Re: Recent disturbing postings

From:Sarah Jones

Dear David,
  I thought the Pathologist, histotech, transcriptionists and PA's if there are any, (I haven't worked with any myself, thank god if they are all so self righteous as you), were part of the team.  It takes the whole team to get the report out doesn't it?  One cannot function without the other.  
  So apparently, you think the PA's are on the Pathologist's "team" and the histotechs on another "team"?  So if you have two teams, you can sure have a contest, game, match, conflict, etc.  Wouldn't it be better to have one team working together?  If you set up two camps, you are bound to have problems.  I'm sure Roxanne can attest to that.
  Don't worry David, Texas will survive quite well without you.  Don't mess with Texas! 
I notice we don't know where you are from.  Cheers.  Sarah

Sarah Jones HT(ASCP)
Dept. of Vet. Anatomy & Public Health
Histology Lab
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77843-4458
phone: 979-845-3177
fax:  979-458-3499

>>> "David Costanzo"  06/28/03 05:33PM >>>
With all due respect I never said teamwork shouldn't exist. Histotechs
are a team and they should work together. What I said is that a path
assistant is not a histotech and vice versa. If you are looking for me
to pitch in and do histology you are not talking about teamwork, you are
suggesting I help out an entirely different team. I totally disagree
that we are on the same team. I have no histology license, how can I be
a part of that team? I never worked in histology before, I never applied
to that field in my lifetime. So why are you insinuating that we are a
team? We work closely - we do not do the same thing.
Do I think a path assistant should spend time accessioning? NO I do not.
For the same reason I think it is a waste to have a histotech filling
little bottles with formalin and putting warning labels on them. You do
not need a histology license to fill biopsy containers and it is a waste
to pay someone that kind of money to do that type of work. Make use of
the license, don't waste it with garbage tasks. Same applies to the path
assistant. If he/she has spare time make use of it with tasks like
quality assurance, billing compliance issues, management, technology
development, etc. Do not waste their time accessioning.
Or let them go home early, they probably work hard enough and earn you
enough money to justify some slack here and there.
Is this a problem? I can't see why.This means you "wouldn't want to
work" with me? Well don't worry - I would sooner hang myself than live
in Texas.

<-----Original Message----->

 	  	 From: Sarah Jones
Sent: 6/28/2003 6:11:20 PM
Subject: Re: Recent disturbing postings 

Dear David, 
As Sean Connery said in The Rock, "thank you for proving my point"!.
Obviously the notion of "teamwork" does not exist in your idea of the
At one hospital I worked at, I covered for the secretary when she was
out AND did all the histology work that day. It was not in my job
description to do those tasks. Transcription and histology are as far
apart as a nurse and dietary. She also came back and helped me assession
when I was busy. 
Your attitude proves the point of the first email on the subject where
they were having trouble with the PA. I wouldn't want to work with you. 
I can gross with the best of them, assist on fine needle aspirates,
assist on bone marrows etc. It was just part of the job to me. And I
enjoy learning new things so it made the job more interesting. 
I'm so glad you told us there is nothing wrong with being a histotech! I
can stop going to therapy now! 
What ever happened to teamwork? Sarah 

Sarah Jones HT(ASCP) 
Dept. of Vet. Anatomy & Public Health 
Histology Lab 
Texas A&M University 
College Station, TX 77843-4458 
phone: 979-845-3177 
fax: 979-458-3499 

>>> David Costanzo 06/27/03 12:31 PM >>> 
Today someone handed me copies of several posts from this listserv on 
the subject of pathologist's assitants. I have to say they are quite 
alarming and amazing at the same time. 

Terry Murphy says "the majority of them......arrogant and self serving" 

Elliott Osterhaus, M.D., Ph.D. writes: "from the $40-55 per hour they 
get, they don't appear to do much" 

These are disturbing accusations. First, on average a path assistant 
DOES NOT earn $55.00 per hour, NOT EVEN CLOSE. That would amount to 
$123,200 per year. In a recent survey I conducted nobody earned that 
much (60 respondents). The average is far lower. As a matter of fact 95%
of path assistants earn less than $39.00 per hour. 

Even more disturbing is the continuing trend to attmept a comparison 
between path assistants and histotechnologists. There is ABSOLUTELY 
NOTHING WRONG with being a histotech. I do not feel they are inferior, 
nor do I feel the environmental staff at the hospital are inferior. 
However, comparing a histotch to a University trained path assistant is 
not apples to apples. Many of you may feel hostility because you know of
a histotech that trained on the job and poof - became a path assistant. 
I assure you if this is the case (AND they passed the national AAPA 
exam) they were held to the same difficult standards that us University 
trained path assistants were held to. They are just as deserving of the 
job as I am. Just because they got their start as a histotech does not 
mean that they are stilll histotechs. Many M.D.'s started out in nursing
- does that mean a nurse can suggest he/she is of the same calibre 
still? Of course not! 

Do not hold resentment to pathologists assistants because you think they
should be held responsible for helping you do YOUR job in busy times. 
Who helps them when they are busy? It is not your job to gross a few 
colons to help them, likewise it is not their job to cut controls for 
you, or accession for that matter. The job of a path assistant is 
different than the job of a histotech, we just work in the same room. 
You have your duties, I have mine. I know nothing about 
immunohistochemistry, and a tech knows nothing about staging a cancer 
case. Our roles are different. Stop the senseless bickering and 
comparison of apples to bananas. It is ridiculous. 

We are supposed to, as adults, work together with positive attitudes. We
are all here to serve the patient. This does not appear to be the case 
in instances reported on this listserv, but they are not from my 
experience the rule. I have never had a problem with a histotech, I have
made many friends at work. I am not sure what your problems are, or 
where they arise. But be sure to remember a path assistant has as much 
duty to do histology work as an OR nurse has to cook for the cafeteria. 


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