Histotechnology program, one of three in nation, accredited until 2015
Nov 07, 2008
Contact: Gladys Amador
Miami Shores, Fla. – Barry University’s Histotechnology program was given the go-ahead to keep turning out more lab specialists that can help in solving complex crime scene investigations or prepare slides for pathologists that can help save patients.
In October of this year, program director and biology professor, Dr. Gerhild Packert, learned the Histotechnology program was awarded the Continuing Accreditation Award for seven years by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences.
Barry’s program is one of only three accredited Histotechnology programs in the nation.
“Seven years is practically impossible to get to tell you the truth,” said Elizabeth Martinez, the program’s assistant director. “It was a long road.”
In January, the two-woman crew - Packert and Martinez - took over the program after its original director retired. A revamped Histotechnology program was initiated; from adding more class courses and requirements to new clinical affiliates. Their modification was an effort to “keep the academics current and rigorous and to help students prepare for the national certification exam.”
“Our lab was completely redesigned with the newest technology much the same as you would find in a hospital,” said Dr. Packert
Outfitted with state-of- the-art equipment, Barry’s Histotechnology lab provides Biology students the hands-on experience of working with sophisticated machines they would find in the workplace.
About 35 students are currently enrolled in the program, 19 of them are expecting to graduate this year in a program whose reputation just got stronger with the new accreditation. They are trained to work with basic instruments to Hi-Tech gear such as a microwave processor and microscopes with a built-in camera.
Students interested in the field usually have a background in chemistry and biology and a knack for problem-solving and new technology.
A Bachelor of Science in Biology with Histotechnology specialization or post baccalaureate certificate in Histotechnology is earned. The certificate program runs for nine months in nine-week terms while a BS is a regular four year study. Open labs on Saturdays provide accommodation for students who are also working professionals.
Graduates can take their skills to hospitals working with pathologists or conduct research for a company. Other common fields include forensics, veterinarian and pharmaceutical work.
“It’s not a tech program but a Biology program with a specialization, a skill,” said Packert.