Hello everyone!!! I appologize in advance in case I'm in the wrong forum or in case the question is too dumb. I guess I gotta start somewhere. I really want to work as an Anatomical Pathologist or somewhere in the same kind of field(spotting cancer cells and other disturbance) and I was wondering if I can still be a nurse doing that. If so what's the specialty called. Is there such a thing as an Anatomical Pathologist Practitioner? Thank you for your time, Aleks.
Jan 25, '07
It's definitely not a dumb question. I just moved your thread to the Nursing Career Advice Forum for the best chance of getting some good responses. I don't know of any nurse practitioner programs that allow specialization in anatomic or clinical pathology, but there might be other ways of incorporating your interests into a nursing career.
At the cancer center where I used to work, nurses perform vital roles in some top-notch cancer research. They aren't typically working in labs looking at cells, but they're often collecting data (like side effects a patient felt when taking a particular drug) or coordinating the care of patients who are being treated with a certain research protocol.
If the autopsy/medical examiner side of pathology is intriguing to you, there are also nurses who serve as medicolegal death investigators. This type of position usually involves some specialized training and a solid background in nursing.
Jan 26, '07
People who work as anatomical pathologists typically are physicians (either MD or DO). However, you can obtain a position inspecting and examining microscopic slides for abnormalities at most hospitals and laboratories if you possess at least a B.S. degree in certain science majors. Good luck!
Feb 7, '07
I work in AP right now as a lab tech while I'm working my way through nursing school and I can tell you in our hospital there are no nurse positions in Anatomic Pathology. Perhaps other hospitals are different though.
We have cytotechnologists who have a bachelors degree plus their cytotech certification who receive all the slides before the pathologist gets them. The cytotech prescreens all of the needle aspirations, fluids, and paps. They are able to sign out normal paps on their own, but then hand over all abnormal or suspicious paps, needle aspirations, and fluids to the pathologist to get signed out.
In autopsy we have techs and pathologists only, but like a previous poster said I have heard of other institutions who have a nurse that assists the medical examiner.
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