MS in Clinical Laboratory Science – Cytopathology Track
Program Structure – Two Options
ENTRY-LEVEL PROFESSIONAL OPTION:
For individuals with a BS degree in biology or related science who completed the required undergraduate prerequisite science courses.
- 2 year, full time, 5 semester program consisting of 60 credits beyond the baccalaureate degree
- Classes begin annually in the Fall semester
- Curriculum consists of:
- Cytopathology courses (43 credits) that require on campus attendance at lectures, seminars, and student lab sessions, as well as clinical practice at off-campus hospital and reference lab affiliated sites
- MS-CLS core courses (12 credits) taken online
- Graduate project (5 credits) which is a self-directed, faculty-mentored project designed to address a practical problem or issue in cytopathology.
- Graduates of the entry-level professional option are eligible to take the national cytotechnologist certification exam given by the American Society for Clinical Pathology, CT(ASCP). Program graduates have 100% pass rate on this exam.
- 100% of program graduates obtain employment as a cytotechnologist in hospital or reference laboratories within 3 months of graduation
For practicing cytotechnologists with a BS degree from an accredited university, who completed a CAAHEP-accredited Cytotechnology Program, and have cytotechnologist certification from the American Society for Clinical Pathology, CT(ASCP).
The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), upon recommendation of the Cytotechnology Program Review Committee (CPRC).
The goals of the MS-CLS Cytopathology Track are to prepare competent advanced practice cytotechnologists who will function in traditional and expanded roles in cytology and the health care system; to provide students with a broad-based background to serve as a foundation for future growth and development; and to prepare graduates to adapt to a changing health care environment. The curriculum is designed to prepare graduates for entry-level and advanced practice in scientific/technical areas, supervision/management, education, and research. It is also designed to socialize the student to the attitudes and values of the profession, to provide an overview of the legal, ethical, economic, political, and social aspects of the professions and health care delivery system in general, and to instill a commitment to life-long learning. The curriculum is also designed to develop generic skills in effective communication, problem solving, and self-directed learning.
These learning outcomes meet the Institute of Medicine’s core competencies for health care professionals, namely, the ability to provide patient-centered care, work in interdisciplinary teams, employ evidence-based practice, apply quality improvement, and utilize informatics. (Institute of Medicine. Health Professions Education: A Bridge to Quality. Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2003)
The graduate of the Rutgers MS CLS-Cytopathology Track will be able to:
- Perform diagnostic cytology on gynecologic, non-gynecologic, and fine needle aspiration specimens to identify and determine specimen adequacy, cellular constituents within normal limits, inflammatory, pre-malignant, and malignant cellular changes, and effects of therapy.
- Use Rapid Onsite Evaluation (ROSE) to assess acceptability of specimens collected by fine needle aspiration, perform locator-guided screening for gynecologic samples, and use digital pathology to document findings.
- Perform high-complexity methods for detection and characterization of cancers and pathogens by examining DNA, RNA, and other cellular components using immunochemistry, flow cytometry, digital image analysis, fluorescence-in-situ hybridization, polymerase chain reaction, other molecular methods, and emerging diagnostics.
- Apply principles and practices of quality assurance/improvement, method evaluation, management, regulatory compliance, critical thinking and problem solving to cytology laboratory services to reduce diagnostic errors, improve efficiency and timeliness, and decrease costs.
- Critically review, appraise, and synthesize the cytology and health sciences literature.
- Identify and systematically investigate research questions to promote evidence-based cytology practice.
- Use a variety of information technologies to address both theoretical and practical problems, enhance communication, and disseminate knowledge to applicable audiences and interest groups.
- Demonstrate proficiency in both oral and written communication, using both scholarly and technical formats, to work effectively in interprofessional teams.
- Participate in cytology and other healthcare professional organizations and the cytology community-at-large through patient advocacy, volunteerism, education, and research.
- Demonstrate appropriate professional relationships with diverse groups of patients, peers, other health care professionals, faculty, and the public.
- Comply with professional codes of ethics and display ethical behavior in practice, education, professional and scholarly activities.
Major Clinical Affiliates and Rotation Sites
Clinical sites are located throughout New Jersey. Students must provide their own transportation to off-campus affiliated clinical sites.
- Community Medical Center
- Jersey Shore Medical Center
- AHS/ Morristown Medical Center
- Miraca Life Sciences
- Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
- Quest Diagnostics
- Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
- Somerset Medical Center
- St. Barnabas Medical Center
- St. Clare’s Hospital
- St. Joseph’s Medical Center
- St. Michaels’ Medical Center
- The Valley Hospital
- University Hospital - Newark