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Become a Cytotechnologist

How to Become a Cytotechnologist

  1. Interview or job shadow cytotechs who work in a variety of settings to learn more about this job/field first hand and see what type of a setting you’d prefer.
  2. Enroll in a cytology bachelor’s degree program.
  3. Sit for the American Society for Clinical Pathologists certification exam to earn the CT-ASCP.
  4. Apply and test for state licensure.
  5. Look for a job in this rewarding field.
  6. Take the annual proficiency exam.
  7. Maintain the necessary continuing education units your state licensure requires (typically 24 hours within a two year period).

What skills must one possess to succeed in this field?

In the field of cytology there is no black and white; rather everything is gray. One cytotechnologist may review a slide and think they see something atypical and another may review it and find it to be “normal”. Cytologists must have strong communication skills so they’re able to discuss cases with the pathologist or other cytotechs, and express their opinion as to whether they view a slide as normal or atypical. Cytotechs must also have a very high attention to detail and handle each slide they review with care, giving it the attention it needs. Cytotechs spend the bulk of their day reviewing slides, unless in the hospital setting where they may be required to handle Fine Needle Aspirations, so they must be okay in a sedentary job.

Cytotechnologist Schools