Routes to becoming a histotech

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Date:Tue, 4 May 1999 21:30:42 EDT
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The problem is that there are not enough accredited programs to train 
histotechs.  I do not think that anyone would deny that the most desirable 
way to become a histotech is through an accredited program.  There are less 
than 30 in the US, so obviously that is not enough to train all of the 
histotechs needed.  So the majority of histotechs are on the job trained, and 
will continue to be trained that way.  In the past, today, and until 2005, a 
high school graduate with no chemistry, biology, or math, can be on-the-job 
trained and then sit for the certifying exam.  That is just not an adequate 
background for today's increasingly complex histopathology laboratory, and it 
is proven by the much higher failure rate of those coming to the exam through 
the high school route. We need more NAACLS accredited programs desperately - 
anyone interested in beginning one, preferably in association with a 
community college?

Incidentally, 56% of the accredited programs now either require an AA degree 
for entry into the program or award an AA degree upon completion of the 
program.  All programs require a specified number of hours of math, biology, 
and chemistry.  This is required by NAACLS.  I would anticipate that  some of 
those that are certificate programs will now begin to think about becoming AA 

May I also address Karen's confusion.  You can have an AA degree that 
includes a specific number of hours in chemistry, biology, and math before 
you begin your on-the-job training or you can complete the degree during or 
after training. But you must have it before you apply for the exam as of 
2005.  The requirements of the NAACLS accredited programs vary with the 
program as stated previously.

Hope this helps somewhat.

Freida Carson

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