Cytotechnology curriculum is designed to provide the necessary requirements for the student to apply to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Miss., for an additional two years of study leading to a baccalaureate degree. The program also prepares the student for certification examinations in cytotechnology.
Cytotechnology programs typically exist at the bachelor’s and master’s levels. Some states regulate the profession of clinical laboratory scientists and may require licensure for cytotechnologists.
Most programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level have limited admissions. Candidates are typically required to complete 2-3 years of general education and prerequisite courses prior to entering the professional program. Some master’s programs do not require a bachelor’s degree, though most expect a high undergraduate GPA for specific coursework in biology, chemistry and mathematics. Applicants of a graduate program may require nationally recognized certification or field experience for acceptance.
Nearly all programs include clinical experiences as an essential part to the cytotechnology program. Teaching hospitals often provide on-site laboratory exposure, while other universities may offer rotations at affiliated hospital and commercial laboratories. Due to the nature of the scientific community, students may use clinical practicums to develop future employment leads. Potential applicants should research employment statistics of the school’s graduates and the general reputation of the school they plan to attend, as well as scientific publications of the faculty.
What can I expect from a career in Cytotechnology?
Cytotechnology is a speciality within clinical laboratory technology. A cytotechnologist is a member of the health-care team who works with cell samples, prepares them for examination on slides, stains and studies the preparation. By knowing what normal cells look like, the cytotechnologist can recognize those changes which relate to cancer and other disease processes. Most cytotechnologists work in hospitals under a pathologist’s direction, but may also work in clinics and private laboratories.