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What does a Histotechnician do?

Learn all about Histotechnician duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Histotechnician.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A histotechnician is a medical technician who prepares tissue samples for examination by pathologists. Histotechnicians work in hospitals, clinics, and laboratories, and they may specialize in a particular type of tissue or procedure.

Histotechnician job duties include:

  • Prepare histologic slides from tissue sections for microscopic examination and diagnosis by pathologists
  • Mounts prepared slides on slide holders or in microscopes
  • Stains slides with dyes or other solutions to bring out cellular details for examination
  • May select and prepare chemicals used in staining or mounting specimens
  • May operate automated equipment to process tissue specimens
  • Keeps records of work performed
  • Maintains laboratory equipment and supplies
  • Performs quality control checks on stains and reagents
  • Follows safety procedures when handling hazardous chemicals

Histotechnician Job Requirements

A histotechnician is a medical professional who prepares tissue samples for examination by pathologists. They typically have an Associate's degree in histotechnology and must be certified by the American Society for Clinical Pathology. Histotechnicians typically have one or two years of experience working in a clinical laboratory.

Histotechnician Skills

  • Bachelor’s degree in histotechnology
  • ASCP certification
  • Ability to work independently
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Detail oriented
  • Good written and verbal communication skills
  • Good organizational skills
  • Ability to multitask
  • Flexibility
  • Team player

Related: Top Histotechnician Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Histotechnician

A histotechnician is a medical professional who specializes in the preparation of tissue samples for examination. Histotechnicians work in hospitals, clinics, and laboratories, and are responsible for ensuring that tissue samples are properly prepared for examination by pathologists.

To become a histotechnician, one must first complete an accredited histotechnology program. These programs typically last two to four years, and include coursework in anatomy, physiology, chemistry, and biology. Students also receive training in histology techniques, such as tissue processing and staining. Upon completion of a histotechnology program, students must pass a national certification exam to become a certified histotechnologist.

Once certified, histotechnicians can find employment in hospitals, clinics, and laboratories. They may also choose to specialize in a particular area of histology, such as immunohistochemistry or electron microscopy. With experience, histotechnicians may advance to supervisory or managerial positions within their organizations.

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