Cytotechnologists are licensed laboratory professionals who possess strong attention to detail and a passion for solving puzzles. But more than either of those things, they share a desire to improve the health of patients – many of whom they may never even see.
Before turning on a microscope, cytotechnologists begin by first reviewing a patient’s history to see if there are areas where they should focus their attention. Next they’ll look at a slide of a cellular specimen under the microscope trying to spot any cellular changes and making diagnoses that range from benign/normal, to infections, precancerous lesions and cancer.
To help aid in a definitive diagnosis, the cytotechnologist may perform and interpret additional diagnostic techniques, enabling them to go beyond the cellular level and explore what is happening at the molecular level (this is molecular cytology).
Following this process, they assemble all the “pieces of the puzzle” and arrive at a diagnosis that often serves as the basis for how the patient will be treated.
You will have hands-on sessions with the microscope every day during your first year, both individually and as a group. Specialized equipment such as our “ten-headed” microscope provide groups of people with the ability to examine and discuss a single specimen at the same time, making it an invaluable teaching and learning tool.
The 55-credit program - which is split between courses in Cytotechnology (25 credits) and Biomedical Sciences (30 credits) - has been designed specifically to prepare you for the national cytotechnologist certification exam administered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
The Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Cytotechnology program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Allied Health Education Professions (CAAHEP), 25400 U.S. Highway 19 North, Suite 158, Clearwater, FL 33763.
The first rotation is 7 weeks and takes place over the summer. The second rotation is 12 weeks and is completed in the fall of your second year. Below is a selection of sites where ACPHS students have performed their clinical rotations:
- Albany Medical Center (Albany, NY)
- St. Peter’s Health Partners (Albany, NY)
- Ellis Medicine (Albany, NY)
- SUNY Upstate Medical University Hospital (Syracuse, NY)
- University of Rochester Medical Center (Rochester, NY)
- Northwell Health (Multiple sites in Long Island and New York City)
- Yale University Medical Center (New Haven, CT)
- Duke University Medical Center (Multiple sites in Durham, NC)
This project represents the culmination of all that you have learned in the classroom, lab, and on your rotations. It consists of four basic components: (1) Literature analysis, (2) Case presentation for the American Society for Cytotechnology, (3) Cytologic-histologic correlation, and (4) Review paper and presentation.
Titles of past capstone papers include:
- Next Generation Sequencing: Genetics, Molecular, and Therapy
- Diagnostic Pitfalls, Molecular Diagnostics, and Management Guidelines of Urothelial Cell Carcinoma
- Molecular Diagnostics, Genetics, and Targeted Therapy of Breast Cancer
- Circulating Tumor Cells: Methods, Applications, and Patient Management
As the demand for cytotechnologists continues to outpace the number of licensed professionals, graduates of the program have enjoyed great success finding employment immediately following graduation. Having a master's degree also positions them well for advancement into senior laboratory roles as they gain more experience.
Below is a list of places where some of our recent graduates are now employed:
- Albany Medical Center
- Cleveland Clinic
- The Johns Hopkins Hospital
- Mount Sinai Hospital
- New York-Presbyterian Hospital
- Northwell Health
- St. Peter’s Health Partners
- University of Rochester Medical Center