RE: The future of Histotechs

From:Jeff and Wanda Gray

Just an interesting side note here:
I took some courses at a college in Texas (trying to get the same degree
discussed below), and noticed the school had an "Allied Health Society" for
people who didn't want to be doctors or nurses.  I stopped by the advisors
office one afternoon, on a rare day off to see what she had about histology
as a career.  This woman, a former registered nurse, had no idea what that
was.  I quickly informed her, and gave her the NSH website address, and any
other information I could think of, but I was flabbergasted!  Offered to
speak at a meeting, but ran into the old "all meetings are at noon on a
weekday" problem.
I do try to get to my kids' schools career days, and I tell everyone what I
do and why I love it. As are most of us, I am too busy to do much more.
Wanda Shotsberger Gray

 -----Original Message-----
From: 	Bartlett, Jeanine []
Sent:	Wednesday, October 23, 2002 2:00 PM
To:	'PMarcum'; JOE NOCITO; Morken, Tim;
Subject:	RE: The future of Histotechs

When I was a sophomore in college, way back in 1975/76, I was talking to my
advisor about where I wanted to go with my college career.  I was interested
in biology but did not want to be a doctor or a nurse.  She advised me to
look into a variety of things, one of which was histology.  I had never
heard of it.  I visited hospitals and looked into the various fields she
suggested but the first time I walked into a histology lab and smelled the
xylene I knew I was hooked.  (Figuratively speaking, of course!)  The only
bad part was when I told her my decision she said, "Oh!  That doesn't even
require college, you can go straight into the 12 month program if you're
accepted."  (And I've been trying to go back and complete that degree ever
since, but that's another story for another time!) I guess what I'd like to
know is this:  Do high school and college advisors discuss the career of
histology when talking to students about the laboratory sciences?  Last fall
my son was taking an anatomy course in high school.  When they came to the
histology portion I asked to come and speak to the class.  I came armed with
literature that I ordered from NSH about the field and distributed it and
answered questions.  Most of the students seemed very interested.  I left
the surplus literature with the counselors office. Now if we could just get
more people to help get the word out it might just be a start.

Jeanine Bartlett, HT(ASCP)
Centers for Disease Control
Infectious Disease Pathology Activity
1600 Clifton Rd., N.E.  MS-G32
Atlanta, GA  30333

-----Original Message-----
From: PMarcum []
Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2002 12:17 PM
To: JOE NOCITO; Morken, Tim;
Subject: RE: The future of Histotechs

It would be hard to saturate a market that is in the grips of the shortage
we have.  We (meaning us older histotechs) need to get out and talk to more
of the high school career day students and community colleges as well as
push for better training and more schools.  Unfortunately we have a problem
most are too busy to it.
We keep waiting for NSH or ASCP to help and they are limited also.  I run
into people all of the time who have no idea what Histology is, so how would
they even know where to look to find out about a career.
We need to get loud!!!  Doesn't anybody remember how to organize a protest
anymore?  We need to reverse it and find a way to get attention for a career
and rewards in Histology.  If we start to get better people and train them
(along with how to ask for more money) we will get what we want.  Pam Marcum
(Neil and Patsy had some very good points.)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: JOE NOCITO []
> Sent: Monday, October 21, 2002 7:31 PM
> To: Morken, Tim;
> Subject: Re: The future of Histotechs
> I know some cities in Texas are setting up histology programs at the
> community college level.  Here in San Antonio, our third class just
> graduated in August and we just started another class of 10 students.
>     When we started the program here in San Antonio, the question
> that came
> to mind first was "are we going to saturate the market?"  Well, up to this
> point, no. After three classes, there are still shortages in San
> Antonio and
> I know a lot more in Houston, Dallas and El Paso.
> Joe Nocito, BS, HT (ASCP) QIHC
> Histology Manager
> Pathology Reference Lab
> San Antonio, Texas
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Morken, Tim" 
> To: 
> Sent: Monday, October 21, 2002 11:30 AM
> Subject: RE: The future of Histotechs
> > The school issue is kind of moot since there are so few histo schools
> around
> > (I think 24 in all the US at last count). In meeting hundreds of
> histotechs
> > over the years, only a handfull went through a histo program. The vast
> > majority are on-the-job trained. Granting that the ideal tech is
> > specifically trained, I feel the real issue is that people are
> unaware the
> > field even exists. That is a failing of pathologists and lab
> managers, in
> my
> > opinion, who have ignored their duty to get people interested in the
> field.
> > Are histotechs really supposed to feel a responsibility to go out and
> > recruit their replacement, even in light of any feeling loyalty they may
> > feel to the profession?
> >
> > BTW, the Atlanta Journal Constitution has a sunday feature called Why I
> Love
> > My Job. Beside the main story they put a side panel Called "hot
> jobs". Two
> > weeks ago they highlighted histotechnology, and did a good job of it.
> >
> > some are taking the bull by the horns and opening new schools.
> There is a
> > new one at Dalton College in Albany Georgia, and a new one
> opened a couple
> > years ago in Califorina (mt san antonio college).
> unfortunately, one also
> > closed in seattle, leaving the entire west coast with only one histo
> school
> > - still.
> >
> > Hmmm, maybe THAT is the new career path!
> >
> > Tim Morken
> > Atlanta
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Bartlett, Jeanine
> > Sent: Monday, October 21, 2002 11:56 AM
> > To: 'Dawson, Glen'; Morken, Tim;
> > Subject: RE: The future of Histotechs
> >
> >
> > Another issue is that the graduates that do come into the field
> usually do
> > not then attend a school of histotechnology.  So you have educated
> > individuals being "trained on the job".  And we all know that
> learning as
> > you go is not the same as a structured 12-24 month program with the
> > concentration that you receive in an accredited program.  But how many
> > college graduates want to take on the additional training at the salary
> that
> > is usually offered?  So we have that "anybody walking in can be
> trained to
> > do this job" mentality.  I know of individuals that have walked
> into a lab
> > with a degree but no histology laboratory experience at all and
> are hired
> at
> > a higher salary than those without the degree but with formal histology
> > training.  That does not help the perception of our chosen field.
> >
> > Jeanine Bartlett, HT(ASCP)
> > Centers for Disease Control
> > Infectious Disease Pathology Activity
> > 1600 Clifton Rd., N.E.  MS-G32
> > Atlanta, GA  30333
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Dawson, Glen []
> > Sent: Monday, October 21, 2002 11:30 AM
> > To: Morken, Tim;
> > Subject: RE: The future of Histotechs
> >
> >
> > I hope you are right Tim.  There is a huge resource that histology could
> tap
> > into; college graduates with a bachelor's degree in Biology since many
> > finish school and cannot find a job that they are qualified for.  The
> > problem is that it is difficult approaching these graduates with a
> > histotech's salary without apologizing for the low figure.  These folks
> > would be great additions to the histology lab but, as of now,
> the rewards
> of
> > histology aren't good enough to entice them in.
> > I fear that the field is so low on the perceived "importance totem pole"
> > that the crisis will be MAJOR before lab management truly addresses the
> > problem.  I have an interesting take on the histology situation from one
> >, a lab manager who's views on the field were so low, I
> > can't post them to this listserver for fear he may never receive a
> Christmas
> > card from any of us again.  Until the perception of histology
> as a second
> > rate lab service is shaken, I fear that changes will be too
> slow to avert
> a
> > crisis.
> >
> > Glen Dawson.
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Morken, Tim []
> > Sent: Monday, October 21, 2002 9:50 AM
> > To:
> > Subject: RE: The future of Histotechs
> >
> >
> > Although I'm sure a lot of histotechs will retire in the next
> 10-15 years,
> I
> > don't believe it will be in the 50 - 70 percent range. One
> reason is that
> as
> > the shortage becomes worse, the pay goes up and labs will
> accomadate older
> > techs with incentives to keep them working longer - even as part timers.
> > I've already seen ads for partimers with full benefits. And per
> diem work
> > may beome common place. So, more realistically it may be more in the 30
> > percent range, which is still bad!
> >
> > One bit of practical experience with this, from another field. My mother
> is
> > a retired teacher who has been working about 75 percent of the
> time since
> > she retired. The benefit to her is she gets to pick her assignment, is
> given
> > full benefits and doesn't worry about all the extra stuff
> teachers have to
> > do these days. i thing something similar will happen with histotechs.
> >
> > Tim Morken
> > Atlanta
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: kevin williams []
> > Sent: Sunday, October 20, 2002 9:48 AM
> > To:
> > Subject: The future of Histotechs
> >
> >
> >
> > At a one of the meetings at the ASCP in California there was an
> interesting
> > observation. I understand that in the next 5- 10 years between 50-70% of
> > histologists are going to retire.
> > Can anyone tell me if there is definative research and where to get my
> hands
> >
> > on it.
> > Thanks in advance
> > A. Kevin Williams
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > _________________________________________________________________
> > Surf the Web without missing calls! Get MSN Broadband.
> >
> >
> >

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