Fine needle aspiration (FNA) and body fluid samples are more complex, requiring more time and evaluation from cytotechnologists
. Ancillary tests for these samples, such as immunohistochemistry (IHC) tests, are also increasing and changing rapidly.
The cell sample is delivered to a laboratory where a cytotechnologist
(a lab professional who reviews your Pap test) and, when necessary, a pathologist (a physician who examines bodily tissue samples) examine the sample for any abnormalities.
The Venezuelan Public Health Services hire cytotechnologists
part time and establish that each cytotechnologist
must review 5-6 Pap slides/hour.
High school students interested in a career as a cytotechnologist
can prepare by taking courses in mathematics and the sciences.
Pathfinder System: an automated computer-based microscope that helps cytotechnologists
identify, mark and record suspicious cells on Pap tests.
The process for screening GYN Pap cases requires a meticulous attention to detail on the part of trained cytotechnologists
, who must screen each cell in a sample in a very methodical fashion to identify and record any abnormalities.
Conservatively, each Pap smear contains from 50,000 to 150,000 cells and thus, in the average five minutes allotted to screening each one, a cytotechnologist
must make tens of thousands of decisions regarding the malignant potential of individual cells.
There was no performance difference between pathologists and cytotechnologists
for LSIL misclassification (P = .28), but cytotechnologists
had a significantly higher rate of misclassifying HSIL as LSIL (1437 of 27 534; 5.2%) than did pathologists (1032 of 25 630; 4.0%; P = .003).
With the ThinPrep imaging system, the system can identify 22 microscopic fields of interest for the cytotechnologist
who reviews each slide.
Menstrual blood can mask abnormal cells; these cells would not be visible to the cytotechnologist
Overall, the mean vacancy rate for cytotechnologist
staff in the country doubled from 10% in 1998 to 20% in 2000.
A cytologic evaluation was performed by a qualified cytotechnologist
, and abnormal smears were reviewed by a board-certified pathologist at either SmithKline Bio-Science Laboratory (Philadelphia) or Harrisburg Hospital.