Cytotechnology is the microscopic study of cells for disease, and cytotechnologists are its trained practitioners. They are front-line investigators who use their skills to help health care teams solve complex puzzles of disease and illness.
Saskatchewan Polytechnic's nationally accredited two-year Cytotechnology diploma program emphasizes a hands-on approach to learning. You'll develop the knowledge and skill necessary to diagnose disease by identifying alterations in cell morphology (forms).
Your studies will focus on:
First-year classroom learning is augmented by lab work, where you will learn to perform basic procedures and begin developing your detection skills. During your 46 weeks of clinical experience, you will participate in six separate practicums, each focused on building your knowledge and skills in specific areas and techniques.
Use your Cytotechnolgy diploma to ladder into a degree program at the University of Regina, First Nations University of Canada or Athabasca University (Alberta). A degree is usually required if you are interested in moving into management or teaching positions.
Cytotechnologists are natural scientists - people who are curious about the human body and enjoy using microscopes to explore its inner workings. Cytotechnology is a profession that demands a high degree of accuracy, strong decision-making skills and the ability to take responsibility for your work.
Each year 4 students are accepted to this program. Students will experience a mix of traditional lectures, practical labs and clinical practicums increasing in length as the program progresses.
For this program, there is a heavy workload with 15 - 20 hours/week of homework. School hours begin at 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday except during clinical practicums where hours will coincide with health care hours. Clinical practicum hours can start as early as 7:00 a.m.
Graduates certified by the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science can work anywhere in Canada. Most cytotechnologists work in hospital or private clinical laboratories in large urban centres.
Day-to-day responsibilities generally include preparing slides for microscopic examination; evaluating cells for the presence of cancer, precancerous changes or infection and providing interpretations to pathologists. Your interests could also take you in a different direction - to a career in education or sales, for example.
|Sample Job Title||NOC Classification1||Earning Potential2|
|Cytotechnologist I/II||Medical Laboratory Technologists (3211)||$60,000 - $83,200|
|Cytotechnologist Working Supervisor||Medical Laboratory Technologists (3211)||$60,000 - $83,200|
Must be licensed with the Saskatchewan Society of Medical Laboratory Technologists (SSMLT) to work in Saskatchewan.
Every day, as a Cytotechnologist you are required to:
Medical and Physical Requirements
Interests describe what people enjoy doing often in the course of a day. Individuals in this program often possess a genuine concern for others and enjoy:
Values describe what the potential students have a high regard for, what gives meaning to their work and their lives, and what things they will work hard for:
Aptitudes or strengths are natural abilities, talents and general suitability for learning in a particular field. An example is a musical aptitude/talent where people have a natural ability; therefore, it is easier for them to develop skills in this area. Another example is mechanical ability. People with this natural talent are able to learn mechanical skills more easily than others who lack the suitability.
The purpose of this section is to give you an understanding of this career field and to help you make more informed career decisions.
There are 9 skill categories with examples of how workers use them on the job. The categories are: Reading, Using Documents, Writing, Math, Oral Communication, Thinking Skills, Working with Others, Computer Use and Continuous Learning. This section is based on the more detailed Essential Skills profiles developed by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.
Reading text (1 of 9 essential skills)
Using documents refers to tasks that involve a variety of information displays in which words, numbers, icons and other visual characteristics appear. It may involve reading, writing and/or creating.
Problem Solving (1 of 5 Thinking Skills )
Decision Making (2 of 5 Thinking Skills)
This refers to making a choice among options. Decision making occurs during problem solving but not all decision making is part of problem solving. Therefore, it is presented as a separate thinking skill. For example, buyers for retail outlets regularly make decisions about which suppliers to buy from and they select among the options for particular types of merchandise. This is not problem solving.
Job Task Planning and Organizing (3 of 5 Thinking Skills)
Significant Use of Memory (4 of 5 Thinking Skills)
Finding Information (5 of 5 Thinking Skills)
Year 1 - 41 weeks; Year 2 - 45 weeks
*Previous Saskatchewan mathematics and physics requirements also accepted:
Clinical Practicum Experience
Clinical experiences are assigned by the Medical Diagnostics Committee on Practicum Placements (COPP).
The First Qualified/First Admitted (FQFA) process is used for the majority of Saskatchewan Polytechnic programs. When we determine that you meet the program's admission requirements, you will be offered admission based on the date you fully qualify for the program. The earlier you provide the appropriate documents and information that qualify you for admission to the next intake, the earlier you might begin your studies. Your application, once qualified, is always considered for the next intake.
Applicants to programs with multiple intakes in an academic year remain in the application pool until the last intake for that academic year has begun. Programs using the FQFA process receive applications year round and maintain an application pool for each academic year. Qualified applicants who are not offered a seat must reapply for the next academic year.
Sponsored programs or programs targeted to specific groups do not accept applications year round or maintain an application pool.
See Admission Processes for more information about this method of admission.
Year 1 - $10,400
Year 2 - $9,800
Additional programs costs that students are responsible for include:
Note: Labs, projects and practicums are used to actively involve you in the learning process and allow you to apply learned theory as you develop your skills.
Saskatchewan Polytechnic recognizes that adults learn in many different ways and through many different means. This includes acquiring knowledge and skills through life and work experience or non-formal training. A detailed Candidate Guide, which includes a self-audit for all PLAR-ready courses, has been developed for this program. This information guides a candidate through all steps in the PLAR process.
Many Sask Polytech students benefit from transferring course credit. You may be eligible to transfer credit from or to another college or university. Learn more about Transfer Credit.
Thanks to the generosity of donors and alumni, Saskatchewan Polytechnic gives away more than $2 million in student awards during the academic year.
Saskatchewan Polytechnic offers student awards for every certificate and diploma program at every campus. You don't have to be a brainiac to receive a student award. Not all student awards are based on marks - some are based on financial need or things like community or volunteer involvement.
Saskatchewan Polytechnic's Cytotechnology program is an accredited program. Program content is based on the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science competency profile, with topics added as appropriate for addressing local needs.
Graduates are eligible to write the national Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) exam, which allows you to work anywhere in Canada. You are also eligible for licensure with the Saskatchewan Society of Medical Laboratory Technologists (SSMLT).
The cost of CSMLS national certification examination is the responsibility of the student. For more information, see www.csmls.org/About-Us/What-We-Do/Certification.aspx.