What to Expect
Scientific problem solving is the basis of any cytotechnology program.
And that's why Agnes Kurek enjoyed it so much. Kurek is a graduate of a
diagnostic cytology program. She says she has always enjoyed figuring things
out, and she has also always loved the sciences. Cytotechnology was the perfect
"It's diagnostic, and you're actually dealing with human tissue," she says.
"It's always different and challenging, and you're always learning. The more
specimens you look at, the more you learn."
There weren't really any typical days, says Kurek. "It's not like a normal
school -- you do a diagnostics class first, and then you have your lectures,
and one day of the week you do a full day of microscope work."
You definitely need to be able to sit still for long periods of time. Towards
the end of the program, Kurek was placed in a hospital lab. "And that's where
you learn -- on the job." During this time, the student's work is scored --
it must be at least 95 percent accurate.
Homework usually consisted of assignments regarding the topics covered
in class. In anatomy class, for example, a particular homework assignment
was learning the respiratory tract from anatomy (outer structure) to physiology
(function) to cellular structure, to histology (tissues). You have to
determine which stains you will use, and you must research every step, using
your textbooks and library material.
One of the best things about the program, says Kurek, was the fact there
were only 12 people in her class. "Because it was such a small class,
they virtually guaranteed I'd have a job after graduation -- this took a lot
of the pressure off."