What Do Cytogenetic Technologists Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life.

Job Description

Cytogenetic Technologists analyze chromosomes found in biological specimens such as amniotic fluids, bone marrow, and blood to aid in the study, diagnosis, or treatment of genetic diseases. They also count numbers of chromosomes and identify the structural abnormalities by viewing culture slides through microscopes, light microscopes, or photomicroscopes.

Other tasks include:

  • Arrange and attach chromosomes in numbered pairs on karyotype charts, using standard genetics laboratory practices and nomenclature, to identify normal or abnormal chromosomes.
  • Analyze chromosomes found in biological specimens to aid diagnoses and treatments for genetic diseases such as congenital birth defects, fertility problems, and hematological disorders.
  • Examine chromosomes found in biological specimens to detect abnormalities.
  • Create chromosome images using computer imaging systems.
  • Select appropriate culturing system or procedure based on specimen type and reason for referral.
  • Harvest cell cultures using substances such as mitotic arrestants, cell releasing agents, and cell fixatives.

We asked Cytogenetic Technologists how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

74%

How meaningful is this job

82%


74% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 82% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Cytogenetic Technologists analyze chromosomes found in biological specimens to aid diagnoses and treatments for genetic diseases such as congenital birth defects, fertility problems, and hematological disorders. They count numbers of chromosomes and identify the structural abnormalities by viewing culture slides through microscopes, light microscopes, or photomicroscopes.

A typical day for a Cytogenetic Technologist will also include:

  • Examine chromosomes found in biological specimens to detect abnormalities.
  • Arrange and attach chromosomes in numbered pairs on karyotype charts, using standard genetics laboratory practices and nomenclature, to identify normal or abnormal chromosomes.
  • Describe chromosome, FISH and aCGH analysis results in Internations System of Cytogenetic Nomenclature (ISCN) language.
  • Summarize test results and report to appropriate authorities.
  • Maintain laboratory equipment such as photomicroscopes, inverted microscopes, and standard darkroom equipment.

We asked some Cytogenetic Technologists a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?54% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?54% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?77% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?4% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?0% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?62% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Cytogenetic Technologists also communicate to responsible parties unacceptable specimens and suggest remediation for future submissions. They may also archive case documentation and study materials as required by regulations and laws.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Cytogenetic Technologists Extract, measure, dilute as appropriate, label, and prepare DNA for array analysis. They might also Communicate test results or technical information to patients, physicians, family members, or researchers.

In addition, they Develop, implement, and monitor quality control and quality assurance programs to ensure accurate and precise test performance and reports.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Supervise subordinate laboratory staff.

To some Cytogenetic Technologists, it is also their responsibility to Select appropriate methods of preparation and storage of media to maintain potential of hydrogen (pH), sterility, or ability to support growth.


Working life

Working hours

Standard 40 hour work week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

In a typical work week as a Cytogenetic Technologist, you can expect to work 40 hour work week.

Do Cytogenetic Technologists work in an office-style work environment?

Every day
100%


Never
0%


Do Cytogenetic Technologists work outdoors?

Never
100%


Once a year
0%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Thinkers and The Builders

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally..

They also like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

You can read more about these career personality types here.




Learn more about Cytogenetic Technologists

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Related to Cytogenetic Technologists Job Description

Cytogenetic Technologists job description, what do Cytogenetic Technologists do, typical day for Cytogenetic Technologists, what is it like to work as a Cytogenetic Technologist, how many hours do Cytogenetic Technologists work, day to day work of a Cytogenetic Technologist

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/healthcare/medical-and-clinical-laboratory-technologists-and-technicians.htm
http://www.ascls.org/
http://www.cytopathology.org/
http://www.naacls.org/


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