By allied health world contributing writer
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What type of degree is needed to become a cytotechnologist?
To practice as a cytotechnologist one must earn their bachelor’s degree in cytology or a science-based field. There are certain prerequisites required to be accepted into a cytology program, such as biology, chemistry, microbiology, anatomy and physiology. Often these prerequisites are taken over the first two years of college so that the last two years are focused specifically on cytology.
What type of cytology schools are available?
Since cytotechnologists must earn a bachelor’s degree, there are a variety of school options including state universities, private colleges, and technical schools. Online cytology degrees may be available as well.
Are clinical rotations included in cytology degree programs?
Cytology programs include clinical rotations for students to gain practical experience and knowledge. Typically cytology programs include nine months of didactic course work and three months of clinical rotations. Each clinical rotation typically lasts for 2-3 weeks and is generally located in a variety of settings such as private labs and hospitals. Cytology students are mentored by seasoned cytologists who review their slides and help them refine their speed and accuracy. The clinical rotations help students decide which type of a setting they prefer to work in when they have completed their education.
What equipment is used in this field?
Mainly cytotechs use microscopes and computers. There are typically two different types of microscopes used; a traditional manual scope where the cytotech controls the settings, and a microscope tied to an imaging system. Essentially the later type of microscope helps guide the cytotech to areas of interest on the slide where an abnormality maybe present.