[Histonet] Re: Histonet Digest, Vol 17, Issue 1

From:"Mark Tarango"

I want to know why the ASCP is refusing to tell me what my certification 
number is.  I pass their ridiculous test 1st try.  I don't pay their dues 
every year because it's a ripoff.  While I'm here in Alsaka, I need to know 
my number.   I have it written down back home, but I'm not there now. 
They'll only tell me my number if i pay them their yearly fees.  I passed 
the exam, so why are they bullying me here?  Maybe if they worked a little 
harder on our wages or getting us some respect in the lab, I could afford it 
or wouldn't mind paying it.

Mark Tarango

> Message: 9
> Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 20:30:39 -0500
> From: 
> Subject: [Histonet] ASCP BOR - answers to questions
> To: "Histonet" 
> Message-ID: <00b201c5365a$6a3d83a0$50d7d445@domainnotset.invalid>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> Going to try to answer several questions in this one email. If not
> interested in ASCP BOR or in some answers - please push the delete button
> now.
> The NSH appointed representative to ASCP BOR is Marilyn Gamble. There is a
> link to her email at the NSH web site
> http://www.nsh.org
> - click on Who We Are
> - click on Appointments
> - click on Marilyn's email link under ASCP BOR
> The list of histotechs and pathologists on the ASCP BOR Histotechnology 
> exam
> committee can be found on the ASCP BOR webpage. There are no email links 
> to
> their names.
> http://www.ascp.org/bor/about
> - click on Histotechnology Examination Committee
> Also, you can contact ASCP BOR directly via phone or email. You could ask
> them a question, or ask for the phone number on the Histotechnology exam
> committee.  The list of staff people working at the BOR and their roles 
> can
> be found on:
> http://www.ascp.org/bor/about/
> - at the bottom of the page, click on Contact an ASCP Board of Registry
> staff member.
> Well, the ASCP BOR staff member was at NSH S/C in Toronto, and talked 
> about
> it at the booth, and at several committee meetings. I also called ASCP BOR
> in the fall for additional information, which they gave out. Nothing 
> hidden
> or secret about it. Ask, and they will tell.
> The HT and HTL exams are the most expensive technician/technologist exams
> for ASCP BOR, because HT/HTL/pathologists graders have to be brought in 
> from
> all other the USA, two weekends a year, to grade all the sets.
> The fee paid by the HT/HTL candidates did not cover the cost of the ASCP
> grading the written (computer) and the practical HT/HTL exams.
> ASCP BOR had made several changes recently, to keep the cost down.
> Instead of submitting 15 slides, BOR statistically found that 9 slides 
> were
> sufficient to achieve the same pass/fail rate as 15 slides. (In other 
> words,
> if someone does a good job on cutting and staining 9, they would have done
> the same good job on 15. And the same with someone doing a not so good/bad
> job.) By reducing the number of slides, they reduced the number of people
> needed to grade the slides, thereby reducing costs.
> A new change is that the candidate must pass the written/computer portion
> first, before they can submit their practical. This will reduce the number
> of practicals being sent in. This again will reduce the number of graders
> needed, which will keep costs down.
> However, unfortunately, these changes could not keep the costs down 
> enough,
> and now ASCP BOR is asking the candidates to help to cover SOME of the 
> costs
> of grading the practical exams, by paying an additional $75. Notice the 
> word
> SOME. This additional fee still does not cover all the costs.
> Maybe not as much as being an NSH member, but I still think I get some
> things.
> - Tech Samples (for continuing education)
> - ASCP Teleconferences (at least 3 each quarter are histology. Others on
> management are also helpful)
> - "Laboratory Medicine" (which might not have as much histology articles 
> as
> I might like, but it gives me a better understanding of how all the labs 
> fit
> in together. Helpful in management issues.)
> - Representatives from ASCP in Washington DC, working on: laws for payment
> and reimbursement which effect my pay; getting grants to start new lab
> schools; etc.
> - Books like the Frieda Carson textbook, HT/HTL exam study books, Jules
> Elias book on IHC
> - Annual wage and salary survey
> And all of these things cost money to set up and run. Money from ASCP
> members.
> All of the above information I obtained by A) calling ASCP BOR  and asking
> them questions I have, B) attending committee meetings at NSH where the 
> BOR staff are there to answer questions, and C) talking with the ASCP BOR
> staff that are at the ASCP BOR booth in the exhibit hall that the NSH S/C,
> D) reading the ASCP BOR web page, "Laboratory Medicine", and anything else 
> I
> can get. It's not a secret.
> And calling does help. Sometimes it takes a while, but things do change.
> I've called the NSH representatives to ASCP BOR and the chair of the ASCP
> BOR Histotechnology exam committee in the past with concerns, ideas,
> suggestions, questions. I've gotten answers, and often they have
> incorporated my suggestions into changing things on the exams (different
> tissues, stains, checking on a question when my students swear there 
> wasn't
> a right answer (typo, it turned out, which the BOR QC had already caught 
> so
> the students' scores were not effected, etc.)). I've raised questions 
> about
> the wage and salary survey, and that was modified. I've offered 
> suggestions
> about their flyers about histotechs, and these were changed in the next
> revision (about 4 years later - slowly, remember?). No, they didn't change
> these things because it was ME who called. They changed because I offered 
> a
> good suggestion. There are also things they did not change. So it goes.
> No, it isn't perfect. But from where I stand, I think they need more
> constructive input and more people being involved. That's us, people. We
> care about our field, otherwise we wouldn't still be in the field and on
> Histonet. So let's be constructive and offer concrete suggestions and 
> ideas
> for improvement  to our representatives - email, call, and attend the NSH
> Education Committee or Instructors in Histotechnology meeting in Fort
> Lauderdale.  It takes more than 6 people sitting in on a committee, to 
> make
> changes. It's sad when the meetings are open to everyone of the 1200 
> people
> in attendance, and only 6 people show up. (That is my personal opinion, 
> not
> something gleaned from a book or webpage.)
> Off my soap box for a while.
> Peggy A. Wenk, HTL(ASCP)SLS
> William Beaumont Hospital

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