Histotechnologists assist pathologists in lab settings by preparing tissue samples and documenting all information that is acquired through testing. Preparing tissue samples involves trimming, staining, dying, and fixing samples. The education requirement for histotechnologists is fairly low. histotechnologists require a clinical education in histotechnology, an associate's degree, or training at a hospital. histotechnologists need to be certified by accredited certification boards. States have different requirements for certification, so histotechnologists must be certified in every state that they practice in.
In science, documentation is everything. Histotechnologists must document all of their findings. For patient specimens, they are required to receive, log, and document all information about the samples as well as fill out all necessary forms that come with them. On top of paperwork, a histotechnologist must maintain a clean work environment. When working with tissue samples, any contamination can cause major problems. For this reason, histotechnologists must regularly clean, disinfect, and generally maintain all work spaces and equipment. All lab equipment must be calibrated and maintained on a regular basis, as well, to ensure accuracy.
Equally thorough documentation is necessary for technical issues. A histotechnologist must identify when there is a technical issue with any equipment and document these problems so that they can be properly repaired. This also serves to explain abnormalities in test results and allows for proper retesting with working equipment to take place. Histotechnologists' tasks do not end with quality assurance; they also need to document procedural improvements that they feel will increase workflow in their laboratory.
- Use, maintain, and calibrate laboratory equipment, and keep a clean, disinfected work space.
- Receive, log, and document patient specimens and accompanying forms.
- Prepare tissue samples by fixing, staining, dying, trimming, and other methods.
- Identify and document technical issues, quality assurance, and procedural improvements.