Bachelors of Science in Cytotechnology is being taught at  Makerere University Uganda east Africa under Department of Pathology at College of Health Sciences

Who is a Cytotechnologist?

Cytotechnologist is an allied health professional who studies cells microscopically while using specialized techniques and approaches. These professionals analyze cellular materials from patients for the purpose of diagnosing, monitoring, evaluating risk of disease, guiding or monitoring therapy. By examining cellular changes, cytotechnologists are able to save lives by discovering disease early and uncovering information that informs effective treatment.

Minimum Requirements Needed to Practice As A Cytotechnologist In Uganda

  • Possess a bachelor of science in cytotechnology degree or equivalent from an accredited institution of higher learning.
  • Registered with allied health professionals’ council.
  • Member to Cytology Society of Uganda (CSU).

Scope Of Practice For Cytotechnologists

Screening and diagnosis:-

  • Examine cellular specimens microscopically to detect evidence of cancer, pre-cancerous changes, benign tumors, hormonal abnormalities, infectious organisms, inflammatory processes and other pathological conditions following established standards and criteria.
  • Provide a preliminary interpretation to clinicians on cytologic diagnoses while utilizing current /appropriate medical terminologies and nomenclature; further consult with specialist pathologists to issue a final diagnosis where necessary.
  • Perform microscopic assessment of specimens for adequacy; determine cellularity; identify any fixation, staining or smear preparation errors and initiate appropriate corrective mechanisms.
  • Provide a recommendation on cytodiagnoses following approved guidelines and practices.


  • Receive specimens, verify whether patients’ demographic data corresponds with information on requisition form and assign a unique identification number intended for use in specimen processing & testing.
  • Perform cytopreparatory procedures such specimen collection, specimen processing, slide preparation, staining with Papanicolaou or Romanowsky stains, mounting, cover slipping & cell block (CB) preparations.
  • Perform tissue preparation techniques such as grossing (specimen dissection), tissue processing, tissue orientation, embedding, sectioning (microtomy), H/E staining, mounting & coverslipping.
  • Perform ancillary studies/testing on cellular or tissue sections such as flow cytometry (FC), fluorescent in situ Hybridization (FISH), immunocytochemistry (ICC) or immunohistochemistry (ICC), histochemistry (special stains), Tissue microarrays (TMA), molecular diagnostic tasks (PCR) among other techniques.
  • Apply the principles of microscopy to specimen analysis (e.g bright field, digital, fluorescence, dark field, polarizing, and election).
  • Prepare and maintain stocks of reagents and consumables for use in a pathology laboratory, in order to avoid shortage, overstocks and proceed to ordering new stocks where necessary.
  • Perform intraoperative cytological procedures; for assessment of excision margins during surgery.
  • Conduct fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) procedures; assist clinicians in collecting FNA aspirates; evaluate adequacy of specimens for testing.
  • Operate and maintain pathology laboratory equipment such as microscopes, tissue processors, microtomes, tissue embedding centers, drying oven, paraffin dispensers, water baths, and immunostainers; recognize malfunctions in equipment and initiate corrective actions (troubleshooting).
  • Use the laboratory information management or other methods to report patients’ results according to established guidelines.

Quality management:-

  • Establish quality control and quality assurance procedures for pre-analytics, analytic and post-analytic phases of the testing process; implement corrective actions and continuous improvement initiatives.
  • Validate and verify new testing methods and equipment and optimize existing test methods and equipment.
  • Use all available resources to provide diagnoses in a timely, accurate, and cost-effective manner.

Laboratory management:-

  • Manage a cytology laboratory and/or an anatomical pathology laboratory in an ethical manner; provide supervision to cytotechnicians, histotechnicians and other staffs.
  • Prepare a monthly, quarterly and annual budget in order to control expenses correct allocation of funds.
  • Attend all professional educational activities to keep apprised of current techniques, policies and practice.

Laboratory safety and waste disposal:-

  • Apply appropriate laboratory hygiene and infection control practices.
  • Apply appropriate spill containment and clean up procedures for biological materials and chemicals.
  • Utilizes laboratory safety devices in an appropriate manner, e.g. biological safety cabinets, fume hoods, safety containers ad carriers, safety showers, eye washes.
  • Report and document all incidents related to safety and personal injury, in a timely manner.

Client service:-

  • Advise health care providers on new cell-based diagnostic techniques, screening protocols and to participate in their implementation.
  • Provide information to the client on specimen procurement, collection, transportation and storage.
  • Communicates information regarding final diagnosis to the appropriate client (health care professional).
  • Lead and participate in interdisciplinary workgroups within and outside the laboratory.

Research & development

  • Identify & select appropriate cytological and tissue specimens for biomedical research in biospecimen repositories (biobanks).
  • Apply cell culture based techniques to aid vaccine department and drug discovery.
  • Develop new cellular based techniques, methodologies, protocols for use in screening and diagnostics.

 Continued professional development

Global Cytology Education Course