I must chime in here a bit. Those who do not participate in the their
professional organizations (ASCP, NSH, state societies, etc.) are missing
out on resources that they of course don't know anything about because they
are not engaged. Even when you do pay ASCP dues each year the benefits are
not always transparent. ASCP is the Certifying agency for our profession,
without them none of us would have documentation that we are
"professionals". I know that there are plenty of people out there who may
have been working in the field for a long time and can perform the required
tasks, but the fact that they have not gotten certified says something about
them that frankly would not impress me as a perspective employer. With a
few exceptions (ie Jackie O, who is certified I know) I would be willing to
bet that these non-certified, non-engaged people do not read the Journals or
attend classes in their field, which again would not impress me as their
It is our job to educate the administrators. They often have no idea that
non-certified people are working for them or even that certification is
available in some cases. NSH has been working for many years to try and get
CAP to require certified Histotech's be working in the histo lab, we even
asked that they at least require supervisors be certified. CAP still has no
such requirements. It can be a long tuff battle, but we are making
progress. ASCP, NSH, CAP and State Histology Societies, to mention a few,
are our professional bargaining agencies. Through them we will make the
changes in the field we want to see. Without these agencies we are just
individuals whining about issues we are doing nothing to affect.
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Mark Tarango
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2005 2:54 PM
Subject: [Histonet] Re: Histonet Digest, Vol 17, Issue 1
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.
> Message: 9
> Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 20:30:39 -0500
> Subject: [Histonet] ASCP BOR - answers to questions
> To: "Histonet"
> Message-ID: <email@example.com>
> 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
> 1. WHO TO TALK TO ABOUT COMPLAINTS ABOUT ASCP BOARD OF REGISTRY (BOR)
> The NSH appointed representative to ASCP BOR is Marilyn Gamble. There is a
> link to her email at the NSH web site
> - 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
> committee can be found on the ASCP BOR webpage. There are no email links
> their names.
> - 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
> be found on:
> - at the bottom of the page, click on Contact an ASCP Board of Registry
> staff member.
> 2. WHY THE INCREASE IN THE COST OF GRADING HT/HTL PRACTICAL EXAMS?
> Well, the ASCP BOR staff member was at NSH S/C in Toronto, and talked
> 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
> 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
> 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
> sufficient to achieve the same pass/fail rate as 15 slides. (In other
> 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
> and now ASCP BOR is asking the candidates to help to cover SOME of the
> of grading the practical exams, by paying an additional $75. Notice the
> SOME. This additional fee still does not cover all the costs.
> 3. WHAT DO I, AS A HISTOTECH, GET BY BEING AN ASCP MEMBER?
> Maybe not as much as being an NSH member, but I still think I get some
> - 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
> I might like, but it gives me a better understanding of how all the labs
> 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
> 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
> 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
> a right answer (typo, it turned out, which the BOR QC had already caught
> the students' scores were not effected, etc.)). I've raised questions
> the wage and salary survey, and that was modified. I've offered
> 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
> 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
> 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
> changes. It's sad when the meetings are open to everyone of the 1200
> in attendance, and only 6 people show up. (That is my personal opinion,
> 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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