Essential Functions for a Clinical Laboratory Science student


Students enrolling in and graduating from a Department of Clinical Laboratory Science program must meet
the essential function requirements of the academic program and profession. They must complete programs consisting of academic study and clinical laboratory experience. The student must possess the skills and attributes necessary to perform as a professional before graduation from the program. These skills and attributes are known as essential functions and include the following:




The student must be able to:

  • Observe laboratory demonstrations in which laboratory procedures are performed on biological specimens (i.e. body fluids, culture materials, tissue sections, and cellular specimens).
  • Characterize the color, consistency, and clarity of biological specimens and reagents.
  • Department of Public Safety Laboratory
  • Use a clinical grade binocular microscope to discriminate among fine differences in structure and color (hue, shading, and intensity) in microscopic specimens.
  • Read and comprehend text, numbers, and graphs displayed in print, on audiovisual media and on a video monitor.



The student must be able to:

  • Perform laboratory testing independently while adhering to existing laboratory safety standards.
  • Perform moderately taxing continuous physical work, often requiring prolonged sitting and/or standing, over several hours.
  • Travel to numerous clinical laboratory practicum sites.
  • Reach laboratory benchtops and shelves, patients lying in hospital beds or patients seated in specimen collection furniture.
  • Grasp, hold, transport, utilize specimens, reagents, hazardous chemicals and equipment in a safe manner as needed to perform laboratory testing.
  • Obtain patient specimens in a timely, safe, and professional manner (e.g. perform phlebotomy).
  • Use laboratory equipment (e.g. pipettes, inoculating loops, test tubes) and instruments to perform laboratory procedures according to established laboratory guidelines.
  • Use a computer to operate laboratory instruments and to calculate, record, evaluate, and transmit laboratory information.
  • Troubleshoot and correct equipment malfunctions.



The student must be able to:

  • Read and understand technical and professional materials (i.e. textbooks, journal articles, handbooks, and instruction manuals).
  • Follow oral and written instructions independently.
  • Clearly instruct patients regarding specimen collection.
  • Demonstrate sensitivity, confidentiality and respect when speaking with or about patients or about patients’ data.
  • Communicate clearly, accurately and tactfully with faculty members, student colleagues, staff and other health care professionals orally and in a recorded format (writing, typing, graphics, or telecommunication). Oral communication includes the ability to ask and respond to formal and informal questions with confidence at an appropriate professional level. Written communication includes the ability to use correct grammar and spelling as well as the appropriate level of formality.



The student must be able to:

  • Comprehend, measure, calculate, reason, integrate, analyze, evaluate, correlate, problem-solve and compare.
  • Recognize abnormal laboratory results (e.g. patient and QC) and take appropriate action.
  • Demonstrate critical-thinking and judgment skills appropriate to a given situation.



The student must be able to:

  • Organize work and perform multiple tasks within given time constraints and under stressful conditions while maintaining the ability to communicate clearly.
  • Be flexible and adapt to professional and technical change.
  • Recognize potentially hazardous situations and proceed safely to minimize risk to self and others.
  • Be a team player (i.e. support and promote activities of colleagues and other health care professionals).
  • Accept and act on constructive criticism, critically evaluate self performance, recognize and correct mistakes.
  • Be honest, compassionate, responsible, reliable and ethical.
  • Exercise independent judgment and accept responsibility for own work.

In addition, the student must follow all established policies and procedures of the program and clinical affiliate sites.