RE: The future of Histotechs

From:"Martin, Ronald"

You have some good comments. I have been in the histology field for 13 years
and would not mind teaching the technical aspect of histology. However as
you mentioned there are not that many programs available. When I first
started in this field I was out of college with a few years of lab
experience. I had to learn the technical aspect of histology on the job and
apply my academics where ever I could. I also started with a very low salary
but the experience was worth it in the long run. I know that my former
college now has a class in histology and a second class that teaches the
technical aspects of histotechniques (embedding and sectioning etc). This is
not a histology program but it does introduce the students to different
science backgrounds. Hopefully when they graduate some of them will take an
interest  in the  histology profession.

Ron Martin, B.Sc., HTL (ASCP) HT
Research Associate

		-----Original Message-----
		From:	Morken, Tim []
		Sent:	Monday, October 21, 2002 12:31 PM
		To:	''
		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

		-----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
		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

		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

		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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