The Cleveland Clinic School of Cytotechnology is located at the Main Campus of the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. It is adjacent to public transportation to the downtown area as well as to both the east and west slides of the city. Cleveland has a rich cultural heritage and affords the interested student opportunities to visit museums and attend theater productions and concerts in area. The Cleveland Clinic also hosts many medical, community and cultural events at the various Cleveland Clinic hospitals throughout the greater Cleveland area.
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Cleveland Clinic's School of Cytotechnology is a 1 year post baccalaureate certificate training program consisting of didactic and practical instruction in the basics of cytologic diagnosis. Preparation of cytologic slides and the microscopic detection and diagnosis of the cells seen are only a portion of the responsibility of the cytotechnologist. The didactic instruction will include anatomy, histology, correlation of cellular findings to other clinical information, adjunct testing and laboratory management as they relate to cytology. Classes will begin early in July and end the last week of June the following year. Students must successfully complete the entire course of study in order to obtain a certificate of completion and be eligible to take the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), Board of Certification Cytotechnology examination.
The early weeks of the course are devoted to the study of the Pap Test. This test was developed by Dr. George Papanicolaou to aid in the detection of cancer of the uterine cervix and its precursors. During this time, students will learn the appearance of normal and abnormal cells, changes associated with inflammation and injury of tissue, and the basic cytologic criteria of malignancy. They will gain valuable experience in the microscopic screening of cytologic preparations, a skill necessary to be successful technologists. They will also learn the basics of slide handling and staining using both manual and automated methods. The Cleveland Clinic uses state-of-the-art equipment for preparation, staining and reviewing cytologic samples.
Throughout the remainder of the program, students will study each body system; the source of cytologic material. These include, but are not limited to, the respiratory, gastrointestinal and genitourinary systems. In addition, students will learn the anatomical locations used for fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy, as well as the diagnostic criteria for each of these locations.
Aspects of laboratory operations and management are included in the curriculum to help students understand the role of the cytology department in context with other diagnostic areas of the hospital laboratory. Maintaining patient confidentiality, professionalism and teamwork are essential characteristics of cytotechnologists.
All Cytotechnology programs are expected to “prepare competent entry-level cytotechnologists in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behaviors) learning domains” (American Society for Cytopathology, Programs Review Committee). The Cleveland Clinic School of Cytotechnology with its state of the art laboratory facilities and dedicated, experienced faculty is prepared to not only meet this goal, but to bring to the cytology community new technologists who are equipped to meet the changing nature of the cytotechnology healthcare profession.
Accreditation of the School of Cytotechnology is obtained through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), 9355 113th Street N., #7709, Seminole, FL 33775-7709 (phone 727.210.2350).
The primary goal of the Cleveland Clinic School of Cytotechnology is to provide the students the skills and knowledge necessary succeed as cytotechnologists. The training is designed to provide students with entry level skills to effectively function as a cytotechnologist in performing gynecologic, non-gynecologic and fine needle aspiration cytopathology. It is the responsibility of the faculty to assist students in the acquisition of basic screening and detection skills and to guide them through a curriculum that will give them the scientific knowledge necessary to perform with integrity and accuracy. The curriculum contains elements that address all aspects of the profession including ethics, professionalism, decision making, team work, and management in addition to the cytologic skills necessary to make accurate diagnoses from a wide variety of specimens. To this end it is also a goal of this program to prepare students to pass the national American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification Cytotechnology examination.
The Cleveland Clinic School of Cytotechnology is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP, caahep.org). This accreditation assures that students will be eligible to sit for the national registry examination upon successful completion of the program.
The students will also complete training and be certified to screen not only conventional pap tests but ThinPrepTM and SurePathTM pap tests. They will also be certified to operate the equipment supporting these two methods of slide preparation. Experience with state-of-the-art technologies will make Cleveland Clinic School of Cytotechnology graduates marketable locally and nationally.
An additional goal of the program is to introduce students to various adjunct technologies, such as flow cytometry and molecular diagnostics. As morphologists, cytotechnologists with a background in molecular diagnostics will have enhanced skills that will provide them with more opportunities within a competitive job market.
Note: The Cleveland Clinic School of Cytotechnology has been approved by the Clinic’s Center for Health Sciences Education and their Health Professions Education Council. Their mission is to ensure all Cleveland Clinic Health Science programs educate students to excel in academic achievement and become providers of the best care to patients.
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