Becoming a Cytotechnologist

Cytotechnologists focus on performing laboratory tasks involving cells and cellular complications. They use a microscope to examine the slides of human cells to figure out the exact nature of problem with the cells if any. They usually detect the cancerous, infectious and inflammatory cells. Cytotechnologists play a key role in identifying the complex diseases and help the patients recover.

These professionals specialize in the extraction and examination of human cells. They obtain cell specimens from various body parts, including lungs, veins and female reproductive tract, place them on slides and examine those microscopically. They are trained to mark the cellular changes.

Education Requirements:

  1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree: Bachelor’s degree programs in cytotechnology help the aspiring Cytotechnologists understand the cellular system and identify the diseases. The four-year degree programs include coursework in biology, cell biology, chemistry and human physiology as well as laboratory experience.
  2. Accreditation: After completing the bachelor’s degree program, the students must go for accreditation. According to the American Society for Cytotechnology, there are currently 48 programs nationwide that are accredited in cytotechnology. The National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) offer accreditation.
  3. Certification: In order to improve your employment prospects, obtain a certification from the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP). The certification exam ask questions in eight different areas, including gynecological, respiratory system, lab operations etc.
  4. Licensure: Several states in the United States require the Cytotechnologists to possess a license. The students can obtain a license in order to boost their profile.

Salary & Job Outlook:

Job outlook for Cytotechnologists remains bright at least for the next two decades. These professionals are high in demand in the United States. The average annual salary for Cytotechnologists was $61,235 in 2012. Those in higher positions, can earn up to $71,261 per year.

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