There are two parts to qualifying to take the HTL exam. First, the BS degree
with 30 hours of biology AND chemistry combined plus a minimum of 1 year's
experience within the last 10 years under pathologist certified by the
American Board of Pathology in Anatomic pathology (or the equivalent of a
Second, the experience must be within the last 10 years, and cover fixation,
microtomy, processing and staining. There are no other specifications.
So the microtomy CAN be just frozen sections (or just plastics, or just
So the staining CAN be just H&E.
(BTW, This experience criteria is the same for the HT exam.)
Now, with that said, the exams WILL have questions covering ALL aspects of
histotechnology - fixation, processing, decalcification, microtomy (frozen
and paraffin), all special stains, IHC, tissue ID for all tissues, enzymes
on the HTL, safety, equipment, lab math, etc.
So anyone who works in just one specialty area (Mohs, derm, GI, etc.), will
be at a disadvantage. They will need a lot of books, atlases, and a lot of
time to learn all that is required. They can pass, but it will take a lot
more work than someone who routinely sees a variety of tissues and does a
variety of special stains. The last two cycles of HTL exams, 51% and 70% of
applicants were able to pass the HTL exam.
Peggy A. Wenk, HTL(ASCP)SLS
William Beaumont Hospital
Royal Oak, MI 48073
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Robyn
Sent: Monday, June 04, 2007 3:25 PM
Subject: [Histonet] Question about taking test
Hello, I have a question to ask. I have a co-worker that is interested in
taking the test and has a B.S. We work in a Mohs lab, but not an actual
histology lab where we would do special stains. She has been here almost 4
years doing mostly Mohs surgeries, very little paraffin processing. As I am
understanding it, is that she would have to have 1 year experience in a
histology lab doing special stains and paraffin cutting and processing?
Since they don't make you do special stains and send them in, then she would
have to prove that she can perform a special stain and that is where the 1
year experience comes in?
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