The main responsibility of a pathologist assistant or a PA is to study the anatomy of the human body. A pathologist should have relevant knowledge about cells, organs, tissues, and other bodily fluids. The job is basically the same with a pathologist. However, a pathologist assistant cannot make any diagnosis. He relies heavily on the pathologist but still plays an important role in a medical environment.
Most pathologist assistants work for scientists, hospitals and laboratories. Many of them work in morgues to conduct autopsies in order to determine the cause of death of a person, or for the purpose of obtaining evidence for a crime. This includes all post-mortem examination wherein the PA takes pictures of the body and writes an autopsy report. After an autopsy, the pathologist assistant prepares the dead body for the funeral.
In hospitals, a pathologist assistant usually works with a team and examines tissue samples and specimens using a microscope. This is usually done to look for specific diseases. Pathologist assistants are also allowed to perform surgical procedures but they cannot diagnose a specific disease or illness.
Tips on How to Find Pathologist Assistant Jobs
As with any profession, looking for a job requires hard work and patience. Of course, you also need to make sure that you are qualified for the position so you will not end up wasting your time looking for pathologist assistant jobs and finding out in the end that you lack the needed qualifications.
The first thing to do is to look for available jobs in your area. You can find vacancies posted in newspapers and online websites. If you’ve been submitting applications but business owners and managers do not seem to notice you, you can try the following tips:
- Create a personal website and post your resume. Include your work experience, educational background and other pertinent information. Highlight the years of work experience you have and the main duties that you were assigned to do. Also leave a contact information for employers to be able to contact you.
- Post an ad about yourself in a local newspaper.
- Post your resume in forums and Internet boards to get noticed.
- Visit the websites of the companies you want to work for and submit your resume.
Pathologist assistants undergo exhaustive training programs, which should be completed by anyone who aspires to be a PA. These programs take four to six years to complete. After the program, the student ends up with either a bachelor’s or master’s degree. This gives ample time for an aspiring pathologist assistant to gain knowledge about this field of science.
Most pathologist assistants obtain a bachelor’s degree first in any basic field of science such as chemistry, medical technology and forensic science. After obtaining a degree, a master’s degree in Pathology should also be obtained. A master’s degree in Pathology consists of lectures and clinical training.
Pathologist assistants in the United States need to obtain a certification from The American Society of Clinical Pathology Board of Registry. Once you obtain a certification, it will be good for three years. Upon expiration, you need to acquire continuing education units for recertification. To be able to land a good job, additional certification from the American Association of Pathologist’s Assistants or AAPA should be considered.
Pathology is a field of science that involves science and a little coverage of math. The field has focus on different area of science such as biology, physiology, anatomy, physics and chemistry. A person who aims to be a pathologist assistant should have good knowledge about these branches of science. He or she should also have good communication skills, patience, attention to detail, and should be able to work alone or with minimal supervision.