Histologists are the healthcare professionals working in a medical lab setting. A histologist is one among the several healthcare professionals who would work in medical labs and his/her work would involve examining the tissue or fluid samples of patients. Generally, the histologists would have to work in collaboration with pathologists and some other lab experts. Let’s see how to become a histologist here…
What are the duties and Responsibilities of a Histologist?
In general, the histologists’ work will be on the scientific aspect of the medicinal field and hence, they are unlikely to interact with patients. The work that is being done by histologists will be crucial in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. They would get the samples to be tested and after the tests are completed, they would give the results to the doctors of the patients. Therefore, as a histologist, you must be able to work with blood and other fluid and tissue samples.
In a working day, the duties and responsibilities of a typical histologist would include the following:
- Matching the blood samples for blood transfusions
- Staining the tissue samples with the aim of diagnosing bacteria and/or other pathogens
- Testing of the patients’ blood for presence of drugs
- Making use of microscopes to find out the abnormalities in the samples
As a histologist, you must be able to work under the supervision of laboratory supervisors although most of the work must be carried out alone.
Should you become a Histologist?
The work settings of the histologists would be any of the following:
- Medical laboratories
- Physicians’ offices
Becoming a histologist requires a great passion to work for long periods of time in the laboratory settings without missing out on accuracy in his/her work. And, those histologists who work in the organizations that are open all the day must be able to work during the nights and on the weekends.
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How to become a Histologist?
Those candidates who want to pursue a career as a histologist must complete an associate’s degree program or a certificate program in histology. The coursework of these programs would include the following subject areas:
- Cell biology
- Human anatomy
- Molecular biology
In addition, you will learn about various histological techniques like:
- Collection of tissue samples
- Preparation of samples for examination
- Cutting of samples into sections
- Application of stains
- Mounting of samples onto slides
Remember that, all these programs must be accredited by the ‘National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences’ – the body which is responsible for issuing the certification for histologists.
Job Outlook and Opportunities:
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment opportunities for all the medical laboratory technologists are estimated to increase by 16% from the year 2014 to 2024.
The average salary for the certified histologists is found to be more than $46,680 per year.
Average Annual Pay: $46,680
Education: Associate’s degree
Employment Growth from 2014 to 2024: 16%
On-the-job training: None
Work Experience: None