In response to a national shortage of certified histotechnologists, Sentara rmh Medical Center has launched a new School of Histotechnology (HTL).
Histology is the science that studies the structure of cells and their formation into tissues and organs. A histotechnologist prepares and stains tissue to allow detection of abnormalities and disease, said Sue Lawton, HTL School program director.
“There is a severe shortage of certified histotechnologists in the United States,” Lawton said. “We hope by launching an HTL School we can help address this shortage in our community and others. Histotechnologists are in such demand that most of the students will have jobs waiting for them before graduation.”
Lawton said the HTL School will parallel the structure of the Sentara rmh School of Medical Laboratory Science (MLS). She noted that the mls School has had a 100-percent pass rate on national certification exams for the past 14 years.
Students entering the HTL School must have a four-year college degree, preferably in biology or chemistry. Lawton said the HTL School will provide a year of study leading to the histotechnologist certification exam.
“We hope our students will choose to remain with Sentara after graduation, but there are many opportunities for certified histotechnologists,” she said. “Graduates can work with hospitals, veterinary pathologists, marine biologists or forensic pathologists.”
The new school will be located at the Sentara rmh Burgess Avenue building. The first class will enter in June 2014. Applications can be found at rmhonline.com. For more information, contact Lawton at 540-564-7232.