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BC Cancer has partnered with NAIT in Edmonton, Alberta for delivery of a unique and innovative cytotechnology program.

What is the role of a cytotechnologist? 

The cytotechnologist plays an important role as a health care professional. Depending on the laboratory, the cytotechnologist is chiefly responsible for the microscopic examination of slides prepared from each specimen and may also be responsible for specimen collection, preparation and staining and record keeping. Depending on the specimen type, the patient's medical history and the technologist's interpretation, the results may be reported by the technologist or the microscopic slides may be referred to the pathologist for interpretation.

The work is interesting and challenging. A cytotechnologist must be able to concentrate for long periods of time while examining slides with the microscope. The cytotechnologist must appreciate and accept responsibility for the impact of their work on patient care.

The health hazards to people working in this field are minimal.  However, working in the laboratory environment and with biological material carries some risk. All cytotechnologists are trained in laboratory safety and the appropriate handling of all types of specimens.

Interested in a career in cytotechnology? 

BC Cancer, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) has now partnered with NAIT in Edmonton, Alberta for delivery of a unique and innovative Cytotechnology program.  The three semesters of didactic studies will take place at NAIT, followed by a 49 week clinical practicum in Vancouver at BC Cancer.  More information about the program can be found at here.

Cytotechnology as a Career - 'Mystery Diagnosis' Focus on Cytology article from Advance for Medical Laboraotory Science

Recent graduate testimonials

"Being a cytotechnologist allows me to participate in a broad scope of health care, from patient interaction, specimen preparation and interpretation, to reporting.  
Working on challenging cases and sharing a passion with other dedicated colleagues and pathologists always provides a rewarding reminder of the impact and difference we are able to make."
-- Anita C, BMLSc, RT 


"As a cytotech, I take pride in knowing that we are the front line of defence in screening, interpreting and reporting our findings.  Our main responsibilities include examining cells on slides and looking for any abnormalities.  These changes can be seen as irregular shapes, sizes and colour in the nuclei of cells, as well as in the cytoplasm that surrounds the nuclei.  Working with other cytotechnologists, pathologists and health care professionals instills a sense of great responsibility and reward knowing our work can impact the lives of many."
 -- Shai L, BSc, RT


"I've been working as a cytotechnologist for almost 2 years and this career has proven to be both challenging and rewarding.  
I enjoy the visual aspect of looking at stained cells and 'playing detective' in assessing various cell changes in order to make a diagnosis.  
It is great to work and interact with a team of other health professionals to achieve accurate and timely results for our patients."
--Preet S, BSc, RT

SOURCE: Cytotechnology ( )
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