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METC histotechnician instructors make history

By Jorge Franco and Lisa Braun | Medical Education and Training Campus Public Affairs | Nov. 30, 2018


Three histotechnician program instructors at the Medical Education and Training Campus at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston have made history by becoming the only histotechnicians in the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy to have attained the Qualification in Immunohistochemistry, or QIHC, certification by the American Society for Clinical Pathology.


The QIHC examination has an average passing rate of only 33 percent since its inception in 1994. A histotechnician is an individual who is trained in the preparation and staining of tissue slides for microscopic examination and disease diagnosis by the pathologist. Histotechnicians may be employed in a variety of areas, such as operating rooms, clinics, doctors' offices, research, veterinary pathology, marine biology, forensic pathology and the pharmaceutical industry.

Master Sgt. Rose A. Andan, Tech. Sgt. Onyee L. Carter, and Petty Officer 1st Class Neisha V. Wright achieved this noteworthy milestone by challenging and passing the arduous QIHC examination, setting the bar even higher for future generations of instructors and students.

There are 29,740 board-certified histotechnicians, or HT, and histotechnologists, or HTL, in the United States, but only 1,590 (5.3 percent) are QIHC qualified.

Immunohistochemistry is the process whereby antibodies are used to detect proteins (antigens) in cells within a tissue section and detected by the color reaction of a special “colorant.”

Immunohistochemistry has numerous applications in medicine, especially in the origin of tumors, cancer diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment.

The QIHC qualification proves that the HT possesses specific skills in a highly technical area within their discipline. To receive this additional credential, candidates must meet the eligibility requirements and take the appropriate examination.

Candidates must be board certified HTs and have a minimum of six months of documented, full-time acceptable experience in immunohistochemistry (clinical, veterinary industry or research).