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Histotechnician - Healthcare Career
Histology is the science that deals with cell structure and how the cells form tissues and organs; the study of these cells is called histotechnology. Histotechnicians play a very important role in this medical specialty.  


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Histotechnician Job Description
  Histotechnicians are highly skilled in preparing microscope tissue slides that are used for examination and diagnosis of abnormalities and disease. After the preparation, pathologists use the slides for study and diagnostic purposes.

Technicians can work in many different laboratory settings including hospital, diagnostic, public health and industrial facilities. They also may specialize in animal science or marine biology. Since their services are very important for diagnostic purposes, they need to be skilled at preserving samples as close to the cells’ natural formations as possible. Of the many methods of preserving and staining cells, the technician needs to be able to make informed decisions on the best methods of preservation.

To prepare a slide, the technician first freezes the specimen, cuts it into extremely thin slices, mounts it on the slide and then chooses the proper dye to stain it. The choice of dye is critical since different types of tissues and cells require different dyes for optimal viewing. Proper preparation is crucial for an accurate examination and diagnosis by the pathologist.

Histotechnicians need to be detail oriented, willing to work independently and, sometimes, able to work quickly and meticulously under pressure. They may be called upon to prepare slides of tissues from patients that are still in surgery and are waiting for a diagnosis before the doctor proceeds.

Histotechnology is a fascinating field, and one that would appeal to someone comfortable working in a laboratory setting. It would be rare to have direct patient contact, but the technician works closely with the allied medical team and contributes directly to the health of others.
How Can I Become a Histotechnician?
  High school students who are interested in the medical field should take as many science, math and computer classes as possible. Chemistry is always a benefit. To prepare to be a histotechnician, either take a program accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) or complete an associate degree program that provides clinical training at a hospital. The training should lead directly to job opportunities because clinical experience is part of the education.

As of now, there is no national license requirement; license requirements vary from state to state. Voluntary certification that is offered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification (BOC) is not required but is recommended. Continuing education credits will keep the certification current.

Further education and experience will qualify the technician to become a histotechnologist. Histotechnologists perform more complicated procedures such as histochemistry and electron microscopy and can be promoted to supervisory and teaching positions.
What is the Salary of a Histotechnician?
  Histotechnicians earn an average yearly salary of about $48,000. With experience and benefits, the figure can be even higher. As technology increases, job prospects are good with growth expected in doctors’ offices and hospital laboratories.

A histotechnician healthcare degree is perfect for the person who wants to work in the health field but does not want to spend years in training. It offers a rewarding, well-paying healthcare career with future prospects for advancement.
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