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Histologic technician retrieving slides from refrigerator

Program Overview

The Histologic Technician is not only the eyes of the pathologist but also the artist of the laboratory. The Histologic Technician’s canvas is a plain glass slide to which color and design will be added. The medium is not oil, clay or stone but the entire array of human, animal and plant bodies.

The histotech's palette includes colors with names such as Hematoxylin, Eosin, and Alcian Blue pH 2.5, Acid Fast Green, Nuclear Fast Red, Carbol Fuchsin and others. The tools are not paintbrushes, chisels or drying ovens but have names such as tissue frossing, tissue processing, tissue embedding, microtome and microscopes.

The student will learn the art of preparing quality slides for the pathologists in order to aid in diagnosis and treatment of medical problems in conjunction with surgical and clinical findings.

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Program Details

The A.S. degree is designed for students who are looking for immediate entry into a career upon graduation. Most program courses directly relate to the identified career area. The remaining courses are comprised of general education courses.

The Associate in Science degree in Histologic Technology, teaches the knowledge of tissue and cellular structure. Students will develop skills in preparing, fixing processing, embedding, sectioning, and staining tissue, including brain, kidney, bone and muscle tissue. Actual surgical specimens are used in the laboratory settings.

As part of the program a supervised internship at an affiliated hospital, research or private laboratories is required. Students who enroll with a BS degree from a regionally accredited college or university after program completion sit for the American Society for Clinical Pathology's Histotechnologist certification exam. Areas of study include:

  • Histotechnology
  • Laboratory Safety
  • Tissue Identification
  • Medical Terminology
  • Infectious Diseases and Control Practices

Career Prospects

Histologic Technicians have a wide choice of practice settings. Hospitals, university research laboratories, private laboratories, public health facilities, industrial research, veterinary pathology laboratories, marine biology and forensic pathology laboratories, currently have positions open for qualified Histologic Technicians.

MDC has an 80-90% pass rate on the American Society for Clinical Pathology certification exam, consistently higher than the 70% national pass rate. Students who pursue studies in this field may find employment in job roles such as:

  • Laboratory Manager
  • Laboratory Supervisor

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