[Histonet] re: Certified Histotechs

Jennifer MacDonald JMacDonald <@t> mtsac.edu
Thu Feb 12 11:16:28 CST 2009

I would like too clarify the role of NAACLS in training histotechs for 
certification. There are a number of different NAACLS accredited programs 
in the US.  All of these programs meet the standards set by NAACLS or they 
do not remain accredited.  Providing on the job training (OJT) is NOT one 
of the requirements.  All of the programs have a practical component to 
them.  The hospital-based programs will provide the practical instruction 
as well as the didactic portion.  College based programs will provide the 
didactic portion and some also provide some practical portions and the 
student will be placed in a clinical affiliate work site for further 
practical training.  Other college based programs will place the students 
into internships for the practical training after they complete the 
didactic portion, or a variation of this.

One of the challenges that NAACLS accredited programs have is to get 
clinical affiliate sites to place their students.  There are affiliation 
agreements, forms, and certain standards that these sites must meet. 
Another challenge is to get comparable training between sites.  Not 
everyone out there is willing to be a part of the training of these 
students.  There are some employees that refuse to help train the students 
or even let them observe them working.

The ASCP does not "frown" upon OJT people.  Route 2 (AS or equivalent 
{with sciences} plus 1 year of histology work experience ) allows for the 
work experience component for certification eligibility.  The ASCP, upon 
much research and feedback from the "professional world" has established a 
minimum education requirement.,  Applicants that applied for certification 
under the old route 3 (high school and 2 years of histology work 
experience) had an HTexam pass success rate around 30% on the computer 
portion. Many of those applicants did pass the practical portion.  It was 
determined that in many cases a high school education does not provide the 
foundation for the theory portion of the exam. 

The quality of OJT techs is not being called into question.  The histology 
community has for many years demanded respect and higher wages to rival 
nursing and medical technologists.  We are the only clinical profession 
that does not require some form of certification or license.  In order to 
command the respect that the profession deserves we have to set standards. 
 Certification is a way to set the minimum standard.  Is it perfect, no. 
There will always be people that can test well and perform badly, and visa 
versa.  That folks is life.

For those that are working in the lab now and are not certified there are 
a couple of NAACLS accredited on-line programs to qualify for route 1. You 
can take college credit courses to work toward your degree to qualify for 
route 2.

Encouraging high school students into our profession is great, but 
encouraging them to forgo college to do it is a disservice.  The world of 
histology has changed a great deal over the years.  There is more of a 
demand for higher complexity testing that did not exist when I first 
trained.  Someone mentioned that automation is taking over.  You still 
need people to trouble shoot and QC.  What happens when there are 

Jennifer MacDonald
Director, Histotechnician Training Program
Mt. San Antonio College
1100 N. Grand Ave.
Walnut, CA 91789
(909) 594-5611 ext. 4884
jmacdonald <@t> mtsac.edu

Christopher.Conlisk <@t> kp.org
Sent by: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
02/12/2009 06:44 AM

histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu

[Histonet] re: Certified Histotechs

I find it smartly ironic that all these "Lab Managers", MBA's," Med 
are so offended and defensive in regards to BOR(ASCP), for histology? Why?
There are journeymen electricians. Many technical fields have
registration/certification. I worked for 10 years as a Phlebotomist, a
Deiner, a lab assistant, and I didn't get paid squat until I went to
I.U.P.U.I., graduated on the Deans list and then sat for the exam 
and practical), passed the exam etc. Part of the reason pathologists and
clinical lab scientists and MBA managers are so condescending about
histology, is because, they want it to always be an easy access career, 
the medical field is like the animal kingdom or a caste system, it has its
own little system of who is who and how dare you ask me that I am a (you
fill in the blank). Also, they can pay less. There are great techs who had
OJT, and went to school, as a  matter of complete fact, all NAACLS 
schools are supposed to have a program in place for OJT as part of the
Histotechs education. This argument is ridiculous. I have to go, I am 
over to radiology to ask them if I can just be hired off the street to be
an x-ray tech,  I am an artist and I am great with wheelchairs, plus I 
worked around x-ray for 22 years, and I have gotten so many x-rays playing
sports, so I could do it!!! I will just get OJT!!

Christopher S Conlisk    HT(ASCP), PBT(ASCP)

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