[Histonet] RE: uncertified techs

Joanne Clark jclark <@t> pcnm.com
Wed Feb 11 16:40:15 CST 2009

Hello all, I have a different perspective on this as I was trained in
another country, one where histology is recognized as part of medical
technology and every bit equal to those certified to practice
hematology, chemistry, microbiology and blood bank.  I do believe that
certification is necessary in all states, but in saying that the
training courses available would need to be not only increased, but
improved as well to include not only didactic, but clinical training as
well.  Many uncertified techs take on-line programs to get the theory
and can than practice it where they are working.  

And yes, just having a certification does make you good at your work,
but that is true in every profession out there.  With the training
programs out there, the problem is not with the people so much but in my
estimation with the training programs themselves.  Theory is useless if
you don't know how to apply it, and how can you if you have no practical

My frustrations with untrained, uncertified people since working in the
US, is that it takes a huge amount of time and energy (that no one has
time for anymore) and even after a few months training the new trainee
may decide that this is not the career for them and move on.  Sometimes,
you discover that they just don't have what it takes and than you have
to start all over again.  It can take years before you have a really
good uncertified HT that can work with minimal supervision.  Not
everyone is lucky enough to find someone with an appropriate background
that makes them ideal for histology work.    

My dream is to have a training program that will include clinical site
training, not just theory that is standardized so that the public can be
certain that everyone practicing on their tissue has met the
requirements necessary by the certifying board, in this case ASCP to be
able to perform their job competently.  With this type of program, a
person will know before they ever get out in the workforce whether
histology is for them or not and OJT will only need to be enough to
familiarize them with your labs procedures and protocols.  Multitasking,
troubleshooting and critical thinking are skills that some are never
able to master and take others years of work experience to master, but
it can be done.

In today's economy those of us who do have certification and skills are
going to be overwhelmed with the aspect of training as our workforce in
histology continues to retire with no trained HT's to replace them, and
with labs and hospitals not wanting to or unable to spend the money on
agency's to fill the positions.  We will bear the brunt of
responsibility for the work that they produce.  


Joanne Clark, HT(ASCP), MLT(CSMLS)

Histology Supervisor

Pathology Consultants of New Mexico

Roswell, NM

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