Histologic technician (also referred to as histology technicians or histotechnicians) are commonly found in both medical and research environments. This position involves working closely with pathologists, assisting in procedures to collect, prepare, and analyze specimens. Daily tasks include cleaning and preparing slides, cutting and staining specimens, and documenting the whole process. Other technical support may be needed as necessary, and regulations and protocols must be carefully followed at all times.
General skills required for this position include communication, attention to detail, time management, and general judgment skills. In addition to working side by side with the pathologist, most positions require regular communication with physicians, patients, and any other customers.
The work takes place in an indoor environment, while specific settings include laboratories and hospitals. Hours vary based on the available shifts, but it is common to work during typical business hours with some overtime. Physical requirements are generally limited to handling slides and lab equipment carefully.
Educational requirements for this position vary, but typically a bachelor’s degree in histology, biology, chemistry, or a related field is required. This is sometimes only preferred, especially in trainee or entry-level positions. Experience requirements also vary by position company, but laboratory experience and/or other related experience are highly preferred. Various certifications and licenses (such as from the American Society for Clinical Pathology, or ASCP) are also often required or preferred as well.
Histology / Histologic Technician Tasks
Obtain, prepare, label, stain, and microscopically analyze specimens.
Assist in set-up, troubleshooting, and evaluation of new techniques and equipment.
Prepare and store reagents, cultures, tissues, and other materials.
Maintain calibration records, including maintenance and special checks of equipment.