Competencies - Entry Level
for Medical Laboratory Science Program

At the completion of the UTHSC Medical Laboratory Science program graduates will possess entry level competencies necessary to perform clinical laboratory tests in all areas of the clinical laboratory including blood bank, clinical chemistry, hematology, immunology, microbiology, molecular diagnostics and urinalysis.

  • AWARENESS - Full development of the competency requires experience in daily work with moderate direction and additional instruction.
  • SEMI-PRODUCTIVE - Full development of the competency requires experience in daily work with moderate direction.
  • PRODUCTIVE - Full development of the competency requires only the usual orientation needed by any new employee.

At entry level the medical laboratory scientist:

Competency
Level

III 1. IS COGNIZANT OF THE ROLE OF THE SCIENTIST, THE PHYSICIAN AND OTHER MEMBERS OF THE HEALTH CARE TEAM IN PROVIDING PATIENT CARE OF THE HIGHEST QUALITY.
Conveys necessary clinical laboratory information to members of the health care team directly responsible for patient care. Maintains effective communication with these individuals so that they know how to access appropriate laboratory services.

Maintains professional attitudes toward patients and health care professionals. Keeps all information concerning the patient confidential. Demonstrates professional attributes in the workplace.

III 2. UNDERSTANDS PRINCIPLES AND TECHNIQUES OF CLINICAL LABORATORY METHODOLOGY IN
ORDER TO RECOGNIZE PROBLEMS, IDENTIFY CAUSES AND FORMULATE SOLUTIONS.
Assumes responsibility for identification of unexpected as well as frequently occurring problems and ensures that corrective action is taken.

Conveys information which will aid other laboratory personnel in the recognition of problems.

III 3. VERIFIES LABORATORY RESULTS IN LIGHT OF AVAILABLE INFORMATION AND PREVIOUS LABORATORY DATA ON THE PATIENT, PROCEDURAL LIMITATIONS AND THE POSSIBILITY OF
TECHNICAL ERROR.
Has in-depth knowledge of techniques, principles, and instruments and their interrelationships.
Recognizes the interdependency of tests and has knowledge of physiological and clinical
conditions affecting test results.

Assumes responsibility and accountability for accurate results.

III 4. FACILITATES THE PERFORMANCE OF LABORATORY TESTS WITH ACCURACY AND WITHIN AN APPROPRIATE TIME FRAME.
Recognizes the need to set priorities related to the needs of the patient, the consequences of a delay in time of performance or reporting analyses, and the elements of effective workflow.

II 5. UNDERSTANDS CONCEPTS OF QUALITY ASSURANCE AND EFFECTIVELY UTILIZES SUCH PROGRAMS IN THE INTERPRETATION OF DATA AND IN PROBLEM SOLVING.
Has the ability to establish a quality assurance program, compatible with that of the institution, to all areas of the laboratory testing process. This includes protocols for monitoring utilization appropriateness of tests, detection and documentation of laboratory errors, determination of the source of errors and the development of steps to reduce such errors. Is also able to establish a protocol for assessment of quality laboratory results through proficiency testing or other appropriate means.

Has the ability to establish and monitor quality control programs and to perform preventive maintenance. Is able to determine the limits of accuracy and precision for any given laboratory method. Recognizes, based on quality control data, problems, their causes and possible solutions to the problems and works to see that solutions are implemented, including setting guidelines for others to follow.

Is able to establish a record keeping system of quality assurance and quality control data for immediate referral in problem solving and in keeping with requirements of regulatory and accrediting bodies.

I 6. UNDERSTANDS AND MAINTAINS LABORATORY INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Has the communication skills to relay laboratory data to a variety of persons both within and beyond limits of the laboratory. Is aware of the needs of other areas (nursing, X-ray, etc.) so that the graduate can assist in the design and selection of an information system which would allow the most efficient and accurate scheduling and reporting of laboratory test results.

Has a basic understanding of the use of computerization in the laboratory related to data input, retrieval and output. Has the ability, once oriented to a particular system, to use the computer for such purposes.

III 7. IS MOTIVATED TO CONTINUE SELF EDUCATION
Recognizes the necessity for continuing Medical Laboratory Science education to maintain high standards of technical and managerial proficiency and participates in such activities.

II 8. HAS INITIATED DEVELOPMENT OF BOTH TECHNICAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE SUPERVISORY SKILLS
Has a knowledge of basic supervisory and management functions to include planning, organization, direction, coordination and evaluation. Understands the role of each individual in the organizational structure of the laboratory and how this relates to the structure of the institution as a whole.

I 9. HAS INITIATED DEVELOPMENT OF BOTH BENCH AND FORMAL TEACHING SKILLS
Has knowledge of basic education principles enabling the graduate to instruct new employees and students.

II 10. HAS ABILITY TO MODIFY AND/OR EVALUATE NEW PROCEDURES
Utilizes basic investigative skills and scientific acumen in the evaluation, modification, and design of test methodologies.

III 11. COMPLIES WITH SAFETY GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES AS REQUIRED BY EMPLOYERS AND REGULATORY AGENCIES
Adheres to CDC guidelines for health care workers (i.e., Standard Precautions) and has knowledge of OSHA/TOSHA Standards (i.e., Right to Know Laws).

Department of Clinical Lab Sciences

930 Madison - Suite 664
Memphis, Tennessee 38163
Phone: 901-448-6304
cls@uthsc.edu