[Histonet] New ASCP Classification and You

From:"Stephen Peters M.D."

I think this is a step backwards for this field. By approving of such a category they are
 sending the message this job is so easy you can just take anyone off the street give them
 a few lessons and out will pop your insitu hybridization. Your payscale will go backwards. 
I cannot imagine how anyone can understand what they are doing in this rather complex
 field without a basic knowledge of the scientific and technical principals you are  using 
every day. Between the myriad of histochemical stains you need to know, you have now 
added immunohistochemistry and  molecular techniques. These are very 
sophisticated scientific procedures. Think about the minutia of details and experience as
 well as technical information about your microtomes that is required just to get a nice 
clean unshattered ribbon of a GI biopsy. Sure, you can show someone the
 technical maneuvers in your free time but they will not reach nearly the same level 
of quality without a knowledge of the principals.  As the guy reading the slides I would 
rather see your field require formal education and certification at all levels. I have no 
problem with OJ T's performing clerk duties, filing and such, but it is a bit scary to think 
of letting one of these loose on my biopsies or cover immunos becase every one is on vacation. 
My suggestion for these HA's is to designate an approved set of duties, much like doctors 
are given privileges for certain procedures and not others when we join a staff. Have 
them register with NSH as HA's in training. Make them complete classes and 
pass certification exams on a curriculum which is appropriate for their duties in a given
time period. At least it would be like taking a correspondence course.

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