Histotechnologists help to look at medical diseases and medical conditions from a cellular level. With specialized microscopes and instruments, they can examine the cells and tissue in the body to study abnormalities. When a doctor orders a test, the lab refers to the histotechnologist to help confirm a particular illness or condition. These tests can be done with blood, mucus, skin cells and routinely through biopsies.
When the lab receives tissue samples, they then prepare the sample to be viewed for the histotechnologist so they can examine it under a microscope. If it’s a tissue sample, it will be cut down and trimmed to ensure it can fit into the slide. It may also be stained to help the histotechnologist view the structures of the cell and its overall condition.
Histotechnologists also work with pathologists and lab technologists and may perform tests on collected specimens. They are also responsible for documenting their findings and working with the lab to sterilize the general area and ensure the sanitary conditions are maintained.
Histotechnologists will have a two-year associate’s degree in specialized areas such as laboratory science. They may also have a one-year certificate in histologic technology. Certification is through the American Society for Clinical Pathology. To pass the certification exam, test scores must be approved, and the candidates must sign up for a continuing education program. Histotechnologists can be promoted to supervisory roles and may return to school to complete their bachelor’s degree. Based on data from Simply Hired, the average salary is $52,000.
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