[Histonet] HT training

Della Speranza, Vinnie dellav <@t> musc.edu
Thu Feb 12 09:40:35 CST 2009

Thanks Kim for posting this information.
There seem to be misconceptions about how to qualify for the certification exam. I recommend that individuals call the ASCP Board of Registry if the information posted on line isn't clear or doesn't quite match up with their circumstances.

The only obstacles that keep individuals from getting certified are those they put in front of themselves. Sometimes achieving one's goals requires personal sacrifice.

Vinnie Della Speranza
Manager for Anatomic Pathology Services
Medical University of South Carolina
165 Ashley Avenue  Suite 309
Charleston, South Carolina 29425
Tel: (843) 792-6353
Fax: (843) 792-8974
-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu [mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of Kim Merriam
Sent: Thursday, February 12, 2009 8:21 AM
To: Histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu; Jennifer Anderson
Subject: Re: [Histonet] HT training

Hi Jennifer,
I am HT and QIHC certified and I received both certifications without working in a clinical lab (I did work in a hospital for about 3 months very early on in my career, but it was long before I took the HT exam).  I have been in the field for 22 years now, working in biotech, preclinical contract lab and big-pharma.  
Anyway, you should be able to qualify to take the exam if you work with a boarded DVM pathologist (DACVP), that is how I qualified to take both of them.
Good luck!

Kim Merriam, MA, HT(ASCP)QIHC
Cambridge, MA

--- On Wed, 2/11/09, Jennifer Anderson <janderson <@t> halozyme.com> wrote:

From: Jennifer Anderson <janderson <@t> halozyme.com>
Subject: [Histonet] HT training
To: Histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Date: Wednesday, February 11, 2009, 4:05 PM


I am enjoying this discussion on the pro's and con's and plusses and
minuses of certification.  I did not know that clinical labs allowed
uncertified techs to process human clinical samples - that seems like it
would be a huge liability issue.  It shouldn't be that way - isn't
everyone else in a hospital setting certified somehow? (nurses,

I am not certified, and I am in a biotech setting (pre-clinical R&D).
I've just started this position and I'm working with an HT certified
person in the lab.  We both can trim and gross and cut and process and
stain, and troubleshoot.  However, she's a professional HT and it shows.
She has a lot of clinical background.  She has an amazing wealth and
breadth of knowledge and skill, and knows what to look for during
quality control issues.  She doesn't have to take time to peruse the
internet or books to get an answer to a histology problem.  However if
you asked her to do an ELISA or a Western Blot she would probably need
some help, unlike myself.  I do hope to gain histology knowledge from
her, although it's proving to be difficult.

I am very interested in developing my skills and learning more about
pathology and the science of staining.  I would love to be HT certified,
but the HT here said I would need to train in a clinical setting for a
year, under an ASCP pathologist, which is not likely with the job that I
have and being a mom of two.  Would anyone know of a less rigorous
training program?  Something online?

Thanks a lot.
Jennifer Anderson

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-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
[mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of Pamela
Sent: Wednesday, February 11, 2009 10:16 AM
To: 'Martin, Gary'; Histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: RE: [Histonet] uncertified techs in Histology

I am sorry I seemed to have expanded this discussion.  I want to be
clear on
part of the record.  I was OJT trained in the 60's.  We had even fewer
schools and options then.  The person who trained me had been trained by
pathologist and the Ann Preece book in histology.  She knew what the
pathologists we worked with wanted and saw to it that was what they got

When I worked in other places later and continued my education I did
more about the chemistry and why it worked or failed.  I was in research
when I took my HT and was told if I used animal tissue I would fail as
one on the board back then was experienced with it.  I did not know if
was true so I quickly found a hospital where I could complete everything
human tissue I processed and stained.  The person running that lab
me (thank goodness) to process every piece of tissue and do every stain
manually.  We did not have automated stainers back then so I learned

So for those who think I am picking on them for OJT training it is not
I disapprove.  I believe histology is too important not to be considered
professional field that requires consistent training and education.
Many of
us old timers have fought hard for the education clause so we would have
people who were licensed and fully trained.  I did get my BS and more
education so I did get more on my own.

Pamela A Marcum
University of Pennsylvania 
School of Veterinary Medicine
Comparative Orthopedic Laboratory (CORL)
382 W Street Rd
Kennett Square PA 19438

-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
[mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of Martin,
Sent: Wednesday, February 11, 2009 12:27 PM
To: Histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: RE: [Histonet] uncertified techs in Histology

I am one of those "unregistered" techs.  I would respectfully hope
we are not considered the villains here.  My situation is; we are a
small lab in a rural area that has the need for 1 1/2 Histo Techs. We
were having a very difficult time attracting a 1/2 time "qualified
tech.", and had zero backup for our one and only full time "qualified
tech." I have a good back ground in detail work in the art world and a
good amount of experience as a pathology lab assistant. So it was easy
for me to transition into the role of "unregistered tech", thereby
providing back for our over work Histo tech.  I have been trained by my
Histo tech and have completed the Freida L. Carson self instruction
course under her supervision.  We are happy with the results and our
Pathologist are pleased.  At this point (7 years into teching) there are
some things that I have been innovative on some things, and our tech
prefers me to do other things. I would love to get certified but the
changes in OTJ have made that more of a mountain than I can climb at
this time. I would like to lend voice to us who are in this situation
and say the we take our duties very serious and I really don't look at
my job as getting over on rules or quality or providing cheap labor. In
our case it has been necessity. 
Thank you 

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