[Histonet] Re: Changing dynamics in histotechnology

Weems, Joyce K. Joyce.Weems <@t> emoryhealthcare.org
Tue Sep 18 09:15:35 CDT 2012

Honey! We have been trying to get this group on the same page since the 70s. We're a bit closer but we're still singing different songs... fa la la la, la la la la...

Joyce Weems
Pathology Manager
678-843-7376 Phone
678-843-7831 Fax
joyce.weems <@t> emoryhealthcare.org

5665 Peachtree Dunwoody Road
Atlanta, GA 30342

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-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu [mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of joelle weaver
Sent: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 1:58 AM
To: tjohnson <@t> gnf.org; histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: RE: [Histonet] Re: Changing dynamics in histotechnology

TeriI think you are right about the promotion of the "status quo", and this is a definate concern for me in staying in this field. There seems to be so much change resistance.  Also, it is my understanding that many MT programs "used to" require histology rotations in histology here as well, but it seems many now do not. It seems to me that many MT programs are 2 +1 or 3 +1, which is fine by me, but I never thought this was the same as doing a full undergrad curriculum,  and never understood why it offers MT grads"trumping"  for any advanced lab roles, over any other similarly educated lab person with equal or greater education and training? I have concluded that we are fighting a perception, and that is not going to be easy. Personally,  I have no issue with an MT doing histology if they want to learn it sincerely by whatever means, but some seem to think that since they know clinical lab, that it does not take any additional "learning", formal or otherwise. I often wonder why it seems outrageous to the same, if it were to be worked the other way? I believe that I would be ignored completely or scoffed at,  if I tried to apply, or walked into a clinical lab to work. Also,  I think some people in histology have put considerable effort into dialogue about our field and its needs for well prepared staff in the main-stream media, but I agree that it is far below the level of communication that will be needed to change the aforementioned perceptions. Interestingly, most histotechs I have encountered are unwilling to dedicate much time, since it is rarely for any pay,  to any activities like these- since it often involves a lot of work and preparation to construct/publish an article or give a presentation out in the public arena. I know that over time, I have donated probably hundreds of hours, and most of the time it is a fight just to be "allowed" to do this ( such as take time off from work with your own vacation to travel or attend). If anything in my current environment, people roll their eyes at me for doing anything of this sort. If you want to encourage people to participate, we will have to work to see it supported within organizations and applauded within the group. So what usually is a frustration/dissappointment for me is when  people will complain, but most won't bother to take any action ( not directed at you or anyone in particular, just expressing frustration with general lack of initiative)...anyhow your points are well taken. If we are to move forward as a group, we are going to have to get on the same page ourselves and put forth some consistent and concentrated efforts.

Joelle Weaver MAOM, HTL (ASCP) QIHC
 > From: TJohnson <@t> gnf.org
> To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
> Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2012 00:06:37 +0000
> Subject: [Histonet] Re: Changing dynamics in histotechnology
> Ok, my workplace blocks Facebook, so here is the article for those of you who can't read it from the original link provided: http://www.clpmag.com/issues/articles/2012-09_04.asp
> Many good points have already been raised and discussed and I will not rehash them here. Here are my thoughts on the matter:
> - First - kudos for the NSH, state societies, committee members and histology professionals for working their butts off to provide us with information and training opportunities, and for promoting our profession. They are doing what they can to provide the water for us to drink. It is up to us to partake in it.
> - Why are we keeping this information in laboratory-centric publications? How in the world are we ever going to get the word out about our shortages and challenges unless we move outside of our own little box? Advance, Laboratory Medicine, NSH, etc are only read by personnel currently involved in laboratory testing. Sorry but we've been talking about this for YEARS and almost always in Lab publications. Is anything happening? What about People Magazine, or USA Today, or Sunday Morning or Good Morning America?
> - We have long fought to keep Med Techs from coming into the histology lab and taking over the higher complexity testing because they have a 4-year degree and most of us don't. To say that it is a mistake to bring them in because only histologists "fully understand the preparation process and its effects of the variation of results and can effectively work, partner with the pathologist to provide the information and testing results required to make personalized medicine a reality" is like trying to hide behind a shield made of aluminum foil. If we can learn it on the job (as most of us have), then so can they. Encroachment by MTs might be the single biggest factor in promoting education in our field.
> - I'm wondering if anyone(in clinical laboratory education) has started thinking about putting a histology component into Med Tech training. I know their schools are in trouble as well, but maybe the answer isn't to stay separate but to consolidate? I know, some of you are howling right now because this is an emotional issue for us. But take a moment to consider that other countries require folks who do Histology to be biomedical scientists, proficient in many laboratory disciplines including Histology. If we cannot adapt and educate ourselves with or without the assistance of the NSH, local Histo groups, pathologist support or employer support then I consider this may be a potential answer to the staffing issues.
> - Having said all this - I like being separate from Med Techs. I like what makes us different. We make a decent wage considering the current lack of formal education requirement. I'm often surprised our profession doesn't make the list of higher paying jobs without advanced degree requirement. I am thinking that it's probably a good thing it hasn't as it might inadvertently promote the status quo.
> Teri Johnson HT(ASCP),QIHC
> Disclaimer: The thoughts conveyed above are strictly my own and do not reflect in any way on my employer, co-workers, family members, deceased pets, and future ex-husbands.
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