[Histonet] My experiences with HT vacancies

Orr, Rebecca ROrr <@t> enh.org
Fri Sep 14 07:59:50 CDT 2007

Cripes I wrote a BOOK! I don't have enough to do today.
Actually I do, I'm just avoiding it.
So if anyone is really interested enough to read this through, and
there's anything I can do to help, just email me.

Our experience with online training has been very good.
First of all I attended one of Peggy Wenk's seminars on starting your
own training program, it was very informative and Peggy was very helpful
in the follow up with my questions and issues. THANKS PEGGY!!!!

We had to get NCCLS accreditation so that we could affiliate with the
college that was offering the online classes.  We already had a set up
in place, since our laboratory also has MT training school.  We worked
closely with the  Harford College to attain this.

We had our HR change some job descriptions around so that we had some
"flex" positions.  So if we had openings and we had a qualified tech to
fill it, they could be hired as such.  We were able to flex two
positions so that if there wasn't a tech available we could fill it with
a student.  When this occurred we designated these positions as
Histology Trainee.  These students were hired as full time staff and
their tuition was paid via our tuition re-imbursement program. (We get
up to 5k/year here).  We were able to arrange that the students sign a
commitment of 2 years after they finished the online course.  They were
expected to pass the HT exam within a period of time (I can't remember
what we decided).  IF they chose to leave employment before the 2 years,
all they had to do was refund their tuition.  

It has been a great experience for our lab and rejuvenated our morale.
We have two bright kids who transferred over from clerical positions.
One of them had to take a couple of night school classes to fulfill the
requirements for the college, but we couldn't be more pleased with the
results.  We have a staff of more senior (ok ok OLD! Me included) who
have a ton of experience we're just waiting to share with these
students. I think for my staff, they have a great sense of satisfaction
and I have been quite surprised at their ability to teach, something
they haven't had a chance to do.  I am very glad the staff here has a
commitment to this as well...I think you need their "buy in" in order
for these students to get the best training.

I do monitor their progress and review all their assignments.  They
complete modules and I check it over and then add my additional
questions for the students.  I am working on a more formal Syllabus for
us to use and am learning as the students and I progress.  They are
learning how to be histo techs and I'm learning how to teach them.   
For example, they had an assignment about the different kinds of
microscopes.  I asked additional questions around the use of the
microscopes, what type of special stains required a fluorescent scope,
what's the difference between resolution and magnification, what is
refractive index, plastic tape versus glass coverslip...and I had them
identify the parts of the 'scope...I ended up with about 30- 50 more in
depth questions to complement their training.  We have a fluorescent
scope, dissecting scope,etc, and an ancient GIANT  EM scope...so we went
on a "field trip" to look at the scopes and use them....They have a
contact person at the college and they keep in touch with her on a
weekly basis.  They have assignments to finish on their own pace, but I
keep them on a steady schedule so they will finish everything in the 10
month period. We give them time during the day to do assignments, but
they do spend the greater part of their day working with the Tech's. 


Anatomic Pathology
Evanston Northwestern Healthcare

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