Cytogenetic Technologist, Cytogenetic Technology Schools, Training, Jobs, and Careers

What is a Cytogenetic Technologist?
If you have had children, you understand the worry about birth defects. Doctors test for it vigorously during the pregnancy process. Some people get lucky and end up with healthy baby while others don’t.

The cytogenetic technologist gets involved in this test. His or her job is to examine and analyze chromosomes in the body. This examination helps detect birth defects.

However, the detection of birth defects is not the only thing done by these technologists. They can also detect fertility problems and hematological disorders. Their job will involves things like:

1. Explaining the chromosome test procedure to the patient

2. Evaluating the patient’s health condition

3. Collecting specimen, like blood, amniotic fluid, and or bone marrow

4. Preparing the chromosome to be tested

5. Preparing the slide to be used for the analysis

6. Mounting the chromosome to be examined

7. Examining and analyzing the chromosome

8. Updating and keeping patients’ medical records

9. Communicating with the doctor and family members about the result of their test

10. Maintaining and calibrating the chromosome examination and analysis equipments and machines

11. Etc.

The technologist must be detail oriented. Telling a pregnant woman her baby could be deformed is not an easy thing. The last thing you want is to cause this kind of anguish and find out later you were wrong.

It is also important to have good communication skills. Communicating bad test result must be done with skill and tactfulness.

How to Become a Cytogenetic Technologist:
To be a cytogenetic technologist, one needs to get a high school diploma or equivalent. You should take classes in algebra, biology, chemistry, geometry, etc. After you meet the above requirement, you then need to apply to a cytogenetic technology school.

Becoming a cytogenetic tech requires one to have clinical laboratory education first. You will then need to undergo one year of specialized training in cytogenetic technology. You should expect to take courses as:

a. Introduction to Cytogenetics
b. Clinical Cytogenetics
c. Techniques in Cytogenetics
d. Prenatal Cytogenetics
e. Cytogenetics Lab
f. Congenital Disorders in Cytogenetics
g. Fundamentals of Molecular Diagnostics
h. Etc.

Not all states and employers require that you be licensed. But licensing can give you a better chance of employment and pay.

To be licensed and certified, one needs to take and pass the certification examination given by the Credentialing Agency for Medical Laboratory Personnel (NCA). This will give you the title of certified cytogenetic technologist.

You also have the option of certification through the Board of Registry of the American Society for Clinical Pathology. There are people who go through both. This is purely optional.

Cytogenetic Technologist Salary:
Those that choose to become cytogenetic techs will make decent pay. The average salary is $55,000 per year. We have seen salaries on the high end of $63,000 per year. It must be pointed out that your education, years of experience, and location play a role in how much you make.

Cytogenetic Technologist School:
You can find cytogenetic technology program schools online and in your area. You just need to do an online search. You can do so through this link.

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