RE: [Histonet] OJT trained histotechs

From:"Rittman, Barry"

My personal opinion is that salaries of histotechs will remain below an appropriate level until there is a national policy for certification or there is unionization of histotechs. The problem is that it is difficult to trust the feds with organizing anything and second that the individual states all have their own set of criteria and seem loathe to relinquish control of these.
It would be nice if all histotech certified individuals came to a job with a guaranteed level of basic training (and received a salary that was commensurate with this certification).
The  ASCP examination is a good first step. The written appears to test an individual's knowledge of histology and histologic technique, however I believe that the practical leaves something to be desired. It is na´ve to believe that the slides that are submitted by all individuals are all their own work. It is also not a level playing field with respect to tissue and slides. Not all individuals have the same access to tissues or facilities.  The fact that slides that are submitted can be prepared using automatic staining machines makes me cringe. 
On the job training can be superb or it can be pitiful. I have seen individuals that fit into both these categories and between these.

To me there seems to be only two solutions. First would be a national exam in which the tissues are supplies so that all candidates have the same tissues. While this is a logistical nightmare it is possible. 
The second is to have all job applicants sit for a simple standardized practical test at centers in each state.  This also is possible.

Please do not get me wrong. I believe that the ASCP exam is a good first step and is carried out as well as can be expected given the number of applicants and the current facilities. Unfortunately it is often regarded as the final step. 

I strongly believe that it is the responsibility of the employer to facilitate continual training of their histotechs and expect a commitment on their part want to learn and to continue with continuing education.  I understand that the new requirements are for those that recently passed the histotech exam take x number CEUs over three years. I think that this is a good step. However, I feel that a person that has been in a job for 10 or 20 years, especially if in a lab with a narrow list of tissues and techniques would also greatly benefit from this. I am not sure why this is not a requirement for all histotechs.

The good news is that the shortage of histotechs is making the administrators at institutes look carefully at their policies and I am hopeful that the New Year brings good news with regard to increased salaries.

Hope that y'all have a really great Christmas.
Hey I know we are supposed to call it winter holiday but it is really Christmas!!
Barry

-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces@lists.utsouthwestern.edu [mailto:histonet-bounces@lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of Horn, Hazel V
Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 2004 8:16 AM
To: Histology SLU; histonet@pathology.swmed.edu
Subject: RE: [Histonet] OJT trained histotechs

While the requirements to take the registry have changed, it doesn't
mean jobs will be filled with only registered techs.  While that is
ideal and what we all hope for, unregistered techs will still be hired
because they will be a cheap source of labor.   There are no
requirements that state only registered techs can do the work.   Since
CLIA deems the pathologist as supervisor of the histology lab as the
sole source of reporting results, there is no requirement for registered
techs unless your specific lab requires it.

Hazel Horn, HT/HTL (ASCP)
Histology Supervisor
Arkansas Children's Hospital

Phone - 501.364.4240
Fax - 501.364.3912 

-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces@lists.utsouthwestern.edu
[mailto:histonet-bounces@lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of
Histology SLU
Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 2004 7:34 AM
To: histonet@pathology.swmed.edu
Subject: [Histonet] OJT trained histotechs


Hello All:
 
With the new requirements to sit for the registry, it will be more than
likely that future positions will have to be filled with BS degreed
people who want to learn histology.  I think that we all have figured
that out.  My question is this, in your institutions do you hire a
"trainee" in a tech position and they sit for their registry as soon as
eligible?  Or, does your institution hire them in at a lower pay scale,
maybe that of a lab assistant, until their training is complete and they
pass the registry?  As always, thanks so much for your input.
 
Susan

		
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