RE: Med Tech's as Histologists????

From:marjorie lehman

I don't usually get into these discussions, but the "slice and dice" comment
really raised the hackles on my back! A good chef and Deli man can slice and
I have worked for many years in a lab filled with intelligent, well-educated
Scientists (I am tempted to enclose those words in quotes) and have been
introduced to people "who know histology" (took Histo 101 in school) and
frequently have been hit with the "Anybody can do histology" attitude. When
Anybody produces unusable sections, asks what those "blue spots" are in an H&E,
"which is the epidermis?" and such-like  I have tried to just smile and explain.
When I retire I can go get a job at the local Deli since I will have a lot of
-----Original Message-----
From:	Bartlett, Jeanine []
Sent:	Tuesday, July 09, 2002 7:37 AM
To:	'Bryan Hewlett'; Bartlett, Jeanine; 'Mike Kirby'; Histonet (E-mail)
Subject:	RE: Med Tech's as Histologists????

I am sure you are right.  I was just struck by his comment that "If we can
hack our way through Microbiology, etc, histopathology is a piece of cake.
(It's all in the wrist, my dear.)"  I felt he was stating that
histopathology was simply a matter of physical dexterity and not
particularly scientific.  Anyone who has taken a course in histology in
college while working towards their degree knows that histology is
definitely as complicated as the other courses he mentioned.


-----Original Message-----
From: Bryan Hewlett []
Sent: Tuesday, July 09, 2002 7:33 AM
To: Bartlett, Jeanine; 'Mike Kirby'; Histonet (E-mail)
Subject: Re: Med Tech's as Histologists????


I think that the point Mike was trying to make, was that Med Techs have the
necessary laboratory science background to learn histotechnology.
Basic training in all the medical laboratory sciences provides an invaluable
tool for further learning in one specialty.
As for becoming proficient, I agree with you that it will take more than
three months. How long depends upon the degree of proficiency!
As an even oooolder Med Tech than Mike(trained in the fifties) and about to
retire! I can tell you that even after all this time and several million
sections, I feel that I've just begun to get the 'hang' of it!!!


Bryan R. Hewlett ART, MLT
Technical Specialist
Anatomical Pathology
Hamilton Regional Laboratory Medicine Program
Ontario, Canada

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bartlett, Jeanine" 
To: "'Mike Kirby'" ; "Histonet (E-mail)"

Sent: Tuesday, July 09, 2002 6:26 AM
Subject: RE: Med Tech's as Histologists????

> Mike:
> I agree that anyone with coordination can be taught to use a microtome.
> Some may master it faster than others but that's an individual thing.  I
> also believe a Med Tech can be taught all of the intricacies of histology,
> but not in 3 months.  That may be adequate for a rudimentary base of the
> science but certainly not enough to be a proficient histotechnologist.
> Understanding the chemistry of staining not to mention the theories of
> processing and immunohistochemistry are invaluable today.  Anyone can
> a recipe but you have to have some knowledge of the chemistry of baking to
> know what to do when the baking powder doesn't work.
> Jeanine Bartlett, HT(ASCP)
> CDC, Atlanta
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mike Kirby []
> Sent: Tuesday, July 09, 2002 3:18 AM
> To: Histonet (E-mail)
> Subject: Med Tech's as Histologists????
> The question asked was, "Are Med Techs good enough to be trained as
> Histologists?"
>  Of course we are!  We have all the Lab background that's required, and
> can learn to "slice & dice" in about three weeks flat.
>  I did,  because as a student, I was given three months to learn the
> techniques before we wrote our finals, and, except for tissue processing,
> did everything by hand!
>  Ok, that was back in the sixties, (Yes, I am an ooooold Med Tech) and
> possibly one would need more time to master all the new
>  special stains and immunohistology that you do now days, but the average
> Med Tech should be more than up to scratch.
>  If we can hack our way through Microbiology, Biochemistry and
> Histopathology is a piece of cake.
>  (It's all in the wrist, my dear!).
> Yours (from a lofty perch - and no doubt, soon to have his nose bloodied).
> Mike Kirby.
> Johannesburg
> South Africa.

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