Nursing Education
Nursing Education Opportunities in Mississippi - 2006  <more..>
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Cytotechnologists are specially trained individuals who are responsible for detecting small changes or abnormalities in cells. Their work is critical in the early detection and diagnosis of cancers and other diseases. They examine samples under a microscope, studying the slides for minute abnormalities in a cell's shape, color, or size. These findings are usually the first warning signs of cancer and are used to indicate whether it is benign or malignant. Cytotechnologists usually work under the direction of a clinical pathologist who is responsible for any final diagnosis. During their specialized training, cytotechnologists learn a staining technique that makes cells easier to differentiate from surrounding tissue. These cellular samples may be obtained from various bodily structures, such as the lungs, the oral cavity, the female reproductive tract, or any body cavity that sheds cells. Examination of Pap smears continues to be a major role for cytotechnologists. Cytotechnologists are also responsible for detecting abnormal hormone conditions and other pathological disease processes, which can have an adverse affect on a patient's health. Anyone interested in this highly technical field should be a responsible decision-maker and an efficient problem solver.

Work Environment:

Cytotechnologists usually work in hospitals, clinics, and private laboratories. Other places of employment are research laboratories, educational institutions, and government facilities. They work with a variety of lab equipment and are often seated for long periods of time while they perform their duties.

High School Preparation:

High school students interested in a career as a cytotechnologist should take courses in biology, algebra, chemistry, physics, health occupations/medical professions education, computer skills, English, geometry, and physical science.

College Requirements:

Individuals interested in cytotechnology should be careful about selecting an educational program because prospective employers may have preferences as to program accreditation. Students must receive bachelor's degree in cytotechnology from an accredited institution. Then they are eligible to take the national certification examination. Once all of these requirements are met, an individual may use the initials CT. Students interested in cytotechnolgy should contact schools for information concerning admission and course of study.

For educational institutions in Mississippi
offering this course of study click here.

Career Outlook:

Employment opportunities for cytotechnologists are expected to grow about as fast as the average for all other occupations. There is an expected increase of 10% to 20% over the next eight years. The volume of laboratory tests will increase with population growth and the development of new tests. The rapidly growing older population will be another reason for this growth, since older people tend to have more medical problems that will require more lab work. New advancements in powerful diagnostic tests will also add to a rise in employment in this sector. As in most occupations, many openings will result from the need to replace workers who transfer to other companies, retire, or stop working for some other reason.


Average Annual Salary
Salary Range

Professional Organizations:

American Society for Cytotechnology
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 201
Raleigh, NC 27607
Phone: (919) 787-5181

American Society of Clinical Pathologists Board of Registry
2100 W. Harrison Street
Chicago, IL 60612-3798
Phone: (312) 738-1336

American Society of Cytopathology
400 W. 9th Street, Suite 201
Wilmington, DE 19801
Phone: (302) 429-8802

Mississippi Society of Cytopathology
The University of Mississippi
Department of Cytotechnology, School of Health Related Professions
2500 North State Street
Jackson, MS 39216-4505
Phone: (601) 984-6358

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