[Histonet] Legality of work

Lee & Peggy Wenk lpwenk <@t> sbcglobal.net
Sat Jun 14 06:45:08 CDT 2008

Sorry I didn't get in on this discussion earlier. Have been without
electricity since the weekend. I wanted to bring up a couple of other

1. NAACLS Requirements:
NAACLS is authorized by the US government to accredit POST-SECONDARY
laboratory programs, in other words, after high school. So first of all, to
be in a NAACLS program, the person has to have graduated from high school.
All the NAACLS programs that have on-line classes would have to have the
candidate to be a minimum of a high school graduate. So this 15 year old
students wouldn't meet this requirement.

Second, under the NAACLS requirement, anyone in a NAACLS program must have
had as minimum education, 1 class in each - biology, chemistry and math.
This could be in high school, or it could be in college. I doubt that a 15
year old would have had the chemistry requirement, at the very least.

2. NAACLS Programs Requirements:
After having said #1, each NAALCS program can set their own standard at or
higher than NAACLS standards. So a NAACLS HT program could require that the
one biology/chem/math courses be college level, or could say that the
biology class must be college anatomy and physiology. Or that the person
must have an associate degree. (Just to let you know, my program (not
on-line) requires an associate degree, anatomy, physiology, microbiology, 2
chemistry, and intermediate college algebra as minimum requirements.)

So, if anyone is interested in any of the HT on-line programs, the candidate
would have to meet not only the NAACLS minimum education requirements but
also the Program's minimum education requirements. This student would not.

3. NAACLS vs OJT routes of entry:
Just a reminder, in order to take the HT exam, this student either has to
complete a NAACLS HT program (which as of right now she can't get into
because of not having the high school diploma and not having all the
bio/chem/math classes), nor can she take the HT exam via the on-the-job
(OJT) route, as she does not have an associate degree with 12 credits of
biology and chemistry.

4. Appearance, Legally:
One last thing, which I may get blasted for. Yes, I love the idea of job
shadowing, and think it is great in terms of students working with already
diagnosed tissue that was going to be disposed of, to set up their own study
sets/portfolios. However, having a student work on real patient tissue that
is involved in the diagnosis - well, let's look at it from a lawyer's point
of view.

Let's say this 15 year old high school student makes a mistake - embeds a
skin wrong, cuts through the tissue, makes up a stain incorrectly. We've all
done it, I know, but what would the lawyer for the patient say to a jury
about this situation?

That is pathologist hired a underage high school student 
-(that according to the originator of this chain) it is illegal for a 15
year old to be in a lab working with chemical and BBP. 
- This student is not eligible to get into a NAACLS HT program - not a high
school graduate (or higher) and without the correct bio/chem/math
- This student is not eligible to take the ASCP registry exam via the OJT
route - no associate degree with 12 credits of bio/chem

This lawyer is going to tell the jury that this lab hired a student
illegally and who could not meet the national standards for training or
taking a national certification exam. And that the lab and director did this
knowingly. (after all, the regulations and standards are available, and
trust me, a lawyer would google this).

So what do you think a jury would do? What would their verdict be? Would it
go for or against the lab and the director? Remember, this is the JURY'S
PERCEPTION (not what we as histotechs think/know). Personally, I think the
verdict would go against the lab and director, and let's hike up the amount
of money the director/lab has to pay the patient and their family.

So I might recommend that anyone involved in a situation like this -
purchase malpractice insurance - techs included.

Peggy A. Wenk, HTL(ASCP)SLS
Schools of Histotechnology (which is NAACLS accredited - my disclaimer)
William Beaumont Hospital
Royal Oak, MI 48073

-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
[mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of Karla
Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 2008 7:38 PM
To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: [Histonet] Legality of work

I have roughly 2 dilemmas.  The first is of a legal matter.  The Pathologist
for a week has had his daughter (15 years old), helping me out in the
histology lab.  He wants her to get training from me, then do the on-line HT
program.  She has handled chemicals and reagents.  I am very uncomfortable
with this.  I have called the Child Labor Laws department for our state and
it is illegal for a 15 year to be in a laboratory. Needless to say working
with blood borne pathogens.  My most concern is the following.  As her
"teacher", can I or other co-workers can be held accountable if this is
illegal and is found out? This pathologist mind you is the owner of the
business. I am afraid if I say something, I will get fired. Where do I go
from here or if there is someone who has a similar circumstance happen to
The other scenario is that this same Pathologist has called a tech a
slandering name, twice.  There is no "upper management" to go to since he is
the owner of the business. I was wondering if this is considered harassment
and can this be used to nullify a contract signed by both parties for
freckles9660 <@t> yahoo.com

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