Fw: Board of registry

From:"marvin hanna" <mhanna@histosearch.com>

-----Original Message-----
From: Shirley Powell <powell_sa@Mercer.EDU>
To: Morken, Tim <tim9@cdc.gov>
Cc: 'Mary Bryhan' <maryb@freeway.net>; Histonet
<histonet@pathology.swmed.edu>; klarson@northernhealth.org
Date: Monday, September 11, 2000 11:00 PM
Subject: Re: Board of registry

>Well put Tim.  From a personal point of view, I am an OJT trained/self
>histotechnologist.  I began before most on the netters were born, took the
>and then HTL when first offered, then went on to take the QIHC.  We will
>discuss the salaries, the best description of them is pitiful.  Although I
>almost completed 4 years of college, most of it has been piecemeal, over
>years.  I feel very fortunate to have been able to keep up with the
>certifications to date.  But the education needed to pass these exams was
>extracted.  I wish daily that I had finished college before getting into
>histology.  Because of the new sophisticated technologies coming forth, I
>terribly inadequate.  I panic when to think of what I should already know
>opposed to what I actually have retained.  Paranoia is my strongest suit at
>In the early years helping with founding the state societies and fighting
>state licensure for the profession of  histotechnology, it felt like we
>(histologists) were the red headed stepchildren (if this offends please
>me, it is only to relate the helplessness of the situation) being
>against because of our lack of formal education.  It took us a long time to
>recognition and now that we have made progress, it is not the time to turn
>around and go back to the basement.  A college education is more readily
>accessible and affordable today with all the grants/financial aide, than
when I
>started histology.  Anyone can go to college with little or no financial
>resources, if they want to.
>Professionalism is the key attitude for success.  I agree with Tim,
>can only help, not hurt.  I applaud the NSH for being instrumental in
>our professional standards, but we still have room for improvements.  To
>appreciate what you have now, look into the past, learn from it, and work
for a
>better future.  Do not move backwards.
>Shirley Powell
>> Tim wrote:
>> This has come up several times before but I, for one, don't mind
>> it again because there is so much misunderstanding about the real
>> In the US it is most common for histotechs to be on-the-job trained. You
>> one of the lucky ones who had formal training. I had formal training in
>> electron microscopy, and got an associates degree in that field, but I
>> learned histotechnology on the job, as did all the people I originally
>> worked with and learned from, and most of the people I have ever worked
>> with, so I know all about that.
>> The field of histotechnology has grown tremendously just since I started
>> 1982. That was just as immunos were entering the hospital labs. Before
>> the most that was ever done was special stains, and most of those had
>> in use, almost unchanged, for many, many decades. A high school graduate,
>> even someone off the street (as was one fellow in our hospital lab) could
>> learn the basics in a few years and work for decades with virtually no
>> changes in their technique, or even learning anything new!
>> These days a high school grad may still learn to section and do specials,
>> and even do the motions of immunos and ISH, but they will have a very
>> time understanding what they are doing, and their advancement potential
>> be non-existant (usnless they go back to school).
>> A large problem with on-the-job training is that you only learn what is
>> available at that job, and then only what is absolutely necessary to get
>> work done. It is the rare employee that will go out of their way to learn
>> things that are "outside the box" , to use current lingo, and so set
>> themselves up for the future. Formal education is much broader in scope
>> prepares you for many eventualities.
>> I believe an associates degree is the MINUMUM that is necessary to do a
>> decent job in the histo lab these days. A bachelors is preferable due to
>> greater depth of theory you will be exposed to. I agree that almost
>> can do the motions of the work we do, and much of the sectioning work is
>> truely a craft, but hands-on job experience only goes so far in preparing
>> you to deal with the plethora of new technologies and methodologies
>> down the pipe. If anyone thought immunos were a tough thing to understand
>> and figure out you ain't seen nothing yet! A high-school education will
>> woefully inadequate for the future!
>> As to the shortage of histotechs, I believe that taking the profession to
>> higher level will actually attract more people. How many college grads
>> enter a field that does not require any college at all? It is a waste of
>> effort for them because they will not be paid college-level wages, but
>> rather will be offered high-school level wages. Requiring college level
>> education will advance wages and attract more people.
>> I think that putting the histotech courses into medical technology
>> as is done in other countries, would cause some med tech graduates to
>> histotechnology. I base this on my experience as a med tech instructor in
>> Saudi Arabia where histotechnology is part of the med tech curriculum and
>> all med techs do a rotation in all lab departments before choosing a
>> "specialization." There, some med tech chose histotechnology because they
>> were put off by running all the automation in the clinical labs (where
>> were just feeding tubes to machine all day) and enjoyed the hands-on work
>> and variety of the anatomic pathology lab.
>> While in Saudi Arabia I also worked with many histotechs from many other
>> countries, all of which were med techs with a histotechnology
>> specialization. To a person they were much more knowledgeable than any of
>> the US techs I hired (and that includes me!). They did not try to avoid
>> routine aspects of the job, as is often cited as a reason not to require
>> degrees, and were able to adapt to all new technologies very quickly.
>> As to increased costs, I believe that education and training pays for
>> in added effectiveness, efficiency and potential.
>> In summary, requirements for more education can only help and will never
>> hinder our profession.
>> Tim Morken, BA, EMT(MSA), HTL(ASCP)
>> Infectious Disease Pathology Activity
>> Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
>> Ms-G32
>> 1600 Clifton Road
>> Atlanta, GA 30333
>> USA
>> PH: 404-639-3964
>> FAX: 404-639-3043
>> email: tim9@cdc.gov
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Mary Bryhan [mailto:maryb@freeway.net]
>> Sent: Thursday, September 07, 2000 8:52 PM
>> To: Histonet; klarson@northernhealth.org
>> Subject: Board of registry
>> Today our lab operations manager showed me a page that had been printed
>> the NSH website.  This page reported that beginning in 2004, the BOR will
>> not permit applicants with only a High School diploma to take the HT
>> There will be requirements similar to those currently required for the
>> exam.
>> At the age of 14 I took a 3 week summer class for fun, which previewed
>> health careers, one each week.  As you can guess, I became interested in
>> histology.  Two years later when I was 16, I began my 2 year ASCP
>> HT training program.  Because of staffing shortages, I received my
>> my 1st job offer in histology before I even graduated.  I took my boards
>> soon as I was eligible, back when the board only offered the exam twice
>> year.  I passed on the first try and got a pay increase of a quarter,
>> put my wage at $4.25 / hour.
>> During the last 21 years I have worked with a wide variety of people who
>> call themselves  histo techs.  I must say that the majority of techs I
>> worked with that were good at the meat and potatoes of regular histology
>> techniques were high school graduates.
>> There is a current staffing shortage in histology; does it make sense to
>> further it by adding these restrictions?  Also, what will the added costs
>> to an already over burdened medical system as we have in the US?
>> Mary Bryhan
>> Petoskey,  Michigan

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