Re: hiring a tech w/ no experience

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From:"Patricia Karlisch" <>,,
Date:Thu, 26 Aug 1999 17:18:45 -0400
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Clia'88 sees the histotech and EM tech as 'preparatory' personnel and not as testing personnel so the certification/education rule does not apply.  Do you have licensure or does your hospital have hiring requirements such as certification?  I think training in histology is probably not as tedious as training TEM.  6 months is the very minimum for TEM training until the person can become accustomed to handling grids, making glass knives, using diamond knives ( I shutter at how easily a diamond knife can be damaged @ over $2000 a piece). I have done both and learned cutting on a microtome while in college.  We learned real quicky.  I was taught TEM at Sloane Kettering in New York and spent almost 3 months until I could cut the perfect thin section.  They had me cutting thicks for most of the initial training.  It sounds as if your turn around time is going to suffer.

Pat Karlisch
Geisinger Medical Center
Danville, PA  17822

>>> "Sarah Christo" <> 08/26 9:35 AM >>>
Dear Susan,
   At one time I worked with a microbiologist that had histology training while training to be a med. tech.  She was quite capable with a little extra training to cover the histolab.  I assume that is not your case here as you said she has no experience.   
  How long is your probationary period?  Maybe you could give her a try and see if it would work out.  If not, then you could look for a trained technician and still be cooperating with your supervisors.  Although, if you feel she would not work out, this may affect your training of her.  It is a touchy situation as always with the shortage of histotechs these days.   You can run into problem with even "trained" histotechs.   If she is bright, it may be worth the effort.  You may wait a long time to find a trained individual.  It seems like you are under a lot of stress and the thought of training her is stressing you out even more.  Is there someone else that could assist you in training or send her somewhere else for training?  Just a thought.  Good luck.  

Sarah Christo, HT (ASCP)
Texas A&M University
College of Veterinary Medicine
Dept. of Vet. Anatomy & Public Health
College Station, TX  77868-4458 

>>> Sue Danielson <> 08/25 10:47 AM >>>
Hello histonetters,

An issue has arisen in our laboratory which can benefit from replies from
ANYONE who currently works in histology and electron microscopy as a lab

A position opening exists in our Neuromuscular Diagnostics laboratory for a
lab technologist.  Duties involve primarily TEM prep and, to a lesser
extent, frozen sectioning and histochemical staining of skeletal muscle and
peripheral nerve biopsies.

Our laboratory is fairly small/specialized; we process tissues from
approximately 30 area hospitals throughout Wisconsin & Illinois.  When this
open position is filled, there are two of us working full time and one part
time technician who works weekend hours.

Our superiors ( 2 M.D.'s who are neurologists) are pushing to hire a
particular applicant who has ZERO electron microscopy and histology
experience (she is a bacteriologist by trade).  This individual is very
bright and willing to learn; however from my standpoint as lab coordinator
and the sole person responsible for training this individal I am against
this. Especially since I am in class 3 afternoons per week as a part-time
medical student! 

Time is currently of the essence.  I would prefer to wait for an applicant
who is better qualified; however, have been told that if I am not able to
produce any more qualified applicants by the end of next week that I will be

Please reply!  My superiors do not understand the intricacies of TEM and
histology techniques.  I consider myself an excellent and patient teacher
but I fear that I cannot train this person in a timely enough manner to keep
the lab running smoothly.

I also suspect that by hiring this person that we would be violating some
CLIA regulation.  PLEASE COMMENT, anyone who is willing, so I may turn in
these responses to my superiors before it is too late.


Susan K. Danielson, MS
Neuromuscular Laboratory Coordinator
Froedtert Hospital, Medical College of Wisconsin
ph: 414.259.3836
fax: 414.454.7905

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