1 Issue 3 Fall 2009 MICROTIME Page 12 Spring 2009 T he Geor gia Society for Histotechnology Inside.. Presidents Message & pictures Pages 2 & 3 Page 4 Message from Associate Editor Page 6 GSH Membership Form Page 7 GSH Board of Directors Pages 9-11 Histo Techs Needed 2015 Fall is here and so was the NSH Symposium... Birmingham WAS a Great Meeting! GSH Meeting 2010 Page 12 NSH Membership Form Page 14
2 President Letter. Page 2 Welcome to the Georgia Society for Histotechnology Microtime. I am honored to have been reelected as your President for two more years. These are challenging times not only in our economy, but in every facet of our lives. Be assured that your Board of Directors are doing everything we can to keep down cost, and provide reasonable rates on the hotels for our meetings. Stone Mountain is the site of our next meeting on March 26-28, 2010 at the Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort. Room rates are $99. We will provide you with more great workshops and lectures. Plan now to attend. As I walked around the different areas during the NSH meeting in Birmingham, I was visually reminded of all the accomplishments that GSH and it members have achieved over the years. Microtime has won best State Newsletter on 3 different occasions and I know that Carole will help us achieve that again. No pressure Carole! We have even had members win some prestigious award such as Histotechnologist of the Year among others. I bring this up to challenge each of us to excel to new heights and strive for these awards which represent the best our profession has to offer. There is not a day that goes by that I am not called or ed about job opening. My question to each of you is: What do we do as a profession and as a state society to attract young people to the profession? I encourage you to come up with ideas and pass them on to the board. Become active in your State and National Societies. We need new people, new ideas, and people with a passion for their profession to step up and help us help you. I look forward to seeing you in Stone Mountain in March. Feel free to contact me anytime with your questions, thoughts or suggestions. GSH is your society and what you think is important to all the Officers and Chairpersons. Have a great and safe Holiday Season. Mike Mike Ayers President GSH Check the NSH web site for information on Histotechnology Professionals Day information.. March 10 th! The National Society for Histotechnology (NSH) announced the inaugural celebration of Annual Histotechnology Professionals Day on March 10, This day is being organized in order to aid in the public s awareness of our profession. Most would agree that the field is not well known among lay people. The society has been working to educate young people about histotechnology as a career option with the annual Career Day program. Histotechnology Professionals Day is another opportunity to increase public awareness and will also bring awareness to other allied health professionals in healthcare. It is the intention that this day will be spent honoring the unsung heroes who help to diagnose problems. The GSH is having a t-shirt logo contest...to be announced. A toolkit is in development for organizations, employers and individuals to assist in celebrations and programs. Go to NSH.org to download your HPD toolkit. Join In!
3 CONGRATULATIONS WINNERS! Page 3 Janet Hobbs won a trip to NSH Seattle Leica! She also won money from NSH for guessing # of NSH members! Shirley Powell won a flat screen TV from Medical Equipment Source and a gift card from Brady! Mike and Jerry House of Delegates Georgia Delegates..
4 Page 4 Supply Side Economics As the coordinator for the Histotechnology program at Darton College, I get many phone calls from recruiters, HR and the like looking for qualified candidates. In fact, just two days ago I received a call from a recruiter looking for a histotech in the Atlanta area. His client was an independent lab looking for someone certified with 1-2 years of experience in a certain pathology discipline. He asked me what I thought a person with those qualifications should be making and gave him my opinion. Interestingly enough, the range he gave me was actually at the upper end of my estimate. But I digress I believe we are at a significant crossroads on the supply side for the field of Histotechnology. It seems everyone wanted the situation I described above but failed to realize the consequences of such actions. As a field that largely goes unnoticed we wanted recognition and a status that elevated our field in the medical laboratory umbrella. Hence, the change was made back in 2005 to eliminate the high school option as a route to board certification. This left interested candidates two tracks to pursue their HT license. How has this change worked out? For one, it has significantly reduced the number of candidates into our field. I think this is an undeniable fact. Look at the number of techs in the current pool and take out those who entered this field via the high school route. The percentage would be high. Secondly, since there are very few Histotechnology schools nationwide it makes producing adequate numbers virtually impossible. Yes I know there are online programs (we are one of those) out there but many of those distance learning students are already working in the field. So the distance learning option has been a good thing for the status quo but probably isn t generating many new technicians. Lastly, labs want technicians badly but can t seem to find the time to assist in training these students. I believe they really want to but are consistently strapped for time due to employee shortages. Everything in life is about supply and demand. Did most of us want higher salaries? Of course we did. Did we want it at the expense of the patients we secretly serve? You answer that one for yourself. I made minimum wage back in 1989 when I started my OJT in a dermatopathology laboratory. That was approximately $5.50 at the time but it seemed ok for a biology degree seeking student. Fast forward to today and you know the stories. You have heard them across the country from your colleagues. The job market is literally on fire with a six figure income in the foreseeable future. Heck it might already have happened. Now that is inflation! Regards, Carl Sagasser, BS, HT (ASCP) Microtime Associate Editor Educational Coordinator Histotechnology program Darton College 2400 Gillionville Road Albany, GA (229)
5 5 Page 5 JOB OPENINGS NORTHSIDE HOSPITAL, Atlanta, GA is seeking a qualified (HT, ASCP) for our Histology Department. ASCP registered is a must. Pleasant and willing to work as a team is also required. Please contact our Human Resources Department at or go on line and fill out an application. C.L. Sturkey Disposable Microtome Knives Send us your job openings or ideas for articles, and ads... We will be glad to add them to the newsletter... Family owned and operated in Central Pennsylvania All products made in the USA Call for free samples Unconditional guarantee Also available through Fisher HealthCare GSH NEWSLETTER RATES Business Card - $50 Half Page - $85 Full Page or Insert - $125 Make check payable to : GSH %Ann Taylor 6645 Goodall Mill Rd. Macon, GA 31216
6 6 GEORGIA SOCIETY FOR HISTOTECHNOLOGY MEMBERSHIP OR RENEWAL FORM Membership in GSH is free to anyone active, retired from or a student in histology in Georgia. Please fill out all blanks completely. This should be done each year in January to be counted as a GSH member for representation in the NSH House of Delegates held at the annual Symposium/Convention. You will be mailed a current Membership card upon submission. Membership Chair: Janie Regenold 2690 Eatonton Hwy Haddock, GA _ Name Home Address City State Zip Home Phone Fax Home Employer Name Employer Address City State Zip Work Phone Fax Work Would you be interested in serving on a committee? Yes No Specify and contact any of the officers or committee chairs on the home page. MEMBERSHIP YEAR IS FROM JANUARY TO DECEMBER
7 Page 7 7 Page 7 BOARD OF DIRECTORS GSH PRESIDENT Mike Ayers Newnan, GA PH: FX: GSH VICE PRESIDENT & GSH EXHIBIT LI-AISON Christopher M. Coley HT (ASCP) Calhoun, GA (c) GSH TREASURER & BUDGET AND FINANCE CHAIR Mary Anne Taylor 6645Goodall Mill Rd. Macon, GA PH: GSH SECRETARY & WEB MANAGER Shirley A. Powell Macon, GA PH: FX: HISTORIAN Janet Hobbs Augusta, GA PH: PAST PRESIDENT, GSH BYLAWS & LEGISLATIVE CHAIR Connie Wavrin Decatur, GA PH: ext MICROTIME EDITOR Carole Fields Marietta, GA PH: GSH ALTERNATE DELEGATE FOR NSH HOD Janet Hobbs Augusta, GA PH: GSH PR/AWARDS CHAIR Fran Adams Riverdale, GA PH: GSH MEMBERSHIP CHAIR Janie Regenold 2690 Eatonton Hwy Haddock, GA GSH SYMPOSIUM REGISTRAR Harriett Baker Griffin, GA GSH EDUCATION COORDINATOR and MICROTIME ASSOCIATE EDITOR Carl Sagasser Albany, GA PH: FX:
8 Page 8 Save the Dates 2010 Region III Meeting Double Tree Resort International Dr. Orlando, Florida April 22-24, 2010 GSH Annual Meeting MARCH 26-28, 2010 See page 12 for details!
9 9 Page 9 Histotechs Needed in 2015 by René J. Buesa, B.Sc., HTL (ASCP) Driven by a continuously aging general population with increasing medical needs, the healthcare sector of the economy is one of the few that is expected to keep growing at close to 2% annually. With an average age 7 years older than the general population and half eligible for retirement within the next 4 years the healthcare professionals numbers will have to increase to compensate for those retiring within their ranks and to reach the projected needs. Sixty-five percent of the medical technologists certified by the Board of Registry (BOR) of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP) since 1931 are still working so it can be calculated that 17,137 Board certified HTs since 1948 and 2,257 Board certified HTLs since 1980 are also still working. In 2008 the calculated number of Histotechs (both histotechnologist and histotechnicians) working in surgical and forensic pathology was 28,400 meaning that only 68% were Board certified, the rest only being licensed or perhaps not even that and the need for 2015 was calculated in 31,200 which requires an increment of 3,525 new certified Histotechs, including those compensating for the 725 that are likely to retire between (1). Historically only 71% of those taking the HT examination pass meaning that to cover for the 725 retiring Histotechs a total of 1,021 graduates from histology programs will have to take the test, and to assure the net growth of 2,800 until 2015, another 3,944 graduates will have to sit to take the HT test for a total of 4,965 at a rate of 709 graduating from the histology programs annually from The 33 accredited histology programs now in existence (Table 1) have a combined capacity to graduate about 460 students, almost 250 less than those needed determining that no more programs can be closed and an additional capacity of 250 students has to be created equivalent to grow 50 programs, but the creation of 17 new programs is very unlikely to happen because each will have to overcome a common set of difficulties and create additional economic burden on the sponsoring laboratories. Increasing the enrollment for these programs will require also visiting local high schools and junior community colleges to let the students know about this fascinating aspect of the health care system. With the evident difficulties inherent to trying to create 17 new certified programs, the best alternate solution is to create 2 or 3 large online or distance learning programs with a capacity between 85 and 125 students each to provide the theoretical aspects in the form of conferences, lectures and online tutoring, leaving the practicum to the laboratories where the students work either as uncertified histotechs or as trainees. These programs can be modeled after those in existence at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis IN or the HT program at Harford Community College in Bel Air, MD or an immediate solution would be to increase the student capacity of both.
10 10 This is the classical approach to increasing the number of histotechs through the graduation from accredited programs, but there is another solution that could be called a retention policy based on a study of the histotechs salaries requiring the pathologists involvement to address this issue with each laboratory manager because there are no national salary scales and all are the result of local offer, demand, and negotiation (2) the aim being that within each medical laboratory the salaries of the certified HTs should be equaled to those of the medical laboratory technicians, and the HTLs should earn the same as the medical technologists (MT). A salary increase could make some histotechs reconsider their retirement plans, while a more permanent solution is found. A third solution should be creating the new certification of qualification in histology (QHT) similar to the existing qualification in immunohistochemistry obtained by many MTs to work in histology performing IHC tasks. Also it is worth noting that at present many histolabs are training MTs to do fluorescence in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry procedures because they either lack qualified histotechs to do them or are short in personnel to incorporate new diagnostic tests. The QHT could have three routes: for ASCP certified technologists or specialists with 6 months of fulltime acceptable experience in histology; for ASCP certified technicians with 12 months of full-time acceptable experience in histology; and for those with a baccalaureate or higher degree with 18 months of acceptable experience in histology. This qualification will be valid and renewable every 5 years, after completing the required continuing education units and could be a way not only to solving staff shortages in histology, but also a way of retaining MTs in laboratories that are planning staff reductions after increasing their productivity with new instruments or some workflow schemes. The creation of the QHT is a short-term solution, but a real long-term solution in the form of a general medical laboratory licensure similar to that of Biomedical Scientist, which is a baccalaureate, enabling the graduate to work in all areas of the medical laboratory as practiced now in the United Kingdom and, with certain variations, in all countries of the British Commonwealth. Perhaps this goal is now more at reach because the BOR has united forces with the National Credentialing Agency for Laboratory Personnel (NCA) as a single certification agency effective in October Any of the solutions represent a different approach with a different impact on the problem, but something has to be done because the histotechs retirement clocks are ticking, and the time to act is now. References: 1- Buesa, RJ: Histology aging workforce and what to do about it. Ann.Diag. Pathol, 2009; 13(3): Buesa, RJ: Salaries in histology. Ann.Diag.Pathol, 2008; 12(2):
11 11 Table 1. National Accredited Histology Programs STATE Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, North and South Carolinas, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Wyoming and Washington DC NOTES: A program in Pina CC (Arizona) is in jeopardy but another at Maricopa County CC is seeking accreditation. Indiana and New York lost 1 program each and Minnesota lost 2, Washington state lost the one they had and Wyoming will soon have 2 programs. HISTOLOGY PROGRAMS 16 (1 each) California, Ohio and Pennsylvania NOTE: California gained 1 program Florida and Michigan 6 (2 each) 6 (3 EACH) Texas (one is San Antonio is in jeopardy; lost 1 but gained 1) 5 Total (21 States & DC) 33
12 12 Page 12 THE GEORGIA SOCIETY FOR HISTOTECHNOLOGY Scott Bryant Mobile: When MARCH 26-28, 2010 Where EVERGREEN MARRIOTT CONFERENCE RESORT 4021 LAKEVIEW DRIVE STONE MOUNTAIN, GA ROOM RATE $99.00 SEE YOU THERE!
13 13 Page 13 Georgia Rep... Sharon Wehman
14 14 Mail Preference : All NSH Correspondence will be sent to this address. In addition this address is published in our online membership directory. Home Work
15 15 Page 15 Georgia Rep.. Sandy Schmitz
16 16 Carole Fields, HT (ASCP) 962 Hickory Leaf Ct. Marietta, GA TO:
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