To ask how NSH has changed my life...I suppose I would say the better question is how hasn't it? I could write a book but I will try to make it a condensed version.
I would have to say that when I started my professional career in the early 80's as a Phlebotomist, I had no idea what a histotechnician even was. I worked in a small rural hospital where one histotech took care of all the histology work for three counties and as luck would have it he had decided to move on and introduced me to the wonderful world of histology. I could have stayed there and been a happy little worker bee but I had other ideas. I will not say it has not been an up hill battle at times but I promise you one thing...when I became involved with the NSH I went from riding a bike with training wheels to a Harley Davidson...let's just say things started to happen a lot faster. I am now the Pathology Supervisor for a company celebrating it's 75th year who has introduced the world to 7 of the leading chemotherapy drugs. We truly are saving lives.
I have been proudly involved with the NSH for many years. I volunteer at the NSH S/C, mentor new members, and give soapbox speeches on the virtues of NSH membership at every opportunity. I have made connections that guarantee me if I ever wanted to go anywhere in the country, I could find employment. But above all the career advantages, the training opportunities, and the pride of a professional organization, I have gained deep and dear friendships with histology professionals all over the world!
One of my most cherished memories happened just this year. I had been awarded the Leica Leadership in Management award at the S/C and was enjoying the musical portion of the festivities and a young man who I had never met came to me with tears in his eyes, and said, "I am just so happy for you. Your story inspires me. I had started my career as a phlebotomist too and now I'm a new histotech. Now I get it...now I believe I can do bigger things". I have lived my life trying to inspire people because when I started out as a young histotech, the members of this community inspired me. To quote a familiar phrase "my heart grew three sizes that day".
I will close by saying that the NSH is not just a professional society ...we are a FAMLY who encourages, educates, inspires, and looks out for each other...like every great family does.