[Histonet] Temporary Histo Position at SDSU-my comments

Barbara Stancel stancelb <@t> msn.com
Sun Dec 7 07:45:22 CST 2003

Dear SDSU Histo,

I feel so for you and your plight to obtain pretrained histology help for a 
veterinary histology position, temporary or full time. Working in a 
university setting can be tough. Pay is crappy. Days can be long. And even 
though the description may say "histology position" they usually tack on " 
and other duties as assigned" which may include necropy duty and in some 
research areas, the heart wrenching job of helping with euthanasia. The 
perks may include good health/dental insurance, set hours, no weekend work, 
an avenue of new experiences, and possibly the opportunity to work with 
graduate students and veterinary professors. Some of them are wonderful and 
others wear their multitude of degrees as body armour. It provides them 
protection from the backlash of punishments of poor or misguided decisions.

For the most part my experiences (in the trenches of the lowest paid 
position in the Pathology/Parasitology department in a university setting) 
were positive. I was fortunate to work with researchers who appreciated my 
work and were not above asking for my input on research projects.  But in 
the 1970's and 80's, the general montra was "The pay is bad, but we can't do 
anything about that. Besides, we can always find a student's spouse who will 
be glad to get the money." And usually they were right.

I agree with all those who have condemned the pay per hour. It is bad. But 
when the personnel and admistration say that is all they will 
pay......that's it. It was embarrassing to advertise my low paying 
positions, but what choices did I have.

It can be disheartening to send a temp job notice to the HISTONET and then 
get "blasted" for advertising a pay scale you have no control over, but 
desparately need the help. Hopefully you can print out the many negative 
responses for your supervisor. Maybe even talk to local establishments and 
find out their pay scales for employees. Comparing to the local hospitals 
may not be beneficial since most vet universities refuse to be compared to 
human workers.  Or how about contacting some of the temp agencies for lab 
personnel. See how much it would cost to hire a temp through an agency. Take 
this information to your supervisor or personnel department.

I will be retiring in a few years. I will probably continue to stay involved 
in some way with lab work. At that time, I may even be tempted to travel and 
take temporary positions for the sake of seeing different areas of the 
country.......but not South Dakota in the winter!!!!

Best of Luck,

Histologically yours,  Barbara
in Athens, Georgia (Where our coldest days are in the 20's. Snow-days are 
may count in twos and threes per year, AND they call off schools and work!! 
I can't drive in it. I don't own snow tires. Tire chains tear up our roads. 
And I want to stay at home a day and enjoy the beauty of snow, even when it 
comes with ice and sleet and downed power lines.)

LABORATORY TECHNICIAN - VETERINARY SCIENCE - This is a full-time, temporary 
position to last approximately three (3) months.

Salary Range N11:  $9.39 per hour

POSITION PURPOSE:  To prepare histology and immunohistochemistry slides for 
pathologic examination by faculty and to assist with general laboratory 
maintenance such as filing microscope slides and blocks, cleaning equipment 
and loading the tissue processor or automated stainers.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES:  Knowledge of methods, materials, equipment 
and techniques of laboratory testing, analysis and media preparation;  basic 
principles, practices, and procedures of laboratory testing laboratory 
equipment, procedures, operation, and terminology; and safe laboratory 

Skill and ability to perform basic microtome;  prioritize work; follow 
detailed directions and nstructions; use and maintain laboratory equipment;  
  perform laboratory tests or analysis;accurately record data onto computer; 
and lift up to 50 lbs.

Cell phone ‘switch’ rules are taking effect — find out more here. 

More information about the Histonet mailing list