[Histonet] RE: Changing dynamics in histotechnology

Cynthia Robinson robinsoc <@t> mercyhealth.com
Tue Sep 18 13:33:29 CDT 2012

I worked as a generalist for 4 yrs and then was in Microbiology for 8 yrs prior to moving to Histology in 1990. I have always felt the experience of working in the other areas of lab helped me understand the entire process, especially those involving fluids which were shared between multiple disciplines within clinical laboratory. We have an MT school and many of those students ask to spend time in Histology to observe. I appreciate their interest and willingness to learn how AP and Clinical Lab fit together. I have promoted the field by encouraging tours with local high school students taking Anatomy, Advanced Chemistry and Advanced Biology classes. 
Several of these students are now working as MTs, CTs and HTs. I now have a daughter interested in Histology because of the many trips to the lab to visit me. She will be moving to the KC area and will be completing her AS there. I just hope she can find a hospital willing to teach her Histology as there are no schools in the area. If anyone has a contact or would be willing to mentor please let me know. 

-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu [mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of Teri Johnson
Sent: Monday, September 17, 2012 5:07 PM
To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu 
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.

Histonet mailing list
Histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu 

Histonet mailing list
Histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu 

Cindi Robinson HT(ASCP)
Mercy Medical Center
Dunes Medical Laboratories
350 W Anchor Dr
Dakota Dunes SD 57049
robinsoc <@t> mercyhealth.com

More information about the Histonet mailing list