Voices from the field: supporting the educational needs of cytotechnologists

Maria A. Friedlander, Lynnette S. Pineault, Amber Donnelly, Sandra Giroux, Kalyani Naik

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: Sustaining a well-trained, competitive, and marketable cytotechnology workforce is a major goal of the American Society of Cytopathology/American Society for Clinical Pathology Workgroup Focusing on Emerging Roles in Cytopathology (ASC/ASCP Workgroup). This article describes the data collection initiatives performed by the Workgroup to confirm cytotechnologist (CT) perceived educational needs to keep pace with emerging practice changes in the workplace. In response to data collected, the Workgroup created Advanced Cytopathology Education (ACE)—a unique, innovative educational resource designed to fulfill this need. Materials and Methods: Data collection efforts included annual needs assessment surveys to gauge CT participants’ preferred topics and learning modalities. These data were used to design and prioritize ACE topics. Program evaluations were also administered to evaluate participants’ perceptions of program quality and effectiveness at meeting their educational needs. Results: Research findings reveal CT education needs to align with emerging practice areas as reported in other Workgroup data collection efforts. The incorporation of new entry-level competencies in cytotechnology training programs prepares new CT graduates, but there is no standardized mechanism for formal, robust, and recognized ongoing education for other practicing CTs. Conclusions: This article highlights the educational endeavors carried out by the Workgroup in fulfilling the educational needs of practicing CTs as communicated through various data collection efforts. As CT responsibilities evolve, ASC and Workgroup efforts will continue to focus on providing educational support for current practicing CTs who need training in emerging practice areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-260
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Society of Cytopathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018


  • Cytotechnologist
  • Cytotechnology
  • Education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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