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You are here: The Job Explorer > Job Description > Medical Lab > Histology Technician Responsibilities

Histology Technician Duties

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This is advanced technical and limited supervisory work in the preparation of tissue specimens for pathological examination.

Work involves responsibility for accuracy in preparing, cutting, staining, and mounting tissue sections to assist pathologists in making correct diagnosis of patient's disease and cause of death; in teaching pathology and in studies of pathologic phenomena. Employees of this class may assist in training lower level technicians and may ensure that work progresses in the absence of a supervisor. Work is performed in accordance with standard laboratory practices and procedures and technical guidance is available for unusual cases. Work is performed under the supervision of a technical superior who reviews procedures and results.


Receives specimens of tissue from surgical or diagnostic cases and from autopsy, sorts then in accordance with priority and difficulty of work, and identifies them by number.

Trims specimens into blocks and fixes tissue into formalin or other fixing solution.

Dehydrates tissue sections by immersion I acetone or alcohol baths.

Clears sections by use of special liquid reagents.

Impregnates sections with paraffin in vacuum.

Prepares specimens by frozen section method.

Prepares micro sections of ophthalmological and bony specimens by collodion embedding.

Assists lower level technicians in selecting proper stains in order to bring out certain tissue elements as required for diagnosis.

Takes periodic inventory of supplies and equipment and prepares requisition forms to replenish depleted supplies.

Performs related work as required.

Graduation from a standard high school, including course work in the natural sciences; and considerable experience in histological laboratory work; or any equivalent combination of training and experience.

Candidates for this position must possess, at time of appointment, certification as a Histology Technician from the Registry of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists.


Thorough knowledge of the principles and procedures of laboratory science.

Thorough knowledge of the principles and practices of histologic techniques.

Ability to perform assigned tasks according to exactly prescribed procedures and to make accurate observations of results.

Special ability required to perceive three-dimensional and geometrical relationships when cutting paraffin blocks and making embedding molds.

Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with physicians and fellow employees.

Skill in laboratory manipulative techniques.



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