The Histotechnologist (HTL) is a health care professional that processes and prepares human and animal tissues to be observed by various forms of microscopy. Following proper tissue preparation, a histotechnologist stains tissue for routine and special identification of bacteria, fungi, cancer, and tissue structure abnormalities for pathological diagnosis.
The histotechnologist performs standardized laboratory skills that include tissue fixation, processing, embedding, sectioning, and staining. These skills and tasks performed by the histotechnologist require patience, dexterity and knowledge of anatomy, pathology, physiology, microbiology, immunology, molecular biology and chemistry. This knowledge, combined with the skillful application of standardized techniques, enables the histotechnologist to apply appropriate methods for visualizing anatomic structures with high quality results.
Employment for the majority of histotechnologists are in anatomic pathology laboratories within hospitals and clinics; however, career opportunities also exist in pharmaceutical, veterinary, biomedical and academic laboratories. There is an exponential growth for opportunities in this field of study.