[Histonet] Practical Exam

Rittman, Barry R Barry.R.Rittman <@t> uth.tmc.edu
Fri Feb 20 09:36:44 CST 2009

I have always regarded the mechanism of sending slides in to be a big flaw in the practical, it it did offer some standardization. cannot accept the cost logic.
The real question here is why is the ASCP running this exam at all?
I have great respect for the ASCP but is this organizations main goal to represent histotechs? The ASCP was not originally organized to look after our interests. I thought that the NSH and the individual state societies were instituted to do just that. In which case why is there not a standardized test that is administered by the NSH?
This can be done on a state level with individuals who are nationally certified .
Will this be more costly that the current system. Of course - but if histotechs wish for better recognition and pay I believe that this is the only path.
An alternate for appropriate salary and better conditions is unionizing. I know this has some disadvantages but lets face it with the national shortage of histotechs why haven't slaries and conditons improved dramatically, why are untrained people in some cases allowed to work in some positions?
I know that many who are .....of by this continuing saga but I can only apologize because I feel strongly about this (and because I have more time following my semi retirement!!).

From: Rene J Buesa [rjbuesa <@t> yahoo.com]
Sent: Friday, February 20, 2009 8:01 AM
To: Victor Tobias; Histonet; Rittman, Barry R
Subject: RE: [Histonet] Practical Exam

There were 2 fundamental reasons why ASCP eliminated the practical part of the examination:
1- they got to the conclusion that there was no way to determine if the person sending the slides was the one who really made them, and
2- it was getting too costly to send the slides to review or to gather the reviewers to qualify the sections, so they decided to eliminate the practical and made the changes we have now (renewal and CEU).
René J.

--- On Thu, 2/19/09, Rittman, Barry R <Barry.R.Rittman <@t> uth.tmc.edu> wrote:
From: Rittman, Barry R <Barry.R.Rittman <@t> uth.tmc.edu>
Subject: RE: [Histonet] Practical Exam
To: "Victor Tobias" <victor <@t> pathology.washington.edu>, "Histonet" <Histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu>
Date: Thursday, February 19, 2009, 6:30 PM

I cannot believe that you have said this.
Although I did not think that the practical examination was the ultimate test
of skill ,  it did at least provide some uniformity.
With an extension of the logic that you use it is just as easy to allow the
pathologist to certify that the technician is qualified even without a written
Without a somewhat standardized practical there is no guarantee that the
technician will have any practical knowledge outside their individual
Didactic without adequate practical knowledge is, as far as I am concerned,
What is really needed is a national standardized written and practical test
that is administered by NSH.
I am not holding my breath that this will happen.

From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
[histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of Victor Tobias
[victor <@t> pathology.washington.edu]
Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2009 5:03 PM
To: Histonet
Subject: [Histonet] Practical Exam

There has been discussion regarding the removal of the practical exam.
To me it has not been removed, but the responsibility has shifted to
whomever signs off on the student. In the case of OJT, the pathologist
has verified that this student can cut and stain. Of course what is
acceptable to one pathologist may not be to another. Do they get tested
in the art of troubleshooting...... As far as the schools go, they
shouldn't be graduating anyone that can't cut, stain and troubleshoot.
So I don't really see a problem with the absence of the practical. It is
Friday somewhere.


Victor Tobias
Clinical Applications Analyst
University of Washington Medical Center
Dept of Pathology Room BB220
1959 NE Pacific
Seattle, WA 98195
victor <@t> pathology.washington.edu
206-598-7659 Fax
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