“I previously worked in the field for years, but there were so many things I was lacking. Argosy University definitely prepared me for the real world by teaching me embedding, grossing and microtomy.”
Prepares Tissue Slides for Microscopic Examination by Pathologists
April Brown-Janis is a histotechnician for Alliance Health Services, responsible for preparing tissue slides for microscopic examination by pathologists to either diagnose or dismiss disease. “I am responsible for embedding tissue specimens, microtomy of paraffin-embedded tissue and operation of the automated stainer and coverslipper,” she said. Brown-Janis also manages equipment maintenance and record retention.
She began her career as a laboratory aid and embedding technician for Dr. Clay Cockerell. “I then moved on to the cytology department at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center,” she added. “I would take my cell blocks down the hall to be cut by the histotechnicians. One day, I realized how much I missed working in histology.”
Brown-Janis decided to follow her passion and return to school to study histotechnology. In 2016, she earned an Associate of Applied Science in Histotechnology from Argosy University, Dallas. She graduated magna cum laude and, after passing the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) exam, became a certified histotechnician in early 2017.
She said that school was challenging, but the support of instructors and fellow students helped her to succeed. “The best advice I have for current students is to put their best foot forward and never give up, no matter what,” mentioned Brown-Janis. “Nothing worth having comes easy in life.”
Brown-Janis stated that her education at Argosy University focused on hands-on learning. “I previously worked in the field for years, but there were so many things I was lacking,” she said. “Argosy University definitely prepared me for the real world by teaching me embedding, grossing and microtomy.” Her education also led to career advancement, including better pay and more opportunities. “I have gained so much respect from my family and friends—they now look up to me,” she said.
She added that her instructors took the time to push her when she needed extra encouragement. “I earned a 70% on a class assignment after making mostly As and Bs,” stated Brown-Janis. “[Instructor] Hood [pushed back at me]. It was because she cared so much about her students and their education.” Brown-Janis also cites her [instructor]Kennedy for his enthusiasm, humor and passion in the classroom. “I was pregnant, [worn down] and told him that I was withdrawing from the program—even though I only had a few months left. He wouldn't let me do it. He went the extra mile to make sure I completed my assignments—and my degree.”
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