Re: [Histonet] ASCP Exam Long opinion

ok Barry,
how does lunch sound? I'll buy lunch on Saturday during the TSH. How's 
that? No, no, you don't have to thank me. It'll be my honor.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Rittman, Barry R" 
Date: Thursday, February 1, 2007 10:22 am
Subject: [Histonet] ASCP Exam Long opinion

> Joe
> You owe me big on this as I'm sure that it will take the flaming away
> from you.
> My personal opinion is that what is needed for the entire system 
> is a
> good enema!
> First I have a lot of sympathy and admiration for people who 
> prepare and
> mark examinations, after all I do this a lot and it is a thankless 
> task. 
> However, the concept of having an examination without a practical
> component to certify individuals as competent is one of the most 
> stupidthings I have ever heard (bearing in mind that I am in my 
> late 60s and
> have worked in labs since 1957 that should give you some idea of how
> stupid I feel this is.)
> I also felt that being able to send microscope slides in for 
> evaluationand being able use automatic slide stainers for 
> preparation of such
> slides comes a close second.
> >From many comments I am assuming that what is behind this entire
> movement to dumb down the process is financial.
> This is the same mentality that is used in education nowadays. 
> The question that is being asked seems to be what can we do with 
> what we
> have?  Put another way, how can we for example expand the work but use
> the same number of people?
> The question that should be asked is what resources do we need to get
> the job done most efficiently? 
> I feel that most jobs can be most efficiently carried out with highly
> trained and happy individuals. The careers and well being of 
> individualsinvolved in the process appears in may labs to not be a 
> high priority.
> I was trained in England and so I feel that I perhaps have a broader
> view of the training that is carried out in the States and I have seen
> two retrograde steps.
> The first was to remove histology from the med lab tech 
> curriculum. The
> second was to have evaluation of histotechs under the jurisdiction of
> I think that ASCP does a great job in many ways, however this is 
> akin to
> having the fox in charge of the henhouse.
> In many ways I feel that this has directly or indirectly 
> contributed to
> the low salaries for many histotechs.
> I feel that what is required is a training and an examination system
> that is on a national level and that will maintain standards of
> excellence. 
> I am not certain of the same system I trained under in England is 
> stillin operation but I felt that it was a system that benefited both
> employees and employers.
> If you were employed in any medically associated  laboratory it was
> mandatory for you to have one day and 1 evening of your own time for
> training at a nationally recognized facility. 
> The employer paid for your day off and the main requirement was 
> that you
> maintained good grades. This training covered several disciplines e.g.
> histopathology, hematology and blood banking, histopathology,
> bacteriology, clinical chemistry etc. Training took three years. 
> At the
> end of three years you took a written examination over all topics 
> and if
> you passed this a practical examination. The practical 
> examinations were
> at local centers. You were in a lab where you were presented with 
> freshtissue, fluids, and supplies and a list of tasks to 
> accomplish in a
> morning. You multitasked - the order you carried out these tasks were
> entirely up to you.
> In the afternoon you had an oral examination from a panel of three
> people.
> If you passed all parts you were recognized as a qualified Med Lab 
> Tech.You could go into any lab in the country and would be 
> guaranteed a
> salary range and more importantly the laboratory you went to would 
> knowthat, regardless of the lab you had worked in,  that you had a 
> set of
> uniform  skills in the entire area. Everyone benefited from this.
> If you wished you could carry out advanced training in areas such as
> histopathology, bacteriology etc. this required a further two years.
> The net result of all this was that many labs has people at all levels
> of training who acted as mentors. There were clear cut career paths.
> I hope that the employers who survived a hear attack at the 
> prospect of
> implementing such a system see the underlying message.
> First you need to train people and not just in a limited area. 
> Second that such training is often not available at the lab you are
> working in and this requires a standardized training and evaluation
> system.
> Lastly that a specific career path is established for employees 
> from day
> one with obligations form both the employer and the employee.
> While the federal government would totally screw up such a system 
> we do
> have an NSH that could set standards and allow each state to enforce
> such standards.
> Thank y'all who have read these ramblings.
> I promise you that I am not smoking anything.
> Barry
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