[Histonet] Re: Changing dynamics in histotechnology

gayle callis gayle.callis <@t> bresnan.net
Tue Sep 18 13:00:31 CDT 2012

Well, this honey has been on the same page since the EARLY 1960'S.  I
crossed over from the MT side into histology and never looked back.   It was
obvious very early on that histology was far more interesting than working
as an MT, poor pay or otherwise.     Way back in the Dark Ages, our MT
training included histology and the ASCP MT registry exam tested us on
histology. Becoming an MT simply led to histology, and the MT training in
clinical chemistry, microbiology, parasitology, virology, hematology, etc.,
enhanced our knowledge for working in histology.   

Your (plural) discourses have been interesting, to the point and certainly
no offense is taken about being an MT!   

It is admirable when histotechnicians go above and beyond their jobs and
take the time pass on their expertise to present workshops, teleconferences,
presentations and writing articles with hopes the written word is actually
being read.   Don't stop!  Ignore the critics, the complacent!   Educate!  

Gayle M. Callis 
MT, HT, HTL (ASCP)    

-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
[mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of Weems, Joyce
Sent: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 8:16 AM
To: 'joelle weaver'; tjohnson <@t> gnf.org; histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: RE: [Histonet] Re: Changing dynamics in histotechnology

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

-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
[mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of joelle
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

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