Essential Functions

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Essential Observational Requirements for the CLS

The Clinical Laboratory Science Student Must Be Able To:

  • Observe laboratory demonstrations in which biologicals (i.e., body fluids, culture materials, tissue secretions, and cellular specimens) are tested For their biochemical, hematological, immunological, microbiological, and histochemical components
  • Characterize the color, odor, clarity, and viscosity of biologicals, reagents, or chemical reaction products
  • Employ a clinical grade binocular microscope to discriminate between fine structural and color (hue, shading, and intensity) differences of Microscopic specimens
  • Read and comprehend text, numbers, and graphs displayed in print and on a video monitor

Essential Movement Requirements for the CLS

The CLS Student Must Be Able To:

  • Move freely and safely about a laboratory
  • Reach laboratory bench tops and shelves, patients lying in hospital beds or patients seated in specimen collection furniture.
  • Travel to local clinical laboratory sites for practical experience
  • Perform moderately taxing continuous physical work, often requiring prolonged sitting, over several hours
  • Maneuver phlebotomy and culture acquisition equipment to safely collect valid laboratory specimens from patients
  • Control laboratory equipment (i.e. 101 key IBM computer keyboard) to operate laboratory instruments to calculate, record, evaluate, and transmit laboratory information

Essential Communication Requirements for the CLS

The CLS Student Must Be Able To:

  • Read and comprehend technical and professional materials (i.e. textbooks, magazine and journal articles, handbooks, and instruction manuals)
  • Follow verbal and written instructions in order to correctly and independently perform laboratory test procedures.
  • Clearly instruct patients prior to specimen collections.
  • Effectively, confidentially, and sensitively converse with patients regarding laboratory test
  • Communicate with faculty members, fellow students, staff, and other health care professionals verbally and in a recorded format (writing, typing, graphics, or telecommunications)
  • Independently prepare papers, prepare laboratory reports, and take paper, computer and laboratory practical examinations

Essential Intellectual Requirements For The CLS

The CLS Student Must:

  • Possess these intellectual skills: comprehension, measurement, mathematical calculation, reasoning, integration, analysis, and comparison
  • Be able to exercise sufficient judgment to recognize and correct performance deviations

Essential Behavioral Requirements For The CLS

The CLS Student Must:

  • Be able to manage the use of time and be able to systematize actions in order to complete professional and technical tasks within realistic constraints
  • Possess the emotional health necessary to effectively employ intellect and exercise appropriate judgment.
  • Be able to provide professional and technical services while experiencing the stresses of task-related uncertainty (i.e. ambiguous test ordering, ambivalent test interpretation) emergent demands (i.e. "stat" test orders), and a distracting environment (i.e. high noise levels, crowding, complex visual stimuli)
  • Be flexible and creative, and adapt to professional and technical change
  • Recognize potentially hazardous materials, equipment, and situations, and proceed safely in order to minimize risk of injury to patients, self, and nearby individuals
  • Adapt to working with unpleasant biologicals.
  • Support and promote the activities of fellow students and of health care professionals
  • Promotion of peers helps furnish a team approach to learning, task completion, and problem solving, and patient care.
  • Be honest, compassionate, ethical and responsible. The student must be forthright about error or uncertainty. The student must be able to critically evaluate his/her own performance, accept constructive criticism, and look for ways to improve (i.e. participate in enriched educational activities) The student must be able to evaluate the performance of fellow students and tactfully offer constructive comments

Entry Level Competencies Of a Clinical Laboratory Scientist

A Clinical Laboratory Scientist / Medical Technologist is an individual who supervises, teaches and delegates and provides services in clinical laboratory sciences. He / she is responsible for his / her actions, relates to people, exhibits a capacity for calm and reasoned judgment, demonstrates a commitment to client requirements and demonstrates ethical and moral attitudes and principles. He /She demonstrates an attitude of respect for the client, and maintains confidentiality. In laboratories accredited by the Health Care Financing Administration, the clinical laboratory scientist may qualify as the laboratory director, the technical consultant and testing personnel in a laboratory performing moderately complex testing and as technical supervisors, general supervisors and testing personnel in a laboratory performing highly complex testing.

These individuals are competent in:

  • Developing and establishing procedures for collection, processing and analyzing biological specimens and samples from a variety of sources
  • Performing tests from a variety of biological sources to include body fluids, cells and other substances
  • Integrating and relating data generated from a variety of sources while making decisions regarding possible discrepancies
  • Confirming abnormal results, verifying quality control procedures, executing quality control procedures and developing solutions to problems concerning the generation of laboratory data
  • Making decisions concerning the results of quality control and quality assurance measures and instituting proper procedures to maintain accuracy and precision
  • Establishing and performing preventive and corrective maintenance on equipment and instruments as well as identifying appropriate sources for repairs
  • Developing and evaluating and selecting new techniques, instruments and methods in terms of their usefulness and practicality within the context of a given laboratory's personnel, equipment, space and budgetary resources
  • Demonstrating professional conduct and interpersonal skills with clients, laboratory personnel, other healthcare professionals and the public
  • Establishing and maintaining competency and continuing education as a function of growth and maintenance of professional competence
  • Exercising leadership in education of other health personnel and the community
  • Exercising principles of management, safety and supervision, educational methodology and current information systems

(Adapted from the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences Essentials)