Re: Pay Scale

From:Lee & Peggy Wenk <>

Someone sent an email to me in response to my response
about the ASCP survey. But it was not sent through histonet. 
But  I would also like to respond to the comments/questions
via Histonet, as I think they were very good questions, and
probably other Histonetters are wondering the same things. 

(I hope they don't mind that I do it this way. I'm still
trying to keep it confidential as to who you are, and 
exactly what you said.)

What they wanted to know (in a nutshell):
1. How was it decided to send out to just 2500
managers? Why not everyone? That way, all
labs (large, small, human, vet, industry, etc.) get
a chance to respond.
2. Wouldn't managers NOT want to fill out the
survey, as that could keep wages lower?

By those who have PhD's in statistics and surveys, it has
been proven that EVERYONE does NOT have to be 
surveyed (in any survey), but rather a random sample 
than ensures good coverage and non-duplication.

Imagine sending the questionnaire to every ASCP 
member -
- the cost! (paper, stamps, people time)
- the time needed to read the replies and figure out
the statistics of the responses
- the larger labs, with more techs, would more
likely have more than one response, thus skewing
(weighing) the response to the larger labs, so the
smaller labs are under-represented. The figures 
could therefore show the same wage rate four 
times due to four responses from the same lab.
- how likely is it that a bench tech in a lab (say
histology) would know how much MT, MLT, 
CT, HT, HTL, phlebotomists, and supervisors and
managers in their institution make, each of their 
salary ranges, and exactly how many people each 
of the labs are looking to hire because of shortages? 
How many surveys would get throw into the trash due 
to the techs knowing they don't know the answers and 
knowing that they don't have a chance of obtaining
the information, or,  in the opposite direction, how 
many surveys would be returned with the tech's best 
"guess" containing wrong figures?
- by sending a survey only to those who are interested
in filling it out, it creates a bias in the sampling. 
(similar to voting polls - If you want to find out how the 
presidential candidate is running in the country, the random 
sample is a certain percentage of EVERYONE, not just, 
say, men over the age of 50 from the same suburb and 
who are registered voters of the same party as the candidate.  
Obviously, these people would  more likely be biased in a 
similar fashion for (or against) the candidate.)

Therefore, it is necessary to obtain a representative sample 
for information about lab tech wages and shortages - 
- one survey per lab/hospital/doctor's office/vet clinic/etc.
- survey sent to the one person who should have
access to information on wages and vacancies.
- therefore - a lab manager. And the only addresses
ASCP BOR has for lab managers are those that
are ASCP members, current members, who have
indicated on their membership renewal forms that
they are managers (not supervisors or bench techs).
- somehow, someone(s) decided that 2500 sent out
with 600 returned gave enough figures to be statistically 
valid. If you notice on the charts, some of the results are 
not reported, as "sample size fewer than 5 respondents." 
So again, someone has figured out how many responses 
are need to be received in each area, to make it statistically
valid. (That "someone" are the people with the PhD in 
statistics at ASCP and at the agency they hired to do the 
survey. There are mathematical models they use to figure 
these things out.)

I know this does then seem to eliminate:
- labs where managers are NOT ASCP members 
such as industry; sometime veterinary (since ASCP's 
emphasis is on human, not animal or industry);
- labs in general where the administration does not
require techs to be ASCP registered; 
- small hospitals/labs where there isn't a manager, 
just supervisors and pathologists;
- large hospitals, where the need for someone with a
Masters in hospital administration overrides the need
for a manager with lab skills.

Obviously, this system doesn't get every type of lab.

Or, for that matter, differentiate every type of histotech - 
those who only do H&E vs. those who do IM or
muscle enzymes; those who gross vs. those who don't;
those who are doing all tasks vs. those who have lab
assistants doing the filing and accessioning; those with
ASCP certification vs. those without; those with degrees vs.
those with high school diploma vs. those who completed
a NAACLS-accredited program; etc.

However, until someone (Histonetters???) can come
up with a more fair, yet still random, representative sampling
method that is time and cost efficient, I can't think of anything 
that can be done to make the next lab tech wage and vacancy 
survey  be both totally representative and cost/time efficient.

This survey is a generic, base survey. Not specific for one
city, one type of tech, one type of lab. It is a starting point
for people to look at, make their own comparisons and
surveys of their areas.

Two things we could do for the NEXT survey (summer
2002) (which is only 1 year away, after all):
- URGE all lab managers to look for the survey, fill it
out, and SEND IT IN! (I'm willing to let Histonetters know
when they are being sent out, to give us a heads up.)
- more histotechs could take managerial/administration
classes, obtain a degree, and become lab managers, 
AND become ASCP registered and/or members. 
Then we would know we are represented. (A lot
to do in one year, I know.)

One last thing, my opinion - yes, lab managers want to
keep the cost down, so they might want to keep the
wages down. However, with 16% shortage of HT,
22% HTL, 11% MT, 14% MLT, 20% CT, I would
think the need to fill positions would (hopefully) 
override the need to not report wages.

And, unless something happens in the future that is unforeseen,
shortages of lab techs is expected t

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