Re: under appreciated histotechs

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From:Don Hammer <> (by way of histonet)
Date:Mon, 31 Jan 2000 22:47:07 -0500
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Freida and Histonetters,

OOOOP's,  Sorry for putting out the wrong info.  Phasing out the route of
High School and 2 years experience goes a long way towards it tho because
that is the usual method of OJT.  Thanks for clarifying my mail.

I missed seeing you too Freida, everyone else, the NE  Foliage and getting
my Histonet Button in person.  *warm smile*  I guess I should try to clarify
why I missed it cause I sure have gotten alot of mail and phone calls.
Isn't it interesting how things can get misinterpreted.  Some thought I was
on my death bed.   NEVER!  *grin*

I was planning on attending, but waited until less than a month before to
make Hotel Reservations.  Unlike alot of people who weren't able to make
them either, I did get one at the Westin after the NSH blocked rooms were
filled, but at a rate of $250.00 plus tax.  I decided later to skip the
planned trip which was to include a week touring the NE to see the leaves.
Thought for that amount of money, I could do Europe!  :)  The reason I was
so late and lazy about putting the plans together was that I had no energy
to plan due, to taking Beta Blockers (lower blood pressure pills), blood
thinner pills, drinking decafe, and trying to quit smoking.  Man, for 3
weeks, even my mind didn't work. :)

Just before retiring, I had a check-up, ya know, the one they say to have
before starting an exercise program to make yourself 20 somethin' again.
*grin*   Well, I mentioned having discomfort in my chest after exertion for
the past 3 years or so.  I had put it off as being old, a smoker, and
heartburn.  Well, this led to an Angiogram which told us I had a MI at
sometime and didn't know it.  (25% of heart attacks occur with out the
knowledge of the person)  So, that led to Nuclear Medicine tests to
determine if it was worthwhile ballooning or inserting stents in the right
coronary which was 95% occluded and perhaps fragile.  Ya know the
drill....don't spend HMO  money repairing something if there isn't much
viable myocardium to warrant the expense.

Well, there seemed to be some hibernating muscle that may perk up with a
good blood supply.  So we went ahead.   The Cardiologist told me at the
beginning of the procedure he would balloon and see how that went and then
perhaps put a stent or 2 in based on the results.  As I laid there, I heard
him say, after the 1st stent,  "Wonderful, Looks fine"   A little while
later he said something like,  "Great, it's looking Great" as they completed
the 2nd stent.  I responded with "Good news, how much longer will this be
until I can eat something"  I was dying for a greasy burger!  Fifteen or so
minutes later, and now at the time the Nurse expected me back in the room
and the clock said I was in the procedure room about what the normal time
would be, he exclaimed, "This is fantastic, your doing so well, beautiful,
we just put in the 3rd"  Well, I was beginning to feel like a piece of meat
on the Pathologist's Cutting Board, ya know how they describe specimens!

An hour later and my stomach growling, he told me they were finished and had
put in 5 stents in that ole tired worn out coronary.  Feeling already 20
something, I said "Cool", "Thank You", can I go to my room?  They gave me
pictures of before and after; before looking like a pencil line and after
looking like a garden hose!  Damn!,  I thought........I will be able to put
off Viagra for another 30 years!  *Lascivious Look*

Needless to say, I returned to my room to lay completely still on my back
for 6 long hours to let the incision heal so I wouldn't bleed to death, and
savored a wonderful low salt meal, which, in my vivid imagination tasted,
exactly like a greasy burger!  Ummmmmmm  :)

These past 2 days were spent with Nuclear Medicine tests again to determine
if any hibernating muscle has peaked out like ole bears in Spring.   It's
expensive testing and I can tell them without it that I feel terrific, but
you all know the drill of having to document everything!  I did that stress
test on the tread mill like a trooper, had no Angina, but my legs got tired
cause I've been sitting around, as all retirees do, instead of running the
damn halls at work all day trying to keep ahead of the next subject to deal
with. :)

During this time, there was also a couple of bouts with Kidney Stones.
Their gone and those vessels are clean as a whistle too.  I've spent alot of
time in Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Clinics in the past couple of
months, and I'm here to tell you, the technology is absolutely fantastic!
I had been so centered in Pathology, and always wondered what they did in
Nuclear Medicine which was just around the corner, but never took the time
to see, but now know first hand.  Take time to go "walk in the shoes of your
colleagues"  Medicine is a great place to be, even if ya  have to deal with
CPT codes, Audits, Inspections, disgruntled employees, overwork,  and the
like.  *evil grin*

The University of Washington Medical Center is in the listing of the top 10
Medical Centers.  I was very fortunate to have worked and been a patient
there.  The staff, from the people on desks in departments and clinics, to
the Nurses, to the Drs. to all the people behind the scenes, such as;
housekeeping, materials management, administration, billing, budget office,
personnel, and of course, the cafeteria where you can get a semi-greasy
burger, are all fantastic!

So, my friends in the National Society for Histotechnology and on the
Histonet, I will see you in Wisconsin next year, but you won't recognize me!

Don Hammer
(Retired person, 20 somethin', and proud to have been an OJT

----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: <>; <>
Sent: Friday, October 29, 1999 9:16 PM
Subject: Re: under appreciated histotechs

> Before everyone gets up in the air - let me clarify that WE DID NOT PHASE
> THE OJT ROUTE - we phased out the high school and two years of experience
> route.  You can still take the certifying exam with and associate degree
> one year of experience (i.e. OJT).  The difference is that you will have
> have an associate degree with courses in math, chemistry and biology after
> 2005 to qualify for the exam, and only a high school education will no
> be accepted (unless coming through a NAACLS accredited program that
> students with only a high school and that does not grant a degree at the
> of the program).  56% of the programs take only students with an associate
> degree or grant one on completion of the program.
> So my advice to all of you is to please take individuals with a degree
> you must do on the job training.  There are lots of biology degreed people
> out there that cannot find a meaningful job.  They make great histotechs.
> Freida Carson
> P.S. Don, we missed you at the S/C.  Was a great one as usual.

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