Jan 14, 2022

Histology Lab Assistant, Full-Time Evenings

  • Northwestern Medicine
  • Chicago, IL, USA
Histology Laboratory

Job Description

At Northwestern Medicine, every patient interaction makes a difference in cultivating a positive workplace. This patient-first approach is what sets us apart as a leader in the healthcare industry. As an integral part of our team, you'll have the opportunity to join our quest for better healthcare, no matter where you work within the Northwestern Medicine system. At Northwestern Medicine, we pride ourselves on providing competitive benefits: from tuition reimbursement and loan forgiveness to 401(k) matching and lifecycle benefits, we take care of our employees. Ready to join our quest for better?


The Histology Lab Assistant reflects the mission, vision, and values of Northwestern Memorial, adheres to the organization’s Code of Ethics and Corporate Compliance Program, and complies with all relevant policies, procedures, guidelines and all other regulatory and accreditation standards.

This role provides support to the histology and surgical pathology laboratory with entry-level histology tasks related to specimen processing and routine preparation of surgical and autopsy microscopic slides. This position is responsible for communication with pathologists, residents, and coordinators regarding specimen problems. The position is also required to participate in the laboratory occurrence management program.


  • Provides histology laboratory support using automation and manual methods to stain and coverslip microscopic slides.
  • Labels slides, collates with paperwork, and submits to appropriate pathologist or resident.
  • Documents appropriate tracking information. Submits slides and protocols to appropriate resident, pathologist, or staff.
  • Reviews protocol files for Gross Only specimens and/or outstanding paperwork. Monitors logs to ensure all routine H&E slides are submitted.
  • Performs and documents basic embedding procedures for routine surgical and autopsy tissues.
  • Performs and documents routine paraffin block reconciliation. Prioritizes blocks based on established guidelines.
  • Records all documentation consistently and legibly. Maintains manual and electronic records for easy retrieval of data as necessary. Investigates, escalates, and documents any discrepancies appropriately.
  • Answers routine inquiries related to blocks, slides, and case status. Direct inquiries regarding technical information to the appropriate laboratory staff.
  • Practices the proficient and safe use of all equipment necessary for the completion of all duties and responsibilities within defined turn-around times (i.e., tissue processor, embedding center, automated stainer and coverslipper, etc).
  • Cleans, disinfects, performs, and documents routine instrument maintenance per SOP. Reports equipment or instrument malfunctions appropriately.
  • Files paraffin blocks on a daily basis.
  • Transports specimens, blocks, and slides as necessary.
  • Maintains a clean and safe work environment to ensure efficient workflow and compliance with all regulatory requirements. Cleans and disinfects laboratory areas per SOP. Perform minor spill cleanup per SOP when necessary.
  • Monitors laboratory inventory in the front histology area to ensure supply levels are appropriate and adequate. Promptly notifies coordinator of any supply issues.
  • Fosters department and laboratory teamwork through effective communication.
  • Participates in Safety and Infection Control activities.
  • Assists with orientation and training of new staff in front histology area.
  • Takes initiative for personal development by attending teleconferences, educational sessions, and required meetings, etc.

Additional Functions

  • Performs other duties as assigned.
  • Performs histology procedures including microtomy, cryotomy, or special stains with successful completion of competency testing and prior managerial approval.
  • Accessions specimens into the Laboratory Information System. Label requisitions and specimen containers accurately.
  • Assists in specific process improvement projects.



  • A.S. degree in the biological, life sciences, medical laboratory technology, or other related field.
  • Computer experience with keyboard proficiency.
  • Familiarity with medical terminology.


  • B.S. degree in the biological, life sciences, medical laboratory technology, or other related field.
  • Prior work experience in laboratory support or health related experience.

Equal Opportunity

Northwestern Medicine is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of age, sex, race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, veteran status, disability, sexual orientation or any other protected status.