Cytotechnologists examine the microscopic cells within body tissue to find abnormalities and disease. They prepare cell specimens and use special techniques like staining to evaluate the samples under a microscope. By identifying small differences in color, size or shape, they help in the diagnosis of illnesses.
Cytotechnologists can be employed by hospitals, clinics, research laboratories and government facilities. They usually work regular hours, often under the supervision of a clinical pathologist who offers a final diagnosis and treatment based on their findings.
Cytotechnologists must have a bachelor’s degree and complete a year or two of training in an accredited program for a certificate.
There are 30 approved schools of cytotechnology in the United States, but none in Iowa. The closests programs are in Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Missouri.
Licensure and Certification
For full professional certification, cytotechnologists must pass the national exam offered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
Career Outlook Map of Iowa
Cytotechnologists are part of a group of clinical laboratory science professions that are expected to grow by 9%. The outlook is slightly better in the Cedar Valley region and very good in central Iowa.