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Pathologists' Assistant

Location: Boston, MA
Post Date: 6/16/2021
Boston Medical Center (BMC) is more than a hospital. It's a network of support and care that touches the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in need each year. It is the largest and busiest provider of trauma and emergency services in New England. Emphasizing community-based care, BMC is committed to providing consistently excellent and accessible health services to all-and is the largest safety-net hospital in New England. The hospital is also the primary teaching affiliate of the nationally ranked Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and a founding partner of Boston HealthNet - an integrated health care delivery systems that includes many community health centers. Join BMC today and help us achieve our Vision 2030 which is a long-term goal to make Boston the healthiest urban population in the world.

Position: Pathologists' Assistant

Department: Pathology

Schedule: Full Time

Under the general supervision of the Senior Manager, Pathology and the Histology laboratory supervisor assists in accessioning, preparation and performance of human specimen (and animal) dissection and postmortem (necropsy) examination. Provides technical support to pathology department house officers and staff (specimen dissection, provision of paperwork, supplies etc .). Provides technical and logistical support to the laboratories as needed, specifically histology, immunohistochemistry and frozen section services. Maintains cleanliness and infection control in surgical pathology dissection suites, mortuary and autopsy facility.

Provides support services to the Decedent Affairs Office as required. Assists physicians in the preparation of death certificates and related paperwork (autopsy permission, reporting to New England Organ Bank).

Surgical Pathology Services/ Histotechnologist Lab Support

  • Assists in the preparation and performance of human surgical specimen dissection, including accessioning, gross description, fixation and processing.
  • Performs all duties of a Histotechnologist to include, organizing, processing, cutting, staining, and otherwise preparing tissue for microscopic evaluation by the Pathologist.
  • May attend renal biopsies and assists physicians with these procedures
  • Maintains and updates autopsy and mortuary policy and procedures manuals to ensure compliance with CAP and Joint Commission accreditation standards, under direction of department manager.
  • Administers the daily operation of the surgical pathology dissection suite. Cleans and disinfects work area, inventories and stocks supplies. Monitors and cleans instruments and equipment (fume hoods, cryostats etc).
  • Participates in removal of hazardous waste from laboratories to storage facility within the department. Communicates with safety department as necessary.
  • Exhibits an understanding and knowledge of: histologic tissue preparation, opening and embedding cassettes, slide labeling and coverslipping.
  • Prepares chemicals and dyes for use in routine and special staining techniques of diagnostic specimens.
  • Exhibits an understanding and knowledge of: routine histologic staining and set-up of frozen-section staining area; use of automated tissue staining equipment and operation and maintenance of automated coverslipper.
  • Performs accurate labeling and filing of slides and blocks. Records statistical data (e.g., number of cases, blocks, slides, stains) and tests results on a daily basis.
  • Cleans and maintains tissue processors
  • Calibrates and maintains laboratory equipment. Reports malfunctioning equipment to supervisor and maintain daily log of equipment performance. Assists with equipment delivery. Performs preventative maintenance and QC documentation of laboratory equipment.
  • Implements and understands the concepts of universal standard precautions, chemical hygiene, infection control and laboratory safety.

Mortuary Services Support

  • Participates as a team member of the Decedent Affairs Office
  • Receives deceased patients from hospital transport.
  • Escorts deceased patients to hospital morgue for storage and places deceased patients into mortuary refrigerators.
  • Accessions deceased patients. Summarizes statistics of deceased patients on a monthly basis for department manager.
  • Communicates on behalf of the Decedent Affairs Office with regard to death certificates and body release authorization forms.
  • Communicates with funeral directors, hospital house staff, pathology staff, Medical Examiners office with regard to autopsies or body release.
  • Ensures that documents regarding release of deceased patients (death certificates, release authorization forms) are accurate and complete.
  • Ensures that the identity of the deceased patient has been confirmed, prior to release, by correlating the death certificate with patient name tag, wrist band, toe tag etc.
  • Communicates with families of deceased patients. Assists and guides with issues pertaining to the mortuary service.
  • Organizes and assists with deceased patient viewing. Prepares deceased for viewing by family. Operates video monitoring equipment. Confers with psychiatric nurses, social workers and administrators as necessary.
  • Schedules and performs release of bodies to funeral directors. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and/or livery services. Keeps appropriate records of these transactions.
  • Cares for and distributes personal effects of deceased patients to appropriate departments (valuables, clothes etc.)
  • Cleans and disinfects morgue, morgue refrigerators, receiving areas and equipment.
  • Discards all biohazard and chemical waste in accordance with hospital policies and procedures.

Autopsy Assistance

  • Ascertains correct legal authorization for autopsy. Checks autopsy permission form to confirm accuracy and completeness.
  • Retrieves patient chart and medical record and any other pertinent data.
  • Confers with pathologist to determine necessity for special specimen collection techniques and notifies all personnel involved.
  • Contacts pathology resident and pathologist on call, attending clinical physician listed on death certificate and all other authorities prior to beginning dissection. Coordinates special requests for organ sampling.
  • Performs postmortem examination including; external examination, in situ organ inspection, evisceration, dissection and dictation or recording of data, i.e. organ weights, presence of body fluids and gross anatomic findings.
  • Collaborates with pathologist to select and prepare gross tissue samples for frozen and permanent sections.
  • Photographs and archives body, organs, microscope slides and other relevant material.
  • Collates data for quality improvement indicators as directed.


  • Groups data for quality improvement indicators as directed.
  • Utilizes hospital's cultural beliefs as the basis for decision making and to support the hospital's mission and goals.
  • Follows established hospital infection control and safety procedures.
  • Performs other duties as needed.

Must adhere to all of BMC's RESPECT behavioral standards.


Bachelor's degree or higher in relevant science (i.e. biology, etc.) along with the required number of course credits specified by CLIA


Bachelor's or Master's degree from an accredited Pathology Assistance Program

Certificates, Licenses, Registrations required:

Pathologist Assistant PA (ASCP), Histotechnician HT (ASCP) or Histotechnologist HTL (ASCP) certification or eligibility is preferred but not required


The minimum training/experience required of such personnel is:

  • An earned associate degree in a chemical or biological science or medical laboratory technology, obtained from an accredited institution, OR
  • Education/training equivalent to the above that includes the following:
  • 60 semester hours or equivalent from an accredited institution. This education must include 24 semester hours of medical laboratory technology courses, OR
  • 24 semester hours of science courses that includes six semester hours of chemistry, six semester hours of biology, and 12 semester hours of chemistry, biology or medical laboratory technology in any combination, AND
  • Laboratory training including either completion of a clinical laboratory training program approved or accredited by the ABHES, NAACLA, or other organization approved by HHS (note that this training may be included in the 60 semester hours listed above), OR
  • Minimum of three months of recorded laboratory training in each specialty in which the individual performs high complexity testing.

It is the responsibility of the laboratory director to determine whether an individual's education, training and experience satisfy the requirements of this checklist requirement.

This checklist requirement applies only to laboratories subject to US regulations.

Knowledge and Skills:

  • Demonstrated accuracy and precision with accessioning, gross description, fixation and processing of human surgical specimen dissections. Strong demonstrated knowledge of anatomy and physiology and of medical terminology.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Basic computer proficiency inclusive of ability to access, enter, and interpret computerized data/information required.

Req id: 19241 Apply
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