RE: [Histonet] Salary Scales


Glen,  I think the one loophole with supply and demand that hurts histotechs the most is that there is more than one source for supply.  When demand is high and supply is low, as it is in both cases for histotechs right now, pay should go up.  I have watched pay increase across the country since I entered the field many years ago, but not to the point it should have.  The big downfall is the alternate source of supply.  I actually heard a pathologist recently say, "It would be easier to just recruit someone from McDonalds and teach them to embed blocks and cut slides."  In the vast majority of labs you do not have to be a certified Histotechnician to do the job.  Try to get a job in the medical lab as a lab tech without an MT or MLT and see how quickly you can be hired.  I know ASCP has tightened the OJT route to require more education but until labs are forced to hire only HTs or HTLs to do the job, the alternate supply channel with exist.  I'm afraid that we can shake our fist at this as much as we like but the problem is just outside our sphere of control.


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Dawson, Glen
Sent: Monday, May 19, 2008 7:35 AM
Subject: RE: [Histonet] Salary Scales

I think we are talking about side issues and not the bigger picture here.  I believe that many histotechs return to this "salary discussion" because we are puzzled as to why histotechs are so lacking in both pay and respect.  I've said it before that we are in a pickle because of 3 basic reasons.  Number one would be the fact that histotechs were bench trained for so many years with no degree needed.  Number two is the fact that the vast majority of histotechs are female and sexism is alive and well in our world today.  Lastly, pathologists have not made a point to strengthen a histotechs place in the lab/hospital.  Don't get me wrong, some Pathologists go out of their way to champion our cause but most, especially in the past, had/have a vested interest in seeing that histo-pay is kept low.
The puzzling thing is that basic principles that sould govern the status/pay of a profession like histotechnology such as supply&demand or complexity of the job doesn't seem to apply in our case.  The result is that we are confused as to why things don't get better for the profession and we sometimes beat our chests and say things like "we rule" or insinuate that we are more important than we are...perhaps to stroke egos that could use some stroking every once in a while.
Just My Opinion,
Glen Dawson  BS, HT & QIHC
IHC Manager
Milwaukee, WI  

-----Original Message-----
From: Jennifer MacDonald []
Sent: Sunday, May 18, 2008 8:52 PM
To: Rene J Buesa
Cc: Dawson, Glen;;
Subject: RE: [Histonet] Salary Scales

While I agree with Renee that histotechs have to make many decisions, I don't necessarily agree that they make more decisions that other areas in the lab.  I worked in the clinical lab for many years and had to make many decisions regarding the adequacy of a specimen and interpret the QC before that result could be released.  Manual differentials require that the tech know the morphology of all cell types.  Cross matching blood for transfusions requires interpretation before that blood can be released for transfusion to the patient.  An error in cross-matching can kill the patient.  I can tell you that my stress level as a Medical Technologist was much higher than my stress level as Histotechnician.  There are many more examples where the knowledge and judgement of the tech will determine the outcome of patient result reporting and treatment.  The pathologist does not make the final decision for the Med Tech before they release results to the clinician.  We were also responsible for notifying the clinician when the patient results were critical. 

Rene J Buesa  
Sent by: 

05/15/2008 09:22 AM 

"Dawson, Glen" , 


RE: [Histonet] Salary Scales


 And it will keep that way until histotechs star demanding what is deserved!
 Have you realized that histotechs are the only specialists in the medical lab that have to make decisions all along the process?
 When to reject a too thick slice of tissue to assure proper processing?
 What part to embed to cut?
 Up to where trim the block discarding parts of the specimen FOR EVER?!
 Which section to take or which to discard FOR EVER?!
 When to stop differentiation in a special stain?
 There is no other area of the ML that has to take so many decisions, and they are better paid. And will be until the HTs decide to take action and demand what is deserved.
 Just my opinion (as usual!).
 René J.

"Dawson, Glen"  wrote:

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