Immunohistochemistry is becoming an increasingly important aspect of histology. Though there is not an ASCP certification for immunohistochemistry, the ASCP does offer a qualification; the QIHC. The QIHC exam is a 50-question online test, covering a variety of IHC topics including detection systems, specimen handling, staining, antigen retrieval, and laboratory operations.
NSH asked two of our QIHC certified members, Robert Embree, BS, MBA, HT(ASCP), QIHC(ASCP) and Brandon Ward, BS, HTL(ASCP), QIHC(ASCP) to share their thoughts on the exam, and why they decided to take it.
NSH: Why did you take the QIHC exam?
Robert: I was looking for something that would reinforce the foundation of my existing knowledge of IHC as well as provide an opportunity to expand on my knowledge base thus ultimately increasing my confidence so that I would be able to help others better understand the science.
Brandon: I took the QIHC exam for a couple reasons. 1. I wanted to test my knowledge of immunohistochemical processes, staining results, and application. 2. As the education coordinator for my laboratory, I wanted to be able to help guide our technicians and technologists in their own preparation for the examination. In taking the exam myself, this allowed me to understand what materials were most helpful in preparing.
NSH: How has having your QIHC certification helped your career?
Robert: I believe that having my QIHC Certification has increased my industry knowledge, my credibility, and has dramatically expanded opportunities that I may not have been made aware of.
Brandon: Aside from assembling the best study materials for the QIHC exam, this has helped me in relaying to my students the theory and application behind immunohistochemical staining, as the students prepare for their HT and HTL examinations.
NSH: What would you tell someone who was taking the QIHC exam?
Robert: I tell everyone that education is an investment in yourself and something that no one can ever take away. The QIHC certification program has helped make me who I am today and is proof of my ability to demonstrate the knowledge and expertise that I have achieved.
Brandon: The exam contains a lot of challenging information. Preparing for the QIHC will not only help you be successful when taking the exam but will enhance your knowledge as a technician/technologist, which will assist you in doing your job even better!
If you are interested in taking the QIHC exam, check out NSH’s new QIHC Prep Course, an online course that includes three hours of instruction, an indexed study guide, and a Knowledge Check question bank to prepare to take the QIHC exam.