What is Histotechnology?

Histology is the study of cellular morphology, tissue anatomy, and tissue architecture. Histologists are responsible for the process of preparing human and animal tissues so that they may be observed by different forms of microscopy. These techniques are used for a variety of reasons: from the diagnosis of disease to the study of animal and plant models investigating the origins of  disease.

Tissues are preserved through chemical “fixation” and then pass through a series of processing steps that renders the tissue in a medium that allows extremely thin (thinner than a human hair!) sections to be collected on glass slides or other media.

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The slides can then be “probed” using chemical, immunological or molecular techniques so that different micro-anatomic structures may be visualized microscopically. A histologist is academically trained and learns the  biochemical, immunological and molecular reactions that produce the desired effects.

This knowledge, combined with an understanding of anatomy, physiology, histology, microbiology and pathology, enables the histotechnologist to apply the most appropriate method to achieve a high quality result that demonstrates the features of interest.


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Histotechnology is a dynamic profession with new technology and methodology continually evolving. Laboratory tests are important in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of many illnesses and diseases, and histotechnologist are vital members of the medical laboratory team. The majority of histotechnologist work in anatomic pathology laboratories in hospitals and clinics but  career opportunities also exist in veterinary, pharmaceutical, biomedical and academic laboratories. Currently, there is a shortage of trained histologist nationwide. The advent of new technology and the aging workforce has created a high demand for well trained, qualified histologist.


Click the link below to view the NSH Histotechnology Career Video



Please visit the Education and Licensing page to find out about Educational Programs as well as the  state requirements to become a licensed histotechnian in New York.