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Date:Thu, 20 May 1999 06:40:09 -0400
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Histonetters -

I just finished reading the "ASCP News" for May/June 1999.

The ASCP Board of Registry (BOR) has a new certification on 
Laboratory Safety, to be given the first time in January 2000.
The certificate would be SLS(ASCP) = Specialty Laboratory Safety.

To quote from the article:
"This new technical specialty credential will provide
laboratory personnel with the opportunity to demonstrate
competence in developing, conducting and managing safety
programs within their healthcare facility. The Federal
Registry, Friday, December 6, 1991, No. VIII, p. 64181 states
that the person conducting the laboratory safety training
must be knowledgeable in the subject matter. Examination
committee members believe that this credential would serve
as a means to document this knowledge."

The article listed 8 people on the committee, including
(HURRAH) a histotech - Lynn Montgomery, CT(ASCP)HT. She
has been the chair of the NSH Health and Safety Committee,
and wrote a book on histology safety. (Dare I suggest -
required reading for this exam?) Thank you Lynn for
representing our field!

To be eligible:

Candidates must have acceptable experience in a minimum
of four of the following:
- safety management (eg. risk assessment, monitoring, 
	safety committee)
- training and education
- fire safety
- first aid,
- ergonomics,
- chemical safety
- biohazard control (eg. bloodborne pathogens,
	infection control)
- physical and environmental (eg. electrical,
	equipment, spills, waste management, shipping)

AND one of the following:

- ASCP certified as a technologist or specialist and
12 months acceptable safety experience within the last 
5 years.

- ASCP certified as a technician and 18 months acceptable
safety experience in the last 5 years.

- Baccalaureate degree or higher from a regionally
accredited university/college and 24 months of acceptable
safety experience in the last 5 years.

Deadline for application for the 2000 Jan - March exam cycle
is October 1, 1999. Application material will be available
after July 1, 1999. Fee is $130.

To receive more information as soon as it is available, 
contact ASCP BOR at 312/738-1336, x 1345 or email at

>From a personal view:

I've always had a little concern in the back of my mind
about me being our Anatomic Pathology Safety Officer - who
says I'm qualified to be this? If something happens -
explosion, fire, toxic exposure, 30 years cumulative
exposure, etc. - and it goes to court, will the lawyer
"pick me apart" because I don't have a degree in lab
safety? Will the jury support the contention that I was
not fit to be the safety officer due to lack of degree
or certification in this area (regardless that almost
no one in the position has anything like this because 
there ISN'T anything available at a college/university.)

Sometimes, all the reading you do, and all the workshops
you take, don't count as much as a degree or certificate
when it come to juries and courts. (I'm not saying this
is right, just saying it IS.)

So I like the idea of this from a couple points:
- it possibly gives people "credibility" in the eyes
of a jury and the law
- it is a way of demonstrating additional knowledge
gained in this field, and earning recognition for this

I know there are going to be people out there saying, ala
Eli Wallach - "I don't need no stinking certification."
For the same reason some people don't "need no HT or HTL"
certification. It isn't required in the federal government.
It isn't required in most states. It isn't required in 
most hospitals. But then people turn around and lament our
lack of "professional" recognition and standing, and our
lack of a decent salary. Well, we can't have it both ways. 
(enough of this soap box - for now)

That makes three additional "specialties" now available 
through ASCP BOR that people to strive for, after they earn 
their HT or HTL:
- DLM (diplomate = supervisor/manager)
- SLS (specialist in laboratory safety)
- QIHC (qualification in immunohistochemistry)

And for years, histotechs were "stuck" at being
"just" histotechs. Med techs had all these additional
specialties they could go after, while histotech
didn't. "The times, they are a-changin'."


Peggy A. Wenk, HTL(ASCP)
William Beaumont Hospital
Royal Oak, MI 48073

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