[Histonet] Re: Unregistered HT

Teri Johnson TJohnson <@t> gnf.org
Wed Sep 11 15:14:17 CDT 2013

At the risk of dipping my toe in to this pool, I have just a few thoughts on the matter. I will not really touch on any prior points as I think they have already had enough discussion. My comments are merely things I think about, and hopefully it broadens how people look at this issue instead of running in circles like we seem to be doing.

1 - I think what will eventually drive the HT classification into a professional category is the upcoming shortage of techs in the workforce. Either the companies better get really busy and come up with some fantastic automation that can replace this aging workforce (of which I am one), or there won't be any bodies sitting at the microtomes, cryostats, embedding centers, and stainers. There are a bunch of BS-biology degreed people out there looking for work and direction. And not all of them can or want to get into Medical school. They are smart, very technologically savvy, and will likely completely change the landscape of the workforce as we know it.

2 - Any move to becoming degreed or certified professionals should mimic the European (and other) model of Laboratory Scientist. I have said before that there is such a strong line dividing MT(ASCP) and HT/HTL(ASCP) in the US, maybe it would be a step in the right direction for us to think about consolidating our science with Medical Technology. We have Chemistry, Hematology, Blood Bank, Microbiology, etc as specialties, why not Histotechnology?  Interestingly, most Med Techs I know who have done histology really didn't like it much. So I don't think we have to worry about losing our place in the lab.  Do I think we will go in this direction? Probably not. I think that ship has sailed. But we would be remiss not to at least consider it as an option.

3 - "Opportunity looks a lot like hard work." - Ashton Kutcher
*donning my special humpday flame retardant suit*

Teri Johnson
Manager, Histology
Genomics Institute for
Novartis Research
San Diego, CA

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