Fw: [Histonet] ASCP Exam Long opinion

jnocito <@t> satx.rr.com jnocito <@t> satx.rr.com
Thu Feb 1 12:37:12 CST 2007

I envy people like you and Barry. Getting funds to attend a state 
and/or national meeting is like cutting undecalified femur. However, I 
do get all the coffee I can drink

----- Original Message -----
From: Ian Montgomery <ian.montgomery <@t> bio.gla.ac.uk>
Date: Thursday, February 1, 2007 11:54 am
Subject: Fw: [Histonet] ASCP Exam Long opinion
To: Histonet <histonet <@t> pathology.swmed.edu>

> Joe,
>        I'm with Barry on this, training and good training is 
> essential. I
> came through the UK university system and like Barry it was paid 
> day-release
> and evening classes spread over a number of years. Educationally 
> my path was
> clear, ONC, HNC, BSc and finally PhD, all paid for by my employer. 
> This was
> coupled with high quality on-job training in whatever discipline 
> you had
> chosen. Benefit for me, educated and highly trained. My employer, 
> a hard
> working and loyal employee of forty years.
> Ian.
> Dr. Ian Montgomery,
> Histotechnology,
> IBLS Support Services,
> Thomson Building,
> University of Glasgow,
> Tel:01413398855
> Extn: 8511.
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Rittman, Barry R" <Barry.R.Rittman <@t> uth.tmc.edu>
> To: <Histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu>
> Sent: Thursday, February 01, 2007 4:17 PM
> Subject: [Histonet] ASCP Exam Long opinion
> Joe
> You owe me big on this as I'm sure that it will take the flaming away
> from you.
> My personal opinion is that what is needed for the entire system 
> is a
> good enema!
> First I have a lot of sympathy and admiration for people who 
> prepare and
> mark examinations, after all I do this a lot and it is a thankless 
> task.
> However, the concept of having an examination without a practical
> component to certify individuals as competent is one of the most 
> stupidthings I have ever heard (bearing in mind that I am in my 
> late 60s and
> have worked in labs since 1957 that should give you some idea of how
> stupid I feel this is.)
> I also felt that being able to send microscope slides in for 
> evaluationand being able use automatic slide stainers for 
> preparation of such
> slides comes a close second.
> >From many comments I am assuming that what is behind this entire
> movement to dumb down the process is financial.
> This is the same mentality that is used in education nowadays.
> The question that is being asked seems to be what can we do with 
> what we
> have?  Put another way, how can we for example expand the work but use
> the same number of people?
> The question that should be asked is what resources do we need to get
> the job done most efficiently?
> I feel that most jobs can be most efficiently carried out with highly
> trained and happy individuals. The careers and well being of 
> individualsinvolved in the process appears in may labs to not be a 
> high priority.
> I was trained in England and so I feel that I perhaps have a broader
> view of the training that is carried out in the States and I have seen
> two retrograde steps.
> The first was to remove histology from the med lab tech 
> curriculum. The
> second was to have evaluation of histotechs under the jurisdiction of
> I think that ASCP does a great job in many ways, however this is 
> akin to
> having the fox in charge of the henhouse.
> In many ways I feel that this has directly or indirectly 
> contributed to
> the low salaries for many histotechs.
> I feel that what is required is a training and an examination system
> that is on a national level and that will maintain standards of
> excellence.
> I am not certain of the same system I trained under in England is 
> stillin operation but I felt that it was a system that benefited both
> employees and employers.
> If you were employed in any medically associated  laboratory it was
> mandatory for you to have one day and 1 evening of your own time for
> training at a nationally recognized facility.
> The employer paid for your day off and the main requirement was 
> that you
> maintained good grades. This training covered several disciplines e.g.
> histopathology, hematology and blood banking, histopathology,
> bacteriology, clinical chemistry etc. Training took three years. 
> At the
> end of three years you took a written examination over all topics 
> and if
> you passed this a practical examination. The practical 
> examinations were
> at local centers. You were in a lab where you were presented with 
> freshtissue, fluids, and supplies and a list of tasks to 
> accomplish in a
> morning. You multitasked - the order you carried out these tasks were
> entirely up to you.
> In the afternoon you had an oral examination from a panel of three
> people.
> If you passed all parts you were recognized as a qualified Med Lab 
> Tech.You could go into any lab in the country and would be 
> guaranteed a
> salary range and more importantly the laboratory you went to would 
> knowthat, regardless of the lab you had worked in,  that you had a 
> set of
> uniform  skills in the entire area. Everyone benefited from this.
> If you wished you could carry out advanced training in areas such as
> histopathology, bacteriology etc. this required a further two years.
> The net result of all this was that many labs has people at all levels
> of training who acted as mentors. There were clear cut career paths.
> I hope that the employers who survived a hear attack at the 
> prospect of
> implementing such a system see the underlying message.
> First you need to train people and not just in a limited area.
> Second that such training is often not available at the lab you are
> working in and this requires a standardized training and evaluation
> system.
> Lastly that a specific career path is established for employees 
> from day
> one with obligations form both the employer and the employee.
> While the federal government would totally screw up such a system 
> we do
> have an NSH that could set standards and allow each state to enforce
> such standards.
> Thank y'all who have read these ramblings.
> I promise you that I am not smoking anything.
> Barry
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