Curriculum in Histotechnology
Description of the Profession
Histotechnology professionals are qualified by academic and applied science education to provide service and research in histotechnology and related areas in rapidly changing and dynamic healthcare delivery systems. They have diverse and multi-level functions in the areas of analysis and clinical decision-making, information management, regulatory compliance, education, and quality assurance/performance improvement wherever anatomic pathology testing is researched, marketed, developed or performed.
Histotechnology professionals perform, develop, evaluate, correlate and assure accuracy and validity of laboratory testing and procedures; direct and supervise anatomic pathology laboratory resources and operations; and collaborate in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. They possess skills for financial, operations, marketing, and human resource management of the histopathology laboratory.
Histotechnology professionals practice independently and collaboratively, being responsible for their own actions, as defined by the profession. They have the requisite knowledge and skills to educate laboratory professionals, health care professionals, and others in laboratory practice, as well as the public.
The ability to relate to people, a capacity for calm and reasoned judgment, and a demonstration of commitment to the patient are essential qualities. Communication skills extend to consultative interactions with members of the healthcare team, external relations, customer service and patient education. Histotechnology professionals demonstrate ethical and moral attitudes and principles that are necessary for gaining and maintaining the confidence of patients, professional associates, and the community.
Entry Level Competencies
At career entry, the Histotechnologist will possess the following entry level competencies:
A. receiving and accessioning tissue specimens;
B. preparing tissue specimens for microscopic examinations, including all routine procedures;
C. performing more complex procedures for processing and staining tissues, including enzymes and immunohistochemistry;
D. assisting with and/or performing gross examination and frozen section procedures in histopathology as well as cytology specimen preparation methods;
E. identifying tissue structures, cell components, and their staining characteristics and relating them to physiological functions;
F. recognizing factors that affect procedures and results, and taking appropriate action within predetermined limits when corrections are indicated;
G. developing, testing, implementing, evaluating, and selecting new techniques, procedures, instruments and methods in terms of their usefulness and practicality within the context of a given laboratory's personnel, equipment, space, and budgetary resources;
H. making decisions concerning the results of quality control and quality assurance measures, and instituting proper procedures to maintain accuracy and precision;
I. confirming abnormal results, verifying quality control procedures, executing quality control procedures, and developing solutions to problems concerning the generation of laboratory data;
J. establishing and performing preventative and corrective maintenance of equipment or instruments, as well as identifying appropriate sources for repair;
K. exercising and applying principles of safety, management and supervision;
L. demonstrating professional conduct and interpersonal communication skills with patients, laboratory personnel, other health care professionals, and with the public;
M. recognizing and acting upon individual needs for continuing education as a function of growth and maintenance of professional competence;
N. recognizing the responsibilities of other laboratory and healthcare professionals and interacting with them with respect for their jobs and patient care;
O. leading supportive personnel and peers in their acquisition of knowledge, skills and attitudes; and providing leadership in educating other health personnel and the community;
P. applying principles of education methodology;
Q. applying principles of current information systems;
R. applying principles of in-situ hybridization, plastic and electron microscopy
At entry level, the Histotechnologist will have the following basic knowledge and skills in:
A. Application of safety and governmental regulations and standards as applied to histotechnology;
B. Principles and practices of professional conduct and the significance of continuing professional development;
C. Communications sufficient to serve the needs of patients, the public and members of the health care team;
D. Principles and practices of administration, supervision, and safety as applied to histotechnology;
E. Education techniques and terminology sufficient to train/educate users and providers of laboratory services.