[Histonet] Temporary Histo Position at SDSU-my comments

Patsy Ruegg pruegg <@t> colobio.com
Mon Dec 8 18:22:25 CST 2003

I always said "I am not in it for the money".  I love my work in histology
and could have been wealthier doing something else.  I may not be dollar
rich but I have been blessed with richness by feeling like what I do makes a
difference in the world.  I sit here today with big snow coming down
outside, (I should have left hours ago to get home safe and secure) yet I
stay to finish some IHC because I know this will make a difference in this
patients life.  In 1976 I started working at the U of Colorado as a
registered HT for $600. a month being happy to have the learning and giving
Best regards,
-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-admin <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
[mailto:histonet-admin <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu]On Behalf Of Barbara Stancel
Sent: Sunday, December 07, 2003 6:45 AM
To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: [Histonet] Temporary Histo Position at SDSU-my comments

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.)

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.

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