Re: Unions for Histology - need for a degree

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From:"Tony Henwood" <>
Date:Wed, 12 May 1999 23:24:20 +0000
Content-Type:text/plain; charset=US-ASCII

Some thoughts from down under:

Australia has had Science degree courses in pathology for over 20 
years. After "matriculating" from high school (a culmination of 12 
years schooling), you hope to have a high enough score to get into 
University. In laboraory medicine, you can major in Biochemistry, 
Microbiology, Cellular pathology (histo and cytology) and 
haematology. Lately you can also major in molecular biology. This can 
take three to four years.

To be employed as a science officer in a pathology laboratory, you 
must have a science degree majoring in one or more of the above 
disciplines. Technicians on the other hand require a certificate or 
diploma from a College of further education or similar, though this 
may change. To hold a managerial role in histopathology you must be a 
science officer (accreditation requirements).

Pay scales in Australia are overall tied into Professional Officers 
Payscales ( with a little variation). These professional officers 
include university qualified nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists 

A degree is more than just a piece of paper. You are presented with 
knowledge of a complex nature in the fields you are majoring in. Your 
analysis and writing skills are developed. You are taught to think 
laterally, to solve and more importantly to predict problems. To 
apply knowledge from other sciences to develop new procedures. This 
is what is expected of Science Officers.

Many of the older med techs had to aquire these skills the hard way. 
Fortunately, in Australia many of these "oldies" are much involved in 
teaching and maintaining the quality of these degrees. Their 
experience is the foundation of our Science degrees.

I hope this helps the discussion. Equal Pay equates with equal 
responsibility, knowledge and experience. For the profession to grow, 
professional staff must be present. A degree will be a strong basis 
for a profession.

Tony Henwood

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