Re: Job description for unregistered HT

From:Lee & Peggy Wenk <>

We don't have an unregistered HT/trainee description at our hospital, as
we only hire our own students or already registered techs.

I do know of other hospitals that do have this classification.

A couple of places that I know of have 2 different job descriptions. Those
who are non-certified are in the lower job description, and are paid about
$1.50-2.00 less per hour (starting and top pay), at least according to those
hospitals that have talked with me about it. When the employee becomes
certified, they move into the higher certified HT position, so make more
Certainly  an incentive for some people. If they decide never to take the
certification exam, then they never move to the higher paying HT job

Another method is as follows, which uses only one job description and pay
The lab has a wider range of salary than the other hospitals in the area.
Their lowest
starting salary is about  $1.50  less than any other hospital around here.
They use the
lowest pay for the person who they are having to train. The person with the
certification starts at a level $1.50 higher. Eventually, both the certified
and the
non-certified person can be making the same  top pay, but it does take the
non-certified person a couple of extra years to get there.

I know of another place that had a similar plan to the last method, but once
the person
became certified, they were automatically raised one or two steps within
that pay scale.
Instant reward for becoming certified. (Not retroactive, though.) Again,

So that's the two (and-a-half) schemes, at least for pay.

Now as to job description:

One place I know has the non-certified people embedding and sectioning,
but they cannot do any special stains. (Everyone does the changing of
processor, stainer, coverslipping, and H&E). Only the certified HT does
the special stains. This is a large place, so they have enough work all day
long of just embedding, sectioning and doing H&Es for the non-certified.

(On the other hand, if there were enough special stains to do, I might
consider that certified HTs would NOT have to do something that no one
likes to do, like change the tissue processor or filing slides. The
would have to do these. The certified HT would instead spend their time
(after embedding/sectioning/H&E) doing the special stains.)

Another place has both doing embedding, sectioning and most special
stains, but the non-certified cannot do some of the procedures (IM or
enzymes, for example).

I think I heard of one place that said that only the certified HTs could
do the grossing, but not the uncertified. There was a pay difference, but
not that much (not like a PA, for example).

Now, if the person is a trainee - they get to practice on all the special
stains, as long as they are working with someone else. But if they do
not take and pass the HT certification exam within a specified time,
they are not raised to the higher level.

The main thing - there HAS to be a difference in what the certified and
non-certified do. If both are doing the same job(s), then they MUST be
paid the same, regardless of certification or education level or any other

If you want a starting place, check out the ASCP Board of Registry (BOR)
site which lists the competency statements of beginning HT. That would
tell you want a beginning certified (able to pass the HT exam) histotech
should be able to do.

Maybe you can look at this list, and state that the person who is NOT
certified can't do some of these things. It is VERY generic. So I hope there
are others who are able to help you.

Good luck, and please post your "results" for the rest of us. Thanks.

Many places are going to a lower paying job descriptions, to save their
lab/hospital money. And the lower paying job description does more of
the things that are routine - filing slides, filing blocks, coverslipping,
changing tissue processor, changing H&E set up, sectioning, cutting
controls, embedding, doing H&E.

The higher paying (certified HT/HTL) jobs can do some or all of the above
PLUS other more demanding/exciting jobs - special stains, IM, enzymes,
grossing, specialty/research projects, etc.

I guess I wonder why you are having a "tug-of-war" with administration
about creating a lower paying job description. It seems like they would
LOVE to pay people less to do some of the same work.

Tell them the two histology pay levels is like having RN and LPN, or
MT and MLT, or doctor  and resident. Those that have a higer
certification/education/competency assessment/whatever are
rewarded by receiving a higher pay and by NOT having to do
the more routine/boring/mundane jobs. They get to use their higher
knowledge/training/skills for the more difficult/tricky/demanding jobs.
And one way for histotech to prove that they have the more
knowledge/skills/etc. is by passing the HT certification exam.

(hmmm. a lot more than my 2 cents. sorry.)

- - - - - - - - -

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

However, one thought would be to
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mary Bryhan" <>
To: "Histonet" <>
Sent: Tuesday, November 28, 2000 7:33 PM
Subject: Job description for unregistered HT

> Hi to all!  I am having a tug-o-war with our hospital's administration
> regarding modifying or creating a job description for an unregistered HT/
> trainee.  I could easily write one, but I guess they need "evidence" that
> there is such a thing at other hospitals.  HELP!!!
> Mary Bryhan HT (ASCP)
> Northern Michigan Hospital
> Petoskey, MI

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