imager training

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Comments (26)

moxi in Lawrenceville, Georgia

50 months ago

Where can I get trained on the imager independent of the company I work for. They only pick certain people to train on the imager and I feel that I am at a disadvantage. I am willing to go out on my own and seek training.

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former screener in Westborough, Massachusetts

50 months ago

let me guess------you do 10.86 slides per hour and they gave Imager training to the tech doing 10.90 slides per hour...... Those that I have seen transition to the Imager needed just about an afternoon of training and then built their speed. I suppose you could call Hologic or whatever the company name is now. and see if maybe they could fit you in sometime. just talk to the trainer. but then if your employer does not have you doing it, whats the point? Bottom line-------It doesnt take much---or very long---to learn the thing---from the several people that I have seen.

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moxi in Lawrenceville, Georgia

50 months ago

Thanks.

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Sam Kaiserblade in Venice, Florida

50 months ago

Its pretty easy to use. I found the joystick was much easier to use than I thought it would be. The day I experimented with it, I was up to speed in half a day. Of course, it was just practice. Have a feeling the machine would slow me down in real life since I dont trust it very well and I am not forced to screen very many slides.

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former screener in Westborough, Massachusetts

50 months ago

i am interested in the future plans of companies like hologic and tripath.......from their perspective, they must be aiming for the day that their machines make cytotechs more and more and more and more unnecessary. by the way, all of you techs and managers and pathologists on the sidelines in this forum------jump in with your thoughts and insights---if you are worried about your company taking away your job, get a grip, or if you cannot manage that, just call yourself cyto-slave from Manitoba........the more the merrier in this forum.

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Sam Kaiserblade in Venice, Florida

50 months ago

A person I know at Hologic told me they had a change in leadership recently and that the company is going full force into developing/acquiring more molecular tests. They have seen the success that some labs have had offering Non-FDA approved out of vial testing (Bio-reference labs, Gynecore). Sounds like the government is going to crack down on these "home brewed" tests, which they should after some of the fiascos with these home brewed tests in recent years. I anticipate Hologic will be developing and getting FDA approval for a number of molecular tests and saying goodbye to the days of morphology.

I have no clue what tripath may be up to. They make a good product but they just hit the market too late and hologic got there first. I hope they stay in the business to keep hologic from having a complete monopoly.

Both companies cater to labcorp and quest so if they can cause cytotechs to get laid off, it keeps the evil empires happy. I lost respect for hologic after they changed how they bill labs for supplies. They used to bill your lab based upon your conversion rate to ThinPrep. Now they bill your lab based on volume so it gives high volume labs a competitive advantage. I guess they dont care about smaller operations.

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former screener in Westborough, Massachusetts

50 months ago

But from a business perspective if you are looking at a 50% conversion to TP at a hospital system in Illinois vs. a 10% conversion from big nationwide LabCorp, as an example, LabCorp is your money maker.

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Sam Kaiserblade in Venice, Florida

50 months ago

In that scenario you just laid out, Labcorp would be paying more (since only 10 percent conversion) so it would be more money for Hologic. The small, low volume hospital would be paying less. Since surepath is a cheaper test, I know they had to change just to compete with surepath otherwise the evil empires would have just moved away from Thinprep.

I just get tired of Hologic telling me that they care about the small labs. A sales rep was here talking about the imager a little while back and said they wanted me to be able to compete with Labcorp, quest. I said "If you really mean that, then lower your supply cost". Of course, they had no response for this request. I have been with Hologic since 1997, one of the first to convert in this area. Not sure why I have showed any loyalty to them other than the fact that they at least get FDA approval for ancillary testing. Surepath is cheaper and doesnt have an unsat problem. At this point it is not wise to switch since the future is so uncertain.

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missing Linda and Suzanne in Westborough, Massachusetts

50 months ago

yes, if they are now billing on volume, 10% of a large number is a large number......as opposed to 50% of a much smaller number. So I think Hologic OUGHT to do it this new way. I never liked SP------too blotchy and thick and dark, and I dont think we picked up SIL's at a commensurate rate with TP-------Majority of people in the lab did not like SP. But I do like Linda and Suzanne and I wish they would come back.

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Sam Kaiserblade in Venice, Florida

50 months ago

Yea, the surepath I have seen were thick and hard to screen. The diagnostic cells were on the slide though instead of stuck in the vial (because the filter is clogged up) but you really had to screen the case careful. When they first came out, they said you had to screen the slide horizontal and vertical. No way would I want to screen those thick slides on a quota. There are ways to remedy the thickness issue I have heard but I dont know much about the process.

I'd rather the big labs pay the same rate as everyone else myself. The less they pay Hologic means the lower their client price is for the physician offices. This leads to more and more slides needing to be screened by cytotechs just to turn a profit and reducing cytology to a commmodity. Its a bad situation for the patients. Its not like more productivity equals a cheaper pap test. The cost to the patient is the same.

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Moxi in Lawrenceville, Georgia

50 months ago

Which of the two imaging systems(sure path imager vs thin prep imager) do you guys feel is the worst? Since the sure path imager presents the screener 10 FOVs, are the techs required to screen more slides compared to the thin prep imager since it presents 20 FOVs

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Sam Kaiserblade in Venice, Florida

50 months ago

Someone earlier said that both imagers are missing cases so they are probably about equal. The ThinPrep one is the only one I have used, just wasn't very impressed with the technology. If I had to screen 150 slides a day, then I would want one but for small volume places it is a step backwards. The stain they use is pretty good though. I doubt that the surepath slides count less than thinprep. If they did, labcorp and quest would be promoting that over thinprep so they could employ less people.

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suzanne and linda you are both groovy pl in Westborough, Massachusetts

50 months ago

you look back 12-15 years to when we were all doing mainly conventionals and you compare that to today....and you then look FORWARD 10-12 years.......cytotechs, unless you are retiring soon, go get re-trained in something........

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suzanne and linda you are both groovy pl in Westborough, Massachusetts

50 months ago

my user name is now "suzanne and linda you are both groovy please come back"......apparently it does not fit in the box.........

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Sam Kaiserblade in Venice, Florida

50 months ago

What field stays the same and doesnt change? No guarantees in life for whatever path you take. I dont see very many careers that couldnt disappear due to technology. I wanna start a tattoo removal company since so many idiots are getting those ugly things and will regret it someday. Every strip center will have one of my stores.

Those women arent coming back by the way. Better move on.

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former screener in Westborough, Massachusetts

50 months ago

all fields change or dissolve but many have some room for lateral or upward movement....cytology really is limited there. severely limited. i can vouch for that, having been laid off, although it didnt take being laid off to know that...... and of COURSE linda and suzanne are not coming back, unless under different names. its their stand, their "statement"--------- human psychology guarantees they wont be back.

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Sam Kaiserblade in Venice, Florida

50 months ago

Yea I know what you mean about movement. Lead tech/supervisor, computer information systems or sales rep for Hologic are about the only jobs I've seen coworkers/friends move into.

I think today's time is very difficult to figure out what career to go into. Its sad seeing students getting screwed by these colleges, racking up tons of debt for a low paying jobs. I've noticed some schools are offering expensive molecular courses to try to get cytotechs to get some more skills. The price for that is ridiculous considering they just go straight out of the textbook. Might as well just buy the book and skip the class. For that price, I would want a hell of lot more hands on training, not just some stupid online class.

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former screener in Westborough, Massachusetts

50 months ago

and of course once a cytotech becomes supervisor, he or she is there until the pyramids at giza dissolve.......there are more rock star openings than cytology supervisor openings. the lead techs that i have seen received a couple dollars an hour raise and lots of busiwork heaped on them....things that the supervisor just couldnt be bothered with. too busy pretending to be too busy........well, at least they are conceivably next in line for the supervisors job----unless some clueless clown with a cereal box mba beats them to it. cytology is amazing----after so many years, we are not even the "experts" at our jobs. The PATHOLOGISTS are the "experts" at our job. They have the final say, the much bigger salary, the authority, etc. I say this to emphasize again the fact that cytotechs are really boxed in, more so than many other professions. Keep an eye on those sales reps, for example....they have upward mobility and many CEO's began in sales. the advances we have seen in HPV testing and automated screening are just the tip of the iceberg. cytotechs beware.

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former screener in Westborough, Massachusetts

50 months ago

it makes sense that hologic is putting their efforts into molecular testing. i am sure it is possible to improve upon the imager incrementally so that you end up being able to diagnose the vast majority of cases by it......but how many millions of dollars and how many more years? Whereas if you concentrate on correctly identifying the virus that is CAUSING the changes that the Imager picks up, you will be laughing all the way to Fidelity.

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Sam Kaiserblade in Venice, Florida

50 months ago

Yea, once they in the cushy supervisor job, they don't leave until the lab goes out of business. I am thankful I ended up at a lab with no hierarchy since I am the only full time person. Sucks making bench tech money and doing all the supervisor work but oh well at least I dont get treated like a robot.

The biggest reasons why I am hesitant to bring the imager on board is HPV testing and the new pap testing guidelines. Feels like a waste of time to bring in a technology you know is on the way out. Hologic's new regime knows that molecular is where they need to put the money so it would be very suprising if they invest much more in the imager.

HPV testing could be given the green light as the initial screen for cervical cancer. Some pathologists are pushing for that to happen now. In the past it was non-pathologists wanting to make HPV first, pap second. Considering that we find more endometrial cancer on paps than cervical cancer at my institution, I believe it should stay pap first.

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Marcos cytotech in Orlando, Florida

45 months ago

Congratulation! My visit to this website was very positive many of my question were answer tonight about the SP AND TP Imager training.696

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Moxi in Lilburn, Georgia

45 months ago

This was very eye opening to me. Because I am one of the techs in my lab skipped to do the imager, I felt very bad. I see now that I was worrying about nothing. I need to take charge of my future and find out about molecular diagnostics. I hate feeling like dirt because of others being so power hungry and catering to their friends In the lab. My career in this field has opened my eyes. I have met some of the most rude and unprofessional people in my life-I can not believe it. I hope things get better instead of worst, but at this point, I do not see it happening.

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We all know in Westborough, Massachusetts

45 months ago

Everybody knows about job forums on indeed, and I know that many, many techs read them. Most dont respond, because they are AFRAID. Afraid the FBI and CIA are going to track them down and fire them. But you got it right......... Cytotechs need to see this sinking ship for what it is........and develop a plan and act on it.

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Sam Kaiserblade in Venice, Florida

45 months ago

This place isnt wikileaks. Although we have been enlightened to some pretty screwed up stuff going on out there at cytology labs. I loved how Linda said at Tampa LabCorp, techs would screen 100 slides in the first half of the day since the environment there was so lax. I have heard that was a terrible lab from others so it wasnt a great shock. They ALWAYS have job postings. Heard a pathologist there actually failed the GYN proficiency test. Stevie Wonder could pass that stupid test. Techs used to (might still) screen in a trailer too.

Would be cool if a lot more people did read and post here. They probably too busy working on a different career.

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Victoria in Castle Rock, Colorado

36 months ago

I was a cytotech for 12 years and yes, I felt boxed in and counldn't stand it. I went on to teach college and do research. Currently I am trying to transition into Molecular Diagnostics. I thought it would be easy because I taught a broad range of molecular techniques in my classroom and lab and did many of the techniques in my research job. All of those thinking about molecular diagnostics please be aware that at this point in time very few labs are recognizing the MB(ASCP) certification. Many molecular diagnostic labs are hiring Med Techs for these positions because cytotechs "don't know how to micropipette". It has been very difficult to get an entry level job. I may end up going back to research unless I can find a lab that is open minded enough to give me a chance. Best of luck to all of you!

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Welajfa in Campbellton, Florida

34 months ago

www.cytologystuff.com might be the website where you study using the Hologic imager online. You can get an idea about the buttons to operate the slide movement and marking. You can practice screening slides on computer.

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