Instructor - Pathologists' Assistant (PA)

Job description

University of Colorado - School of Medicine

Instructor - Pathologists' Assistant (PA)

The University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus is a public research university serving more than 18,000 students. We award nearly 4,000 degrees each year, including more graduate and professional degrees than any other Colorado institution. With our solid academic reputation, award-winning faculty and renowned researchers, we offer more than 140 highly rated degree programs through 13 schools and colleges. The university receives over $400 million in research awards each year. In addition to the wide array of health-related programs and facilities offered at CU Anschutz in Aurora, Colo. a significant number of undergraduate and graduate degree programs are taught at CU Denver, our comprehensive campus in the heart of downtown Denver-one of America's most vibrant urban centers. CU Denver is located steps from the Denver Center for Performing Arts and the LoDo District affording our students, faculty and staff access to a broad array of academic, professional, community, recreational and cultural outlets.

A national leader in health care and life sciences, CU Anschutz is the only comprehensive academic health sciences center in Colorado and the largest in the Rocky Mountain region. Located in Aurora, Colo., it is one of the newest education, research and patient care facilities in the world. With six schools and colleges, CU Anschutz trains the health sciences workforce of the future by blending education, research and clinical care all in one place. This strategic collaboration among diverse health care fields allows knowledge to travel directly from the research bench to the patient's bedside. Read CU Anschutz Quick Facts here.

The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus ranks among the top institutions nationally in clinical care, education and research. Its 230-acre campus, designed to enhance collaboration and interprofessional education, hosts the College of Nursing; the Schools of Dental Medicine, Medicine, Pharmacy, and Public Health; the Graduate School; a Health Sciences Library; and two hospitals. Strategically located contiguous to the campus are a biosciences research park and the soon-to-be-completed Veterans Hospital. CU Anschutz offers two undergraduate degrees, 35 graduate degrees, and five first-professional programs. More than 4,000 students learn alongside faculty members who also make meaningful medical discoveries and provide expert clinical care through 1.5 million patient-visits annually. A hub for research and innovation, CU Anschutz receives over $400 million in research awards each year and has filed 1,300 patent applications and formed 53 new companies since 2002.

Nature of Work:

The Department of Pathology is seeking a Pathologists' Assistant (PA), an allied health professional, who provides services in anatomic pathology under the direction of the certified Pathologists' Assistant/Gross Room Supervisor and Pathologist. The PA is primarily responsible for triaging research-consented tissue banking cases, including understanding any relevant clinical history and research-related requirements, as well as communicating thoroughly with the individual who will ultimately process the specimen. The PA grosses simple and complex anatomic pathology specimens as well as interacts with other health professionals, such as nurses and support staff, to resolve interdisciplinary issues. Additionally, the PA must have a broad understanding of the day to day operations of the gross room and is critical in maintaining organization and efficiency.

The PA reports to the Pathologists' Assistant/Gross Room Supervisor, Medical Director and Associate Directors of Surgical Pathology, and will communicate all problems and concerns to the supervisor(s). If there are no supervisors present at the time, the employee shall handle the situation and immediately inform the supervisor upon arrival of the corrective actions taken.

Examples of work performed:

    Serves as main point of contact for Biobank and non-Biobank tissue collections, and acts primary staff responsible for research tissue collections Properly accessions surgical pathology specimens Obtains pertinent clinical information and history Grosses simple, non-complicated and complex surgical pathology specimens, including dermatology specimens Participates in education and orientation of residents, when appropriate Performs tissue procurement for ancillary studies, including culture, flow cytometry, cytogenetics and others Aids Attending Pathologist, Residents and Pathologists' Assistant/Gross Room Supervisor Performs frozen sections, and provides coverage and support as needed Maintains gross room and equipment Takes gross photos Completes all relevant training and compliance courses Facilitates organization of specimens and assures appropriate consent forms are obtained Maintains Patient Confidentiality by following Healthcare insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Creates electronic spreadsheets as appropriate

The PA must use personal judgement in describing surgical pathology specimens and the manner in which they organize daily work flow. The PA must prioritize research needs and clinical case processing on the basis of clinical findings and priorities, as well as specimen type. If the PA will not personally process the sample, he/she will convey priority and assign the case to a member of the gross room technical staff, resident or fellow. The PA will make decisions on the gross description of specimen assigned to them, how the tissue is verbally described, and which area(s) and/or anatomic feature is selected for research collections and histologic processing. The PA must also know when to consult a supervisor about various issues. The PA must pay strict attention to detail at all times, and show a willingness to resolve issues or seek a supervisor to do so.

The PA provides direct patient care support of a highly technical nature. Errors are potentially devastating to the patient, and can result in significant patient and institutional risk, and must be avoided. Positive actions result in correct and timely information to the attending clinician for patient treatment. Injury can also occur to the individual and/or others working in the gross room due to negligence of protocol.

Internal/external communications are frequent among coworkers, which include pathology staff, trainees, clinicians, nurses, transcriptionists, etc. Internal discussions could involve procedures, problems and upgrades. External communications are interdisciplinary in nature.

Knowledge, Skills and Ability:

  • Must be familiar with basic human anatomy and physiology. Demonstrated proficiency in communication and working well with others is required. Teaching experience strongly desired.
  • Basic skills include demonstrated ability to accurately describe specimen details, clear English language skills, and clearly understood speech in the English language (for dictation).
  • Must possess good oral and written communication skills, must be able to communicate effectively with all ages, groups and populations of external and internal customers, as well as coworkers, via phone, email and directly.
  • Manual dexterity using sharp instruments required.
  • Individual will handle tissue and organs from human bodies, and dissect human tissue specimens.
  • Basic medical terminology necessary.
  • Ability to listen and follow precise protocols required.
  • Must have basic computer skills, including data entry, MS Word and Excel.

The Surgical Pathology Gross Room environment is potentially hazardous and precautions must be taken while in the lab. Great attention to detail is required, as specimens arrive constantly and cannot be mixed up, misplaced or unnecessarily delayed. Use of sharp instruments is constant, and various chemical solutions are used. Appropriate personal protective equipment must be worn at all times, and frequent hand washing is mandatory as blood and/or tissue is present. There is some lifting of boxes, large specimens, and large containers of reagents. This is a mobile position, as pick up of specimens is performed throughout the day.

Salary and Benefits:

Salary is commensurate with skills and experience. The University of Colorado offers a full benefits package. Information on University benefits programs, including eligibility, is located at Employee Services.

The University of Colorado Denver is dedicated to ensuring a safe and secure environment for our faculty, staff, students and visitors. To assist in achieving that goal, we conduct background investigations for all prospective employees.

The University of Colorado strongly supports the principle of diversity. We encourage applications from women, ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities and all veterans. The University of Colorado is committed to diversity and equality in education and employment.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act requires that verification of employment eligibility be documented for all new employees by the end of the third day of work. Alternative formats of this ad are available upon request for persons with disabilities.


Minimum Requirements:

  • A bachelor/master's degree from an accredited Pathologists' Assistant program and a MA degree.
  • Documentation of having passed the American Association of Pathology Assistants (AAPA) fellowship examination required.
  • Certification plus three years of applicable experience in an anatomic pathology laboratory

Application Materials Required:Cover Letter, Resume/CV, List of References

Application Materials Instructions:

Applications are accepted electronically at CU Careers, refer to requisition ID: 12003

When applying, applicants must include:
  1. A letter of application which specifically addresses the job requirements and outlines qualifications
  2. A current Resume/CV
  3. The names, addresses, daytime telephone numbers and e-mail addresses for three professional references, either attached to your resume/CV or uploaded as a separate document
Please be advised that the University does check references as part of the employment process.

Please do not submit any of your application material (via email) to the job posting contact.

Job Category: Faculty

Primary Location: Aurora

Department: H0001 -- Anschutz Medical Campus - 20112 - SOM-Pathology

Schedule: Full-time

Posting Date: Dec 7, 2017

Closing Date: Ongoing

Posting Contact Name: Matt Bilby

Posting Contact Email: [email protected]

Position Number: 00703086





Diversity Profile: University



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Job No:
Posted: 6/28/2018
Application Due: 8/27/2018
Work Type: