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Histology is the study of the microscopic structure of biological tissue. You're likely to take histology classes if you are working toward a career as a histotechnician, histotechnologist, pathologist, laboratory assistant, autopsy technician, or other related occupation. A histotechnician prepares microscopic slides of biological tissue for examination by a pathologist. A histotechnologist has further training in specimen collection. They may perform advanced tasks in the lab such as solving problems with instruments, understanding what unusual test results mean, and evaluating lab procedures and techniques as they are introduced. If you're taking histology classes and could use some help keeping the information straight, Varsity Tutors can help you find a qualified tutor today.
The five areas of focus for individuals studying histology are fixation, processing, embedding, staining, and laboratory operations. Fixation involves tissue identification and solving any problems with fixation artifacts. Processing focuses on decalcification reagents; you must be able to select the appropriate processing method for different situations. Embedding and staining are the application of the decisions made regarding processing, and they include operation and maintenance of an embedding center and microtome, water bath, and cryostat. Staining consists of mounting and cover slipping a sample and performing specialized staining procedures when necessary. Finally, laboratory operations entail the overall running of a lab, including preventative maintenance, quality control, and the application of laboratory safety procedures.