RE: The future of Histotechs

From:"Bartlett, Jeanine"

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

Glen Dawson.

-----Original Message-----
From: Morken, Tim []
Sent: Monday, October 21, 2002 9:50 AM
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

-----Original Message-----
From: kevin williams []
Sent: Sunday, October 20, 2002 9:48 AM
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

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