[Histonet] The Histology Career

From:"Swain, Frances L"

It has been very interesting reading all of the opinions about the career of histotechnology.  I have decided to put my two cents in.  I have been a Histology Technician for 40 years.  I became certified in 1969 but prior to that I worked as a histology technician.  I learned fluorence immunostaining back then, electron microscopy, and many other techniques some of which are passť and some are not. The main thing I learned in all of the years of being one of the most rewarding professions (in my opinion) is that we are the one of the most responsible professions in the medical community.  Our profession is the only profession, that I know of, that if something happens to the specimen-it is gone.  I do believe that no one really takes a look at our profession at that angle.  If you had only one mole on your body and it looked like a melanoma.  The doctor removed it and sent it to Pathology and something happened to that mole during the process of preparing it to the final product (i.e. the specimen got loss, the specimen was over processed, the technician cut it away, etc.) The patient's diagnosis would not be able to be confirmed nor denied.
I am proud of this profession.  I have learned a lot about not only the field of histotechnology but of all of the fields in the medical technical area.  The mind set I am reading is alarming to me.  As Ian said, after 40 years I am still learning, everyday, information about the different areas of our field.  I think that the technicians in our field need to re think how they feel.  If they do not like the field then find something else.  Education is a very important part of this field.  Everyone should take the opportunity to learn something new everyday.  Remember no one can take what you learn away from you. 
Thanks for letting me sound off. 

Frances L. Swain, HT(ASCP) A. A. S.
Special Procedures Technician
UAMS Center for Orthopaedic Research
4301 West Markham St., Slot 644
Little Rock AR 72205
Phone: (501) 686-8789
FAX: (501) 686-8987
email: swainfrancesl@uams.edu

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