I also think I am an academic pathologist now because I had the privilege of working in an academic pathology lab one summer when I was 15, in a summer science program in Oklahoma City with other students. It was far more fun than counting money at my father's company all day! I would also suggest that if the student's experience can be structured as an educational project through the local high school or college or technical school, or as a volunteer arrangement with all the appropriate testing and insurance, the chld labor laws would not be a problem.
Hal Hawkins, M.D.,Ph.D., UTMB, Galveston
From: email@example.com on behalf of McCormick, James
Sent: Thu 6/5/2008 8:29 AM
To: Rene J Buesa; Karla Arrington; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: RE: [Histonet] Legality of work
>From an interested Pathologist:
I think you are building a bomb to attack an mouse!
When our son and daughter were 14 and 15 years old I was proud to have them VOLUNTEER (non-paid) service to the our laboratory. First to meet the fine people who worked in the department. Second to learn about "dad's work", and third to develop a sense of appreciation for our work in serving others.
The children benefited by the social relationship and grew in responsibility by graduating from tasks of simple "go for's", observers, awarded responsibility.
They were not permitted to prepare patient materials but they were, over a period of summer volunteer effort, taught to make a collection of their own slides and even to do a frozen section.
The experience is a treasured memory and valued experience for the Pathologist and his family and for the bonding of employees who for that period were extended members of the family.
Our son is now completing his residency in orthopaedic Surgery and our daughter is a junior officer in a New York company where she has employees reporting to her service.
I continue to communicate with the lab employees and they always ask .....tell us how your son and daughter are doing and send them our love.
The well operated pathology lab is no more dangerous than a high school biology and chemistry laboratory.
I believe you would do yourself,the lab.,the pathologist and the 15 year old a great service by reexamining the situation in a more generous and understanding way. If you are at odds with the pathologist.... take time to visit with him and structure a helping and learning experience for the young lady who just happens to be your bosses daughter.
Ask the young lady to observe and take notes for a week. Chart the path of a patient specimen from the beginning through the final diagnosis. Write (required) a report of the reason the specimen was sent to the lab. The complete process/path of the specimen through the lab,and the final result/diagnosis for the patient's benefit.
If the 15 year old does this there will be a change in the climate and "dad" will be amazed at what you contribute to the process of health care and to the maturing of his daughter.
Just a few thoughts from a Pathologist and dad with success written in the log of his children and their bonding to the profession.
Sincerely, and in the spirit of helping.
Please give a copy of this note to your pathologist.
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Rene J Buesa
Sent: Thursday, June 05, 2008 7:51 AM
To: Karla Arrington; email@example.com
Subject: Re: [Histonet] Legality of work
Here is how I see your problem:
1- you have already contacted the Child and Labor Dept. about this issue, so it is very likely (if they are doing their job) that the will "pay a visit" to the lab and talk with the pathologist.
2- if that is what is going to happen you are going to be in trouble.
3- as the "youngster's" trainer you are accomplice to the violation, because you know her age and keep training her.
4- if this pathologist is also calling names to others, he is an absolute jerk that thinks is owner, not only of the place, but of the world.
5- I don't think this is the right place to work so sooner or later you should try to find a new place to work.
6- if that is going to be how this whole issue is going to end, I think that you should do what is correct and tell him that you are not willing to participate in violating the laboral laws and stop training his daughter.
You will sleep better and perhaps this fellow will realize that he is doing something wrong and that you are not willing to accept the situation.
At least that is what I would do. Consult with some close friend or family member and present a formal complaint with Child Labor BEFORE doing #6. If he fires you because of this then you will have PROOF that you complained against him because of a law violation and will be able to claim unemployment, even if he says that you were fired for "work substandard performance", you will have proof that this is not the case, but revenge against you.
Karla Arrington wrote:
I have roughly 2 dilemmas. The first is of a legal matter. The Pathologist for a week has had his daughter (15 years old), helping
me out in the histology lab. He wants her to get training from me, then do the on-line HT program. She has handled chemicals
and reagents. I am very uncomfortable with this. I have called the Child Labor Laws department for our state and it is illegal
for a 15 year to be in a laboratory. Needless to say working with blood borne pathogens. My most concern is the following. As her "teacher",
can I or other co-workers can be held accountable if this is illegal and is found out? This pathologist mind you is the owner of the business.
I am afraid if I say something, I will get fired. Where do I go from here or if there is someone who has a similar circumstance happen to them.
The other scenario is that this same Pathologist has called a tech a slandering name, twice. There is no "upper management" to go to
since he is the owner of the business. I was wondering if this is considered harassment and can this be used to nullify a contract signed
by both parties for employment.
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