >Montgomery, 
> >M.D., was the Chairman of the Board for ~30 years that I know of, and 
> thus
> >was the Registry located in Muncie.) There are other things I could
> tell
> >you; but I was sworn to secrecy years ago, and I will honor that
> pledge.
> >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 
> said!
> > 
> >When I started into the field of Histotechnology at the University of
> >Chicago back in 1965, the Techies associated with the ASCP were trying 
> to
> >change the requirements for Histotechs, but to no avail. Not until
> January
> >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
> >shortage 
> >of Histotechs) where they will still hire techs that are not licensed. 
> In
> >fact, there are places where a licensed Histologic Technician OR a
> licensed
> >Histotechnologist are black-listed by the other techs--most likely in
> fear
> >that their own incompetence might be discovered!
> > 
> >The cost of living in certain areas of the country are no longer 
> >taken
> into
> >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 
> the
> >most expensive county in California that pays the lowest wages of any
> >county 
> >in California?? That is craziness in my book!!!! Yet they wonder why 
> they
> >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
> on
> >some things for some folks. Please address any personal questions to:
> > 
> > 
> >Sarah
> > 
> > 
> >----- Original Message -----
> >From: "Diana McCaig" 
> >To: 
> >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
> >scientists
> >do 
> > > not get paid as well as we do in North America if you factor in
> their
> >cost
> > > of living. I understand there is a recent trend to increase the
> wages
> >in
> > > order to keep them on board as there is a lot of migration to
> various
> >labs
> > > 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 
> can
> >be
> > > 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 
> >performing
> > > in the histology laboratories may be over qualified.A few months 
> > > ago
> >here
> >on 
> > > the Histonet, someone in the U.K. was bemoaning the lack of
> histology
> > > technologists in the U.K., and how short staffed they were. Was 
> > > that
> >because
> > > the bar had been set too high? Was the level of education required
> too
> >much
> > > for the compensation received? Has a "closed shop" (to use a union
> >term!)
> >in 
> > > effect, been created?
> > > Here in the United States there are hundreds of community type 
> > > hospitals and smaller medical centers that have histology 
> laboratories.
> >In
> > > those laboratories work histotechnologists doing a fine job with a
> lot
> >less
> > > education than a fully qualified histotechnologist in the U.K.. At
> the
> >other
> > > end of the spectrum are histology laboratories here doing more
> advanced
> > > 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 
> have
> > > changed now), all the hospitals were government owned, lab 
> > > personnel
> got
> >a
> > > day off each week with pay to attend IMLT classes, and the classes
> were
> > > free. To work in a hospital laboratory you had to be "State
> Registered".
> > > 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, 
> >money
> > > has to come from somewhere to pay for it. Further you may live
> >miles/hours
> > > from the nearest college where you can attend classes.Since the
> >different
> > > organisations may be "for profit" or even "Non-profit", they want 
> > > to
> >save
> > > money by not paying too higher salaries. Most often they pay what
> other
> > > 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 
> underpaid!
> > > (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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