Re: [Histonet] Training Med Techs - some candid comments

From:Jennifer MacDonald

   Dear Mr. Kirby,

   I  do  not usually get involved in the mu= d slinging on the histonet,
   but  your  response  has  changed that.  Your = comments are unfair to
   Becky and to all Histotechs.  Becky was not ins= ulting Med Techs.  My
   interpretation  is  that  she  is  frustrated  with Hi= stotechs being
   overlooked for management positions in favor of Med Techs.&n= bsp; Why
   train  a  Med  Tech with no histology experience if you have a very c   apable   Histotech   available?   She  did  not  mean  to  imply  that
   Histotechn=  ology is a career whereas Medical Technology is not.  She
   meant  that o= urs is a career and therefore not that simple to simple
   train  somebody  on  t=  he  spot to manage that area.  (Becky, please
   correct me if I am wrong.= )

   As  a  Med Tech, I have worked in all areas of = the laboratory, using
   those  fancy  biochemistry and hematology analyzers, as= well as cross
   matching  blood  for  an ER patient.  I know what stress i= s.  I also
   work  in  histology  where things can also go wrong and depend= ing on
   the  laboratory the turn-around-time expectations can be unreasonable   .   What  we  do  in Histology can also impact a patient's health.  A   lthough the Pathologist makes the diagnosis, it is made on slides that
   we  h=  ave  prepared.   Any  errors  on our part can definitely cause
   grievous  pr= oblems for the patient.  Please don't feel special about
   your  ability  =  to cause the death of a patient.  There are a lot of
   hands throughout = a patient's treatment that can claim credit for it.

   <=  DIV>Are  you  also  aware  that many histotechs do take call?  The
   gruelin=  g  circumstances  that  you  describe  are not unique to Med
   Techs.  Many h= istotechs also have advanced degrees.

   There  are  many  of  us  wh=  o  do  not  feel as you do that "it was
   considered  a  boring   "dead end division"= ".  Most of us are in the
   field  because  we  truly enjoy wh= at we do.  We sure don't do it for
   the respect we get from people like= you!

   Jennifer MacDonald wrote= : -----

     To: "Histonet \(E-mail\)" 
     Fro= m: "Mike Kirby" 
     Sent by: histonet-bounces@=
     Date: 03/22/2006 05:57AM
     Subject: [Histonet]= Training Med Techs - some candid comments
     Dear Ms Orr.
     You  ma= y not have wanted a fight on your hands but now you've got
     Cli= mbs on soapbox and starts tirade!
     Your  comment " Training a MT to be= a Histo Tech is like trying to
     train a policeman to be a fireman" rather s= ticks in the craw, and
     I would like to follow with a counter
     comment, "C= an a Histo Tech be trained to be a fireman?" as anyone
     can  be  shown how to = connect a hose to a hydrant and point it at
     the flames.
     Granted,  His=  topatholgy  is  very  much a "hands on" profession,
     requiring  fine  manual  dext= erity and concentration, but it's no
     better  than  operating  a  high output Bi= ochemistry/ Haematology
     analyser  or  cross-matching a pint of blood, where a= wrong result
     can  kill  a  patient.  Plus  you operate under a fraction of the      stress  we are subjected to  - try working for a full day, and then
     doi=  ng  another  13  hours  of  call  out  duty, and then you are
     expected to report f= or normal duty next day!
     It's a gross insult to insinuate that ours = is a "job" while yours
     is a "career".
     As students, we spent 5 - 6 mo= nths working in every division that
     was  available  in the lab - Chempath, Ha= em, Parasitology, Micro,
     Cyto,  Immunology,  Human  genetics,  blood transfusio= n, and yes,
     even  Histopath.  When  we passed our finals, we were allowed to c     hoose  which  discipline we wanted to further our careers, and each
     year,  wit=  hout  fail,  the  majority  would  choose anything but
     Histopath,  as  it  was  cons= idered a boring  "dead end division"
     (Yes, pun intended).
     As  fo=  r management positions, if you can run a Chempath or Micro
     Dept,  then  you c= an run a Histopath Dept, as the same managerial
     systems  apply,  regardless  o=  f  the  discipline,  it's just the
     practical applications of the work in hand = that differ.
     Histopathology  is just one of the services in the medi= cal world,
     you  don't  walk on water, and neither do we. As far as I am conce     rned,  once  trained  as  a general Med Tech, you can be trained in
     virtually  a=  ny  other  discipline, unless you are like "two left
     thumbs"  me,  who  after 35= years on the bench, still cannot cut a
     half  decent  section  or  make a passa= ble blood smear. (But I am
     good as a manager!)
     End  of  tirade  - climb= s off soapbox, puts on helmet, and climbs
     into  bunker,  to  await  the  verbal  = barrage that's about to be
     J= ohannesburg
     South Africa
     -----Original Message-----
     Fr=     om:         histo=
     [[1]mailto:histonet-bounces@lists.utsou=]  On Behalf
     Of Orr, Rebecca
     Sent:    17 March 2006 17:04
     To= :    histonet=
     Cc: &n= bsp;  Delk, Linda
     Subject:    [Histonet] Training Med Techs
     H= ello everyone.
     I would appreciate any feedback from those of you who may= have had
     to train MT's (ASCP) to work in Histology.
     They  would  be train= ed as histo techs with the intent to promote
     them into  Anatomic Patho= logy (Histology) management positions.
     Candid  comments  welcome,  especial=  ly from MT's who now work in
     To  me  it  would  be  like  trying  to=  train a policeman to be a
     fireman, it's a career, not a job, right?
     We  see  a  HT shortage in the Chicago area, but I am unsure how to
     addre= ss this.
     Degreed  individuals  have  proven critical thinkin= g skills via a
     traditional  education  pathway,  so I see the advantages, but = to
     ignore   very  capable  HT  managers  with  proven  management  and
     organizationa=  l  skills via non traditional pathways  is becoming
     an issue with me.I mean it's not like Non degreed HT's are stooopid
     or something.
     <= BR>Thank you
     Becky Orr CLA,HT(ASCP)
     IHC Lead
     Eva= nston Northwestern Healthcare
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