Re: [Histonet] ASCP Exam
Academics and skill, what a combination of talent yet so elusive in pathology labs across the country. Getting rid of the practical will make no difference in the number of people going into the field and gets us no closer to what we really need.$$$$$$ and yes Ray it's me and I use my home address for the Histonet because as you know I'm much too busy at Amgen .
Jennifer MacDonald wrote:
I agree with you that skill is very important to be a competent histotech. What I disagree with is that the ASCP practical exam was a fair measure of the competence of the skill of the histotech. Your employees' situation is a classic example. Do you feel that one was more competent than the other? Was one set a little better than the other? I also know of an example where a tech with more than 25 years experience did the practical for an individual and the applicant failed. Time on the bench is also not a good measure of skill.
I have graded slides at the ASCP and I have to tell you that it is very difficult to give a failing grade. Others must agree with you before you can deduct "big" points. Also no one person grades a set of slides. A minimum of three graders will see the slides. How close were the scores, if you don't mind me asking?
When grading the slides the graders are not looking for slides of diagnostic value, they are looking for perfect. Right or wrong that was the standard that every applicant was held to.
As I said, there is no perfect way to test the competence of applicants. In my opinion the practical needed to go. That is not to say that when interviewing job applicants you cannot ask them to prove their microtomy skills.
In my experience if an applicant has a strong working knowledge of the theory and some microtomy experience it is easier to train them than it is to train someone with only microtomy skills. It also depends on what you want them to accomplish in the lab. If you strictly need a good microtomist than really good microtomy skills are necessary. If you need someone to be able to troubleshoot staining problems the good microtomist would not be the person for the job. That does not make one a better tech than the other. It all depends on the needs and priorities of the situation.
"Joe Nocito" 01/31/2007 05:47 PM
"Jennifer MacDonald" , "Larry Woody" cc
, , "Chen, Leslie" Subject
Re: [Histonet] ASCP Exam
It is Friday!!!!!
I must respectfully disagree with you. I have two techs that obtained tissue
from the same autopsy, processed, embedded, stained and coverslipped said
tissue at the same time. I reviewed the slides as did my medical director.
The techs were getting mad at me because I kept kicking slides back for one
reason or another. One passed the practical, one didn't. I still don't
understand how that happened. In essence, who ever graded those slides said
that my pathologist and I didn't know what we were doing.
Now, on the other hand, all prospective employees that apply at my lab
sit down and cut a few blocks to demonstrate that they know how to handle a
Book knowledge is one thing, but you have to agree in the histo lab,
skill is very important. Just my 3 cents.
Joe "let the flaming begin, again"
BS, PA, HT(ASCP)QIHC
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jennifer MacDonald"
To: "Larry Woody"
; "Chen, Leslie"
Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2007 7:15 PM
Subject: Re: [Histonet] ASCP Exam
> Lack of a practical has nothing to do with mandatory certification. The
> practical was a component of the HT/HTL (ASCP) certification exam. Passing
> of the exam gives the applicant national certification with the ASCP.
> Mandating certification may very well be dictated by pathologists, but it
> has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the practical aspect of the HT/HTL exam
> being discontinued.
> It is interesting to note that no other laboratory science certification
> requires a practical. Does that make those certified applicants any less
> Expense was not the only criteria that was used to make the decision to
> discontinue the practical. There were many factors. With HIIPA
> regulations obtaining the tissue was also becoming difficult for
> applicants. Some applicants have access to fully automated labs, while
> others don't. Some out there are unethical and don't do any of the work
> themselves. What makes it a fair and valid exam. At least with the
> "written" portion applicants must show knowledge of the principles and
> procedures and the ability to recognize problems and to troubleshoot them.
> Sending the slides to the graders is not an option. The ASCP had a very
> sophisticated grading system to ensure anonymity to each applicant and to
> ensure that the grading was equitable. Sending out slides to graders
> would have compromised a fair system. You also open up the possibility of
> breakage and lost slides/blocks.
> There is no method of examination that will please everyone. The ASCP,
> who had feedback from many people in the histology field, made the
> decision that they felt would be fair to MOST applicants.
> The ability to cut good sections does not make one a good histotech, just
> a good microtomist. Just as the ability to pass the computer portion of
> the exam does not make one a good histotech, but the odds are better for a
> well rounded employee. One needs to understand and interpret the stains
> they are performing, not just load them on the Stainer.
> Just my opinion,
> Jennifer MacDonald
> Larry Woody
> 01/31/2007 02:04 PM
> Jennifer MacDonald , "Chen, Leslie"
> "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" ,
> Re: [Histonet] ASCP Exam
> Hate to say it but I think Pathologists have a lot to do with why there
> isn't mandatory certification for HT and HTL.
> Jennifer MacDonald wrote:
> The practical will only apply to those that did not pass prior to 2007.
> Anyone that applies for 2007 and beyond does not do the practical.
> The instructions state do not download the practical instructions unless
> told to do so by the ASCP
> "Chen, Leslie"
> Sent by: email@example.com
> 01/31/2007 11:42 AM
> [Histonet] ASCP Exam
> I'm sorry, I'm confused about the conversations regarding the practical
> portion of the exam. Are you saying that the practical part is no longer
> required for HT or HTL cert for ASCP? According to their website, the
> practical is still required. There are practical instructions:
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