How Do I Become a Cytogenetics Technologist?

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  • Written By: Jessica F. Black
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 19 May 2019
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This profession is an important position in the medical field and to become a cytogenetics technologist, you will need to enroll in a degree program in cytogenetic technology. In addition to education, you will need to have extensive training in this field to prepare for most of the hands-on duties that you will typically be required to perform. The primary duties of this profession include extracting blood samples or other bodily fluids from patients and analyzing cultures in order to identify various genetic diseases. There are several types of degrees that you can pursue in this field but to become a cytogenetics techologist in an entry level position and you will need to have at least a bachelor's degree.

Due to the specific nature of this career, you may need to conduct a thorough Internet search to find a school that offers a degree in a cytogenetics field. In addition to the Internet, you should seek information from local medical facilities or schools that may offer programs designed to prepare you to become a cytogenetics technologist. Most of these degree programs will require that you complete introductory science courses including chemistry, biology, immunology, and genetics. Once you have finished your general science requirements, you will need to enroll in advanced courses that will prepare you to become a cytogenetics technologist. These courses may include pre-analytical cytogenetics, prenatal cytogenetics, and post-analytical cytogenetics.


Most of your advanced coursework will be accompanied by laboratory work designed to prepare you to become a cytogenetics technologist. Many cytogenetic technology degree programs will require that you complete a field practicum which may vary in length depending on the school but generally lasts the length of one semester. During your practicum, you will be able to apply your knowledge to clinical practice including preparing, culturing, and analyzing cell slides. The primary topics that these training programs may cover include molecular cytogenetics, chromosome analysis, and harvesting specimens. You will be performing tasks using patient samples and working closely with laboratory aids and faculty, which will provide you with hands-on training.

After graduation, you may want to consult with your professors in reference to job openings in your local area. The Internet may provide you with employment information and you can expand your search in order to find employment in multiple locations. Medical facilities including hospitals, private practices, and laboratories are also excellent locations to seek employment once you have become a cytogenetics technologist.



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