The work of a cytotechnologist generally consists of analyzing microscopic samples for any changes in cells in order to indicate certain diseases, such as cancer. They also analyze patient records to understand their history and note if any changes are occurring; when abnormalities are detected, the cytotechnologist passes on the findings to a pathologist so they can be investigated further.
Cytotechnologists must be well-organized to properly document all findings and procedures and be able to calibrate and troubleshoot various machines and equipment. In some positions, he/she will also help develop new testing and quality-control methods. They must be meticulous and follow all company policies, company procedures, and laws and regulations, and may also double-check the work of others to identify potential errors.
The area in which the cytotechnologist works must be kept clean and sanitary. Inventory duties are also a part of the job, and he/she may be in charge of ordering supplies when they run low. For many positions, a Bachelor’s degree in a scientific field is necessary, and cytotechnologists must also be registered and certified within their state of employment. Prior experience in the field is also required for many positions.
Good communication skills are essential, as cytotechnologists work regularly with others in the health field. However, it is also important to be self-driven, as much of the work is done independently.
Verify that data is connected to the correct patient.
Document results and enter data into laboratory information system.
Examine samples under a microscope to determine health and status of patient.
Perform routine maintenance on equipment and databases.