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Program Information

General education competencies for all UTHSC baccalaureate degrees are:

  • Critical Thinking
    Students will demonstrate their ability to solve problems, construct and present cogent arguments in support of their views, and understand and evaluate arguments presented by others.
  • Communication
    Students will demonstrate appropriate skills in planning, preparing, and presenting effective oral and written presentations.
  • Interprofessionalism
    Students will be able to explain interprofessional practice to patients, clients, families, and/or other professionals, describe the areas of practice of other health professions, and express professional pinions competently, confidently, and respectfully while avoiding discipline specific language.

General education competencies will be measured through tools and strategies such as student performance on oral presentations, written critiques of research papers, and papers written in capstone courses.

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).

For admission to the Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science degree programs or the Master of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), students are expected to be able to successfully meet the Technical Standards outlined below. Students are required to sign the Technical Standards Commitment form indicating their understanding and ability to meet these standards either with or without accommodations (for persons with documented disabilities). Any questions about these technical standards should be directed to the program director of the MLS programs.

 UTHSC receives applications from a diverse body of potential students including those with disabilities. Reasonable accommodations will be provided to help students meet these technical standards when appropriate, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Any student wishing accommodations should contact the Student Academic Support Services and Inclusion (SASSI) for further information. Information regarding accommodations can be found on the SASSI website page:

https://uthsc.edu/sassi/disability_services.php or by calling 901-448-5056.

 In the event a student cannot fulfill these Technical Standards with or without reasonable accommodations at any time in their program, the student will be ineligible for admission or continued enrollment in the program. In addition to ensuring that students can meet the intellectual, emotion and physical criteria for medical laboratory science, it should also be noted that of utmost importance is the student's ability to provide for the welfare and safety of their patients and others. This is the foundation of all Technical Standards and if this cannot be done, the student is unable to meet the criteria outlined by the Technical Standards.

Once enrolled in the BS MLS or MS CLS Program, students must meet the requirements of the curriculum, including the demonstration of the skills described herein for the Program in order to progress through the curriculum and to graduate.

General Standards

The students must have the ability to:

  • Assess and make appropriate judgements regarding lab services and patient outcomes.
  • Prioritize and perform laboratory testing.
  • Adapt to a variety of patient care situations, including crisis.
  • Communicate effectively in English, orally and in writing.
  • Participate in discussion in the classroom, the clinical arena and with colleagues and patients.
  • Acquire information developed through didactic instruction and clinical experiences.
  • Comprehend reading assignments and to search and evaluate literature.
  • Prepare written assignments and maintain written records.
  • Perform duties and assignments in a timely fashion while under stress and in a variety of settings.
  • Meet deadlines and manage time.
  • Utilize the computer for instructional assignments and patient care activities.

Physical and Motor Skills

The student must possess:

  • Dexterity with both wrists, hands and arms, and dexterity with al fingers.
  • Motor skills to grasp, pinch, push, pull, finger, hold, extend, rotate, and cut.
  • Ability to obtain and/or verify patient samples.
  • Sufficient stamina to tolerate physically taxing workloads.
  • Ability to operate/manipulate and effectively evaluate the status of laboratory instruments and equipment.

Sensory Skills

The student must possess:

  • Visual acuity (corrected to 20/40); visual perception with respect to depth and color.

Cognitive, Integrative, Quantitative Skills

The student must possess the:

  • Ability to measure, calculate, analyze, interpret, synthesize and evaluate as applicable to clinical practice.
  • Ability to solve one or more problems within specific time frames, which are often short.
  • Ability to comprehend spatial relationships.

Affective, Behavioral and Social Skills

The student must be able to:

  • Function as part of a team (communicate effectively in English, consult, negotiate, share, delegate).
  • Delegate to and supervise others.
  • Adhere to safety guidelines for self and others.
  • Comply with standards and regulations required by external agencies.
  • Follow instructions/procedures with accuracy and precision.
  • Maintain intellectual and emotional stability and maturity under stress, while also maintaining appropriate performance standards.
  • Learn and exhibit professional attributes.
Affiliate Location
American Esoteric Laboratory Memphis, TN
Baptist Hospital Nashville, TN
Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation:
  1. Baptist Memphis Hospital
  2. Baptist Women’s Hospital
  3. Baptist Desoto
  4. Baptist Tipton
  5. Baptist Collierville
Memphis, TN Metro Area
Baptist Memorial Hospital Union City, TN
Centennial Medical Center Nashville, TN
Erlanger Baroness Campus Chattanooga, TN
Jackson Madison County General Hospital Jackson, TN
Maury Regional Healthcare System Columbia, TN
Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare System:
  1. Methodist University Hospital
  2. Methodist North
  3. Methodist Germantown
  4. LeBonheur Children’s Medical Center
Memphis, TN Metro Area
Middle Tennessee Medical Center Murfreesboro, TN
Regional Medical Center Memphis, TN
St. Francis Healthcare
St. Francis Hospital - Memphis
Memphis, TN Metro Area
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Memphis, TN
St. Thomas Hospital Nashville, TN
Veterans Affair Medical Center Memphis, TN

Last Published: Oct 8, 2018