RE: The future of Histotechs

From:Ross Stapf

We have 3 biology graduates here that we are training.  God bless a bad economy.  There is some good in it.  I can make the entry level Histo Assistants positions require a bachelors degree in biology just to interview.  Previously it was hard to find someone with a pulse who would take the Histo assistant jobs here, the pay is almost better at Burger King and probably is better at Barnes and Nobles.  

The only problem is that I have had to try and find time to give them some structure to their education.  I'll take that problem over some of the personnel problems we have had in the past.  It is working out very well.  

One thing I have found is that it is very important to see a future for themselves in histology.  If not they will be easily frustrated.  I have set up a ladder of pay with an in house test for the first step toward being considered a histotech in house with a small pay raise.  Any further steps require them to pass their registry.  With a bachelor's degree in biology they are eligible to take the test in just one year.  My first will be eligible in Feb.

Ross Stapf
Washington Adventist Hospital

>>> Greg Dobbin  10/21/02 12:14PM >>>
Hi Glen,
If the biology grads can't find work, why can they not be enticed to 
work in histo for a moderate wage (at least until something better 
comes up)? "Beggars can't be choosers"!? A certain percentage 
of those would undoubtedly like the profession enough to stick with 
it (granted, perhaps not enough of them...), but the gap could be 
narrowed, in the interim at least! Otherwise, I agree with you and 
would go further to say that laboratory services in general have 
historically been undervalued.

Date sent:      	Mon, 21 Oct 2002 10:29:33 -0500
From:           	"Dawson, Glen" 
Subject:        	RE: The future of Histotechs
To:             	"Morken, Tim" , 

> 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
> _________________________________________________________________
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Greg Dobbin
Pathology Lab
Atlantic Veterinary College, U.P.E.I.
550 University Ave.
Charlottetown, P.E.I.
Canada,  C1A 4P3
Phone: (902)566-0744
Fax: (902)566-0851
"A farmer is a person outstanding in their field."

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