Re: Recent disturbing postings

From:Elliott Grammon


I like your quote!

David, I have one as well; from William Shakespeare: "...'methinks he doth protest too much!"
ergo, no need to get your 'knickers in a twist'.  You seem overly sensitive and a little defensive. Could it be that some of the points have hit a little too close to the mark?

 For my part I am genuinely interested in finding out the utility of PA's, as a previous message of mine alluded to hiring one. Over the course of this micro-forum, I have learned some very valuable things about the dynamics of PA's and , what I'll lump together as, 'the rest of the lab'. It appears we have in many instances a "Gangs of New York" -type working relationship.

I don't think anyone was doing a direct comparison of job function, rather but gradually, I believe the comments have been more to find out how everyone gets along. That point now seems moot.

The bottom line is this. In today's world, you get what you pay for. In the PA's case , I feel I wouldn't be getting my money's worth. Period. Nothing personal. Strictly business.

Re David's comments on Nurses, that's a can of worms you don't want to go near ! For what they do, I find Nurses MORE valuable, at times, than M.D.s. Without the nurses, the fabric that holds a Hospital together would unravel. Same for Histotechs et al., without them, we're all out of a job !

Also , as idealistic as the comment "We are all here to serve the patient" sounds, it's not entirely accurate. Hospitals in our Country are businesses, run by Board members and spearheaded by CEO's who don't give a rat's behind about anything except the bottom line.  As we all work - directly or indirectly  - in a Clinical / Hospital environment, by the very nature of that environment, most things we do are steered toward optimizing that bottom line. Patients' welfare many times takes a back seat to other concerns.

Though this topic was to have been put to bed, it appears to be a thorn in many people's side that warrants "venting" , as on e listserv member put it.  Better to vent in this environment than in the workplace.

I feel better already !


--------- Original Message ---------

DATE: Sat, 28 Jun 2003 15:07:20
From: Sarah Jones 

>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 workplace.  
>  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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