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Histological Technician - Careers

Description Of The Histotechnology Profession

Histotechnology professionals are qualified by academic and applied science education to provide service and research in histotechnology and related areas in rapidly changing and dynamic healthcare delivery systems. They have diverse and multi-level functions in the areas of analysis and clinical decision-making, information management, regulatory compliance, education, and quality assurance/performance improvement wherever anatomic pathology testing is researched, marketed, developed or performed. Histotechnology professionals perform, develop, evaluate, correlate and assure accuracy and validity of laboratory testing and procedures; direct and supervise anatomic pathology laboratory resources and operations; and collaborate in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. They possess skills for financial, operations, marketing, and human resource management of the histopathology laboratory.

Histotechnology professionals practice independently and collaboratively, being responsible for their own actions, as defined by the profession. They have the requisite knowledge and skills to educate laboratory professionals, health care professionals, and others in laboratory practice, as well as the public. The ability to relate to people, a capacity for calm and reasoned judgment, and a demonstration of commitment to the patient are essential qualities. Communication skills extend to consultative interactions with members of the healthcare team, external relations, customer service and patient education. Histotechnology professionals demonstrate ethical and moral attitudes and principles that are necessary for gaining and maintaining the confidence of patients, professional associates, and the community.

Description Of Career Entry Of The Histotechnician

At career entry, the histotechnician will be able to perform routine histologic procedures such as:

  1. Receiving and accessioning tissue specimens;
  2. Preparing tissue specimens for microscopic examinations, including all routine procedures;
  3. Assisting with gross examination and frozen section procedures in histopathology;
  4. Identifying tissue structures and their staining characteristics;
  5. Performing preventive and corrective maintenance of equipment and instruments or referring to appropriate sources for repairs;
  6. Recognizing factors that affect procedures and results, and taking appropriate action within predetermined limits when corrections are indicated;
  7. Performing and monitoring quality control within predetermined limits;
  8. Applying principles of safety;
  9. Demonstrating professional conduct and interpersonal communication skills with patients, laboratory personnel, other health care professionals, and with the public;
  10. Recognizing the responsibilities of other laboratory and healthcare professionals and interacting with them with respect for their jobs and patient care;
  11. Recognizing and acting upon individual needs for continuing education as a function of growth and maintenance of professional competence; and,
  12. Exercising principles of management, safety, and supervision, as the primary analyst making specimen oriented decisions on predetermined criteria, including a working knowledge of criteria values.

Communications skills will extend to frequent interactions with members of the healthcare team, external relations, customer service, and patient education. The levels of analysis range from routine tissue processing to complex histopathology laboratory procedures in the various major areas of anatomic pathology.

The histotechnician will have diverse functions in areas of pre-analytic, analytic, and post-analytic processes. The histotechnician will have responsibilities for information processing, training, and quality control monitoring wherever histologic procedures are performed.