The Cytotechnologist screen human cell samples under the microscope, looking for early signs of cancer and other diseases. We trace the clues to disease in the nucleus and cytoplasm of cells that have been stained with special dyes. With expert eyes, we look for the smallest abnormalities in color, shape and size that can be clues to the presence of disease. We issue the final report on specimens which contain normal cells. When abnormal cells are present, we work with a pathologist to arrive at a final diagnosis. We work independently with little supervision. We must be disciplined, patient, precise, and have good eyesight. Above all, we enjoy making decisions and taking responsibility since our findings directly effect a patient’s course of treatment.
Scope of Instruction
During the year long course, each student receives comprehensive training covering microscopic evaluation of various normal cellular constituents, benign and inflammatory atypia, and malignancies from all body sites. Specific body sites covered include cervicovaginal, respiratory, oral and GI-tract, urinary tract, body cavities, CSF, soft tissue and bone, as well as Fine Needle Aspiration of the breast, lymph nodes, thyroid gland and salivary gland. The student is given an introductory lecture on the embryology, anatomy and histology of each body site covered. Additional presentation includes in-depth instruction on the detection of cellular manifestations of disease in order to develop a differential diagnosis based on the cellular evidence in conjunction with cognitive knowledge and clinical data. The program consists of 25-weeks of didactic instruction and 25-weeks of supervised clinical training in a military health care facility. Army course graduates are awarded the ASI M2. All graduates earn a bachelor of science degree from The George Washington University.
The GWU Degree
In 2003, an educational affiliation with The George Washington University
was established to confer a baccalaureate degree in Health Sciences with a major in Cytotechnology to students who successfully complete the Interservice Cytotechnology Program. All students must meet all Army or Navy academic requirements for the Interservice Cytotechnology Program in order to be admitted into the GWU baccalaureate program. The George Washington University provides educational services to include enrollment services and academic record maintenance. and confers a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences with a major in Cytotechnology to all students successfully completing the Interservice Cytotechnology Program and two (2) distant learning courses (CLS 4151 Molecular Diagnostics and Hsci 2112 Writing for the Health Sciences). An official transcript for 126 hours and an actual degree is mailed to the Registrar, AMEDDC&S, Fort Sam Houston, Texas or unless mutually agreed by all parties to send the actual degrees and transcripts directly to the individual students.The Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Sciences with a major in Cytotechnology and all semester hours is based on a combination of the prerequisites, and curriculum taught by the assigned military and Department of the Army Civilian personnel in the named courses at the METC Cytotechnology program, Joint Base San Antonio, Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
METC Cytotechnology Program
Building 1356: MIF-3, Room: 3-308
3480 Garden Ave
Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234-6137