Histology Technician Job Description

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Author: Lisa
Published: 13 Apr 2021

Histology: A Career in Medical Laboratory Technology, The Need for Histology Technicians in the United States, Laboratory Science for Histology Technicians and more about histology technician job. Get more data about histology technician job for your career planning.

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Histology: A Career in Medical Laboratory Technology

Histology is the study of tissues. Histology technicians take a sample from a patient and then create tiny structures from it. A pathologist will look at the slides for research purposes after the samples are prepared.

Histology technicians work with lab managers. The technicians use a variety of dyes and chemicals to make the tissue appear different. Pathologists use those slides to make diagnoses.

A histology technician and a histotechnologist do the same things every day. The main difference is that a histotechnologist has more advanced education and training to give them the qualifications necessary to get the certification. A histotechnologist can perform more complex techniques and go on to become a supervisor, or a teaching position.

Pathology slides can be ready when the pathologists start their day because technicians typically work early in the morning. Some technicians work in laboratories. Quality assurance, education, test development, and management are some of the areas where advancement is possible.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that job openings for medical and clinical lab technicians are expected to increase faster than average. There is a need to diagnose medical conditions in an older population. There is an increased need for pregnant women to have their genetic conditions tested.

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The Need for Histology Technicians in the United States

A histology technician needs to have good communication skills, good attention to detail, and good skills in operating specialized lab equipment. The work of a histologist varies from picking up specimen from surgery to assisting in the examination of frozen section procedures. A histology technician is used to keep accurate records, create sample slides and cut tissue sections for examination.

If you want to become a histology technician, you need an associate degree. The best preparation is given by focusing on the sciences. You can take classes like cell biology and microanatomy.

Some laboratories will provide on-the-job training for certain skills, or you can take additional courses to get individual competencies. You can teach students who want to become histology technicians. The average annual salary for medical and clinical laboratory technicians was over $50,000 in the year.

Pay is determined by state and employer. Hospitals and offices of physicians may pay more than one million dollars. Between now and the year 2026, there is a projected increase in the need for histology technicians.

Laboratory Science for Histology Technicians

Television shows in hospitals tend to focus on the doctors and nurses who work in high-stress, high-drama areas such as the surgical suite and emergency room. The life of a histology technician is not as dramatic as it might seem, and that is part of the appeal. Histotechnicians and their laboratory colleagues save lives in a quiet and orderly atmosphere.

The pathology lab needs to convert the patient's tissue sample into a form that can be used for testing. The main part of histotechnician's work is preparing it for viewing under a microscope. Most samples must be trimmed to a convenient size, dehydrated, treated with a fixative or preservative, and then sliced for the microscope slide.

The sample is treated with a stain that will give it a contrast and make it easier to see the cells. Histology technicians perform a number of tests, often pre-screening samples for a Pathologist or a Laboratory Technologist. In most labs, technicians have other responsibilities.

Some people circulate through the hospital and collect samples. Others might be responsible for keeping records, ensuring that specimen and test results are in the correct patient's file, and going to the right doctor. The lab's technicians usually share responsibility for keeping the lab clean and sanitary, for sterilizing equipment, and for handling specimen according to the lab's standards.

A two-year associate degree in laboratory science is required for histology technicians. The necessary skills can be acquired through practical experience, if laboratory staff have training in other disciplines. The American Society for Clinical Pathology has a certification for histology technicians.

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Histology Technician Career Transitions

If you have the skills as a histology technician, you can transition into a related role, such as service technician or automotive technician, which could open up different career paths for you. The most common histology technician career transitions are listed below.

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