Technical Standards

A Bachelor of Science Degree in Cytotechnology signifies that the holder is eligible to sit for the Board of Registry examination at the Cytotechnologist level and signifies that the holder is prepared for entry into the profession of cytotechnology. Therefore, graduates must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical, research, and industrial laboratory situations and to demonstrate entry level competencies at all levels of professional practice. Therefore, the following abilities and expectations must be met by all students admitted to the program.

1. Essential Observational Requirements for the Cytotechnologist

The cytotechnology student must be able to:

  • Observe and perform laboratory demonstrations and tests in which biologicals (i.e. body fluids, cellular specimens, cellular smears, etc.) are stained, cover slipped, and microscopically examined for the presence or absence of disease.
  • Characterize the color, odor, clarity, and viscosity of biological, reagent, or chemical substances. While colorblindness is not an impediment, per se, it nevertheless reduces the amount of visual information available to the observer and may thus present difficulties for the student.
  • Employ a clinical grade binocular microscope to discriminate among fine structural and color (hue, shading, and intensity) differences of microscopic specimens.
  • Read and comprehend text, numbers, and graphs displayed in print and in other visual formats.  

2. Essential Movement Requirements for the Cytotechnologist

The cytotechnology student must be able to:

  • Move freely and safely about a laboratory.
  • Reach laboratory bench tops and shelves, patients lying in hospital beds or patients seated in specimen collection furniture.
  • Travel to numerous clinical laboratory sites for practical experience.
  • Perform moderately taxing continuous physical work, often requiring prolonged sitting or standing, over several hours.
  • Maneuver laboratory FNA equipment on a cart to safely assist in collecting valid laboratory specimens from various areas in the hospital.
  • Control laboratory equipment (i.e. pipettes, test tubes, centrifuges) and adjust instruments to perform laboratory procedures.
  • Use an electronic keyboard (i.e. 101-key computer keyboard) to access laboratory information systems.  

3. Essential Communication Requirements for the Cytotechnologist

The cytotechnology student must be able to:

  • Read and comprehend technical and professional materials (i.e. textbooks, magazine and journal articles, handbooks, and instruction manuals).
  • Follow verbal or written instructions in order to correctly and independently perform laboratory procedures.
  • Clearly instruct clinicians or patients in correct specimen collection procedures.
  • Effectively, confidently, and sensitively converse with other members of the health care team regarding cytology tests.
  • Communicate with faculty members, fellow students, staff, and other health care professionals verbally and in a recorded format (writing, typing, graphics, or telecommunication).
  • Independently prepare papers, prepare cytology diagnoses, and take paper, computer, and laboratory practical examinations.

4. Essential Intellectual Requirements for the Cytotechnologist

The cytotechnology student must:

  • Possess these intellectual skills: comprehension, measurement, mathematical calculation, problem solving, reasoning, integration, analysis, comparison, selfexpression, and criticism. The ability to correlate visual information (i.e. cellular morphology) from microscopic smears with clinical data is an essential characteristic.
  • Be able to exercise sufficient judgment to recognize and correct performance deviations.

5. Essential Behavioral Requirements for the Cytotechnologist

The cytotechnology student must:

  • Be able to manage the use of time and be able to systematize actions in order to complete professional and technical tasks within realistic constraints.
  • Possess the emotional health necessary to effectively employ intellect and exercise appropriate judgment.
  • Be able to provide professional and technical services while experiencing the stresses of heavy workloads (i.e. large number of tasks to complete in a limited amount of time), task-related uncertainty (i.e. ambiguous test-ordering), emergent demands (i.e. “stat” test orders), and a distracting environment (i.e. high noise level, patient care areas, complex visual stimuli).
  • Be flexible and creative and adapt to professional and technical change.
  • Recognize potentially hazardous materials, equipment, and situations and proceed safely in order to minimize risk of injury to patients, self, and nearby individuals.
  • Adapt to working with unpleasant biologicals.
  • Support and promote the activities of fellow students and of health care professionals.
  • Promotion of peers helps furnish a team approach to learning, task completion, problem solving, and patient care.
  • Be honest, compassionate, ethical, and responsible. The student must be forthright about errors or uncertainty. The student must be able to critically evaluate his or her own performance, accept constructive criticism, and look for ways to improve (i.e. participate in enriched educational activities). The student must be able to evaluate the performance of fellow students and tactfully offer constructive comments.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply to the program. All prospective and current students are required to read the above information. All individuals admitted to the University of Kansas Cytotechnology program will be asked to verify that they can meet these standards with or without accommodation(s). Applicants who disclose a disability are considered for admission if they are otherwise qualified.

Last modified: Sep 27, 2013