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Cytopathology

Cytopathology is a branch of pathology involving the study and diagnosis of diseases at the cellular level using a light microscope.

Training and qualifications required

With GCSEs or other level-2 qualifications, you can apply for a post as a cervical cytology screener and study for a Cervical Screening Programme Certificate in Cervical Cytology. There are sometimes opportunities to enter at associate level through an apprenticeship and work towards a QCF level-3 qualification in healthcare science.

Expected working hours and salary range

NHS staff will usually work a standard 37.5 hours per week. They may work a shift pattern. Most jobs in the NHS are covered by the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay scales. Terms and conditions of service can vary for employers outside the NHS. Salaries for healthcare science staff working in cytopathology will range typically range from AfC bands 2 to 4, depending on the role and level of responsibility.

Desirable skills and values

An interest in science and technology, good communication skills, comfortable using modern technology and complex equipment, able to follow clear instruction and procedures, pay great attention to detail and be able to work as part of a team.

Prospects

Once in post as a healthcare science associate or assistant you’ll work towards relevant healthcare science qualifications (QCF, NVQs, foundation degrees (or equivalent)) while you’re working. These are underpinned by an awards and qualifications framework.
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