The Histopathology Section in the Laboratory of Pathology (LP) within the National Cancer Institute, Center for Cancer Research, provides expertise and diagnostic services in the field of anatomic pathology for all of the categorical institutes of the National Institutes of Health and Clinical Center patients, collaborates with research staff in investigations which involve the tissue and study of human pathological materials, provides instruction in the discipline of surgical pathology to residents, participates in teaching and interdepartmental conferences with staff, provides consultant services to NIH clinical staff and the oncology and general medical community including pathologists throughout the country and conducts independent applied research in surgical pathology.
Within the LP, the Histology Laboratory provides technical support for Surgical Pathology, Autopsy, and Cytopathology services. The mission of the Clinical Services of the LP of the National Cancer Institute is to achieve the highest level of quality in diagnostics, education and research, with responsibility for all anatomic pathology services for the NIH as well as others who seek our expertise through consultation. The LP seeks to provide the highest quality and most accurate diagnostic interpretation in the most efficient manner. These objectives are supported by a commitment to continuous quality improvement. The Laboratory of Pathology of the National Cancer Institute is a partner with the clinical and research community at the National Institutes of Health. By continuing to expand the scope of our expertise and by incorporating the newest tools of diagnosis, training, and research, our aspiration is to be a globally recognized center of excellence for clinical diagnostics, disease research, and pathology education. The LP is accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCARO). The LP is certified pursuant to the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) by the Department of Health and Human Service Health Care Financing Administration. The laboratory maintains training programs for pathology residents and fellows which are accredited by the America Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
The incumbent serves as a Histopathology Technician providing technical pathology support work in the area of histology, cytology, and autopsy within the Laboratory of Pathology. The Pathology Histopathology Technician is a profession that combines science and art to perform all duties and responsibilities in the field of Anatomic Pathology. They are knowledgeable and maintain skills to perform all aspects of Histopathology technology. Pathology histopathology technicians provide a full range of histology services, thereby providing the essential foundation for the Pathologist's work. Based on the preparation of quality tissue sections and stains by this professional, the pathologist is able to render diagnosis on a patient's disease thus helping the physician to access the best treatment and quality patient care.
The Histopathology technician is expected to cut approximately 20 standard blocks per hour, 1 H&E per block. The microtomy skill must be sufficient to cut 20 high-quality serial sections with minimal or no loss of tissue between these sections. Microtomy skills must be sufficient to cut small biopsy samples and cytology samples, but some supervisory oversight may be required during the training period.
Knowledge and performance of routine H&E staining is mandatory. Skills and knowledge to perform manual, non-silver staining techniques (such as Giemsa, B&H, iron, and copper reactions) is required. The technician is expected to recognize technical problems (embedding, microtomy, staining) and bring these to the attention of the supervisor or delegate and participate in the corrective action with their assistance.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the nation’s medical research agency — making important discoveries that improve health and save lives.