[Histonet] re: Certified Histotechs

Thomas Jasper tjasper <@t> copc.net
Thu Feb 12 13:41:05 CST 2009

Thank you Jennifer, well stated.
Tom J.

Thomas Jasper HT (ASCP) BAS
Histology Supervisor
Central Oregon Regional Pathology Services
Bend, OR 97701
tjasper <@t> copc.net

-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
[mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of Jennifer
Sent: Thursday, February 12, 2009 9:16 AM
To: Christopher.Conlisk <@t> kp.org
Cc: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu;
histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: Re: [Histonet] re: Certified Histotechs

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

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
Techs", 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
(clinical 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, and 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 approved 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 going 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 have 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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