NSH Journal of Histotechnology Editorial: NSH Supports Professional Status of the Histologist

Legislative Update Date: 
1 Sep 2011



  • Journal of Histotechnology
  • ISSN: 0147-8885, Online ISSN: 2046-0236
  • Volume 34, Issue 3, pages 111-113


Executive Summary

The National Society for Histotechnology (NSH) represents professionals from the histotechnology discipline who practice in clinical, research, pharmaceutical, veterinary, marine sciences and forensic laboratories. The NSH as a professional organization collaboratively affirm that through clearly defined parameters, education, skilled based knowledge and autonomy we are recognized as professionals within the allied health sciences and related science fields. The advancement of the science in this specialized field has made this profession an integral part of patient health care and translational research.

The educational route has advanced to align with other laboratory scientists through accredited degreed programs along with associated skilled training to meet requirements for national certification. To maintain professional certification, continuing education credits must be obtained in this science. Many states require a license and associated continuing education for these professionals to be eligible for employment.

The use of technical advancements in the histology laboratory such as immunohistochemistry, molecular diagnostics, flow cytometry and computerized assisted digital analysis requires histologists to maintain proficiency through continuing education, to improve their theoretical and skilled based knowledge. Automation has reduced manual techniques transferring the histologist’s skills to decision making and critical thinking. Similar to medical technologists, testing performed is considered high complexity testing under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA). Histologists verify these complex test results by performing microscopic review for quality acceptance before release to the pathologist for interpretation. The result of these test interpretations and diagnosis are an integral part of the patient care and treatment plan.

The NSH is the global leader in professional development of practitioners in the discipline. The NSH is recognized as a resource to professional standards and accreditation organizations as a partner in developing quality programs and documents that are utilized in the anatomic pathology laboratory. Moreover, the NSH is actively represented in numerous healthcare professional societies and participates in an advisory role as a voice in regulatory issues that impact health care.

The knowledge and technical skills of histologists have expanded beyond the hospital setting into industry, veterinary, translation research and diagnostics. This specialized knowledge has lead to collaboration opportunities with other professional development associations in these research fields. As educators, histologists provide technical application training to interns in related fields, and serve as Program Directors at accredited histology schools, teaching future histologists.

The NSH supports the professional status of the histologist through knowledge, accountabilities and professional development.

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