- Pathologist's assistants assist in postmortems and surgical procedures.Medical instruments image by Keith Frith from Fotolia.com
Pathology assistants are usually employed in surgical pathology or autopsy pathology. Surgical pathologists obtain essential clinical information from patients and assist in a range of procedures including analyzing specimens for bacterial and viral information. Autopsy pathologists help conduct post-mortem examinations on human bodies. Duties include obtaining legal authorization for autopsies and taking photographs. Pathology assistants work in hospitals, research laboratories, funeral homes and morgues, as stated on the Schools In The USA website. As of 2010, the average salary for a pathology assistant was is $71,000, according to Indeed.
- A pathology assistant should be capable of operating laboratory equipmentmicroscope image by Fotocie from Fotolia.com
Candidates should have excellent analytical skills and be capable of using scientific and medical principles to solve problems. Pathology assistants should also be adept at complex mathematics and have excellent written and oral skills. A pathology assistant should also be capable of working alone or as part of a medical team. He should be experienced in using basic laboratory equipment and have a good eye for detail.
- A diploma in biological science provides eligibility for certain procedures.A High-School Graduate image by TMLP from Fotolia.com
There are no specific undergraduate diploma course routes for prospective pathology assistants. Candidates require a baccalaureate diploma in anthropology, biological science or another relevant field to be eligible to apply for certification as a pathology assistant. These courses provide students the relevant training and experience to carry out limited procedures with pathologists in hospitals, health care centers and physician's practices. To practice as a pathology assistant without restrictions, candidates go on to gain certification with the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).
- The master's program teaches students how to analyze specimen slides.microscope kit image by PHOTOFLY from Fotolia.com
Once candidates have completed the baccalaureate program, they are required to complete a program accredited by the NAACLS, says Education-Portal. Most of these programs are offered at the master's level and provide candidates with practical experience in specimen photography and utilizing microscope slides for specimen analysis. Students also learn about keeping confidential patient records and how to use and maintain laboratory equipment. Some students who undertake the master's program emerge from professional backgrounds as lab technicians or clinical assistants. This will provide them with knowledge of the fields of anatomy and physiology, and in the identification and treatment of a range of diseases.
- Graduates can apply to the ASCP for certification as a pathology assistant.Blank award certificate form image by Stasys Eidiejus from Fotolia.com
Once a NAACLS certified program has been completed, graduates can apply to the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) for certification. Candidates must also complete the ASCP Board of Certification Exam.