Re: Florida HT/HTL licensing catch-22

From:Sharron Ladd

Ms. Rivera,
Thank you for your prompt and helpful reply.
I have spoken with Ms. Rivera at length. I wanted to post this message just in
case I have scared away every histotech who ever thought about moving to
Florida. It seems that the Department of  Health is in transition and has been
the victim of enormous budget cuts etc. The rules for getting a histotech
license in Florida have recently changed. The DOH web-site and many DOH
employees have the wrong information, forms and applications and the department
doesn't have the money to get the right info out there.
A HT (ASCP) can apply directly for a Florida licence, however, it might be
exceedingly difficult to find the right form and even more difficult to figure
out who to send it to!
Alas, I am going to have to write yet another letter to Governor Jeb Bush!

"Rivera, Maria L. (Tallahassee)" wrote:

> Let me tickle you a bit.
> As you can see from my e-mail address I work for the State of Florida,
> Department of Health, DOH, and Legal Department and am a Histotech, licensed
> with the State.
> I don't know who you have been talking to but the information you stated is
> not correct and since I am the only "Histotech" with The Agency for Health
> Care Administration , that I am aware of, and most calls regarding Histology
> (LABS, LICENSINGS,  OSHA,  etc...) and DOH usually come directly to me, I
> know that you did not talk to me. (I am also a lurker here)
> Correct information herein is:
> 1.  If you are licensed ASCP, that license is accepted by endorsement in
> the State of Florida and you will get a Florida License WITHOUT taking the
> 2. If you have a degree in ANY science and have experience, you may sit for
> the exam and be licensed in the State of Florida.
> 3. The HIV/AIDS CEU is required and ALL hospitals offer this course FREE of
> 4. You do not have to ATTEND a Florida school only a FLORIDA APPROVED
> school. Most of the techs here work as an intern, received a stipend in lieu
> of pay and ATTEND a correspondence school.
> 5. If you have 4-5 years experience you may sit for the EXAM in lieu of a
> degree.
> 6. Florida is very harsh but I have yet to PROSECUTE a Histotech for
> anything.
> 7. You want to work here, then pay your dues just like everyone else has to.
> 8. If you don't have a license in another state or certified ASCP then YOU
> ARE NOT "thoroughly trained to do"  ANYTHING.
> 9. Working with ANIMAL tissue is not the same as HUMAN tissue.
> 10. As you can see RV's are not the only things you have to worry about.
> If you want the correct information, feel free to contact me.  Not only will
> I give out the correct information but can also guide you though the
> requirements needed to obtain a license.
> Whew!
>  -----Original Message-----
> From:   Sharron Ladd []
> Sent:   Thursday, September 27, 2001 12:17 PM
> To:
> Subject:        Florida HT/HTL licensing catch-22
>  << File: Card for Sharron Ladd >> Please read the following. Your comments
> and suggestions would be
> greatly appreciated!
> 1. I want to work as a HT/HTL in the State of Florida.
> 2. I have a BS degree in biology and 1 year experience working at a
> university, in the faculty of medicine working with ANIMAL tissue
> (processing, sectioning, staining etc.) which I don't need any special
> licenses or ASCP accreditation to do.
> 3. Because of #2, I qualify to take both the HT and HTL exams offered by
> the ASCP BOR and can sign up to do that immediately.
> 4. Supposing I take and pass the ASCP exam for becoming a HT, I still
> need a license to work in Florida.
> 5. The Florida Department of Health states that the
> qualifications for Histology technician licensing are as follows:
> " For the category of histology, applicants must have 4 hours board
> approved HIV/AIDS continuing education and board certification gained by
> examination in histology through the Board of Registry of the American
> Society of Clinical Pathologists certification program at the
> Histotechnician (HT) level with a minimum of a high school diploma or
> TRAINING PROGRAM (or FOUR years experience plus certification)."
> 6. If you follow me thus far, here is the catch 22. I must move to
> another state to get 4 years of experience (obviously I can't get the
> experience here without a license), OR I have to quit my job and sign up
> for the training program. There are only 2 places in Florida that offer
> the approved training program, Dianon Systems Inc. and Suncoast
> Pathology and these training programs are 1 year long.
> 7. If you are still with me, you might be saying to yourself "oh well,
> that's the price you have to pay..." However, imagine you are a HT in
> another state and you have worked for 3 years as a HT. You want to move
> to Florida. You could not get a licence here unless you took the
> training program. How ridiculous....who is going to take a training
> program for something they have already been thoroughly trained to do?!?
> Firstly, this could be why I see postings on histonet asking why there
> are so many job openings in Florida.
> Secondly, this is a major deterrant for people with degrees wanting to
> become HT/HTLs. I have already taken 5 years of university in the
> biological sciences as well as some Master's degree courses in advanced
> molecular techniques. I really like histology but I not interested in
> taking a 1 year technician program that I could have taken when I
> finished high school.
> Thirdly, will this lead to further shortages of HT/HTLs with degrees in
> the work force?

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