CLS Professional Performance Standards
Students within the Department of Clinical Laboratory Science must possess (or have the ability to achieve) certain technical standards (competencies) to successfully complete the curriculum. The program curricula for clinical laboratory science (CLS) and cytotechnology (CT) students include clinical placement in professional practice settings thus requiring technical standards associated with both the academic setting and professional practice setting. The curriculum for investigative and medical sciences (IMS) students does not inherently include clinical placement but is an option associated with chosen curriculum tracks. Thus, the following general technical standards include knowledge, skills and attitudes that are necessary for both academic progression and professional practicum experiences.
The essential requirements outlined below are presented for applicants and matriculants to review and use to assess their ability to successfully complete degree requirements. If you have any questions regarding your ability to achieve any of these essential requirements, you can clarify your concerns by contacting a faculty member within the department. If you perceive you will require special accommodations to meet these requirements, you must arrange for assessment and review by the university Student Disabilities Services Office. All accommodations are approved and coordinated through Student Disabilities Services.
The student must be able to:
- In course assignments and within the laboratory practice setting, apply theoretical knowledge, ethical practice and sound judgment in following problem situations to their logical conclusions.
- Assimilate mathematical and scientific data to allow application of basic principles in concrete situations related to laboratory practice and test interpretation.
- Physically manipulate themselves and small objects (20 pounds or less) within the laboratory/clinical/research setting in a safe and effective fashion.
- Display a functional level of manual dexterity in the performance of laboratory testing. Activities include but are not limited to: phlebotomy, analytical transfer of fluids, numerous laboratory procedures requiring intricate manipulations, and utilization of computerized instrumentation. [NOTE: Cytotechnology students do not perform phlebotomy.]
- Demonstrate functional use of their senses including but not limited to:
a. Visual acuity to distinguish color in reading stained slides and color changes associated with chemical reactions. Distinguish subtle microscopic differences in cell morphology and/or diagnostic elements in clinical specimens as they are examined under a microscope and/or displayed on a monitor. Accurately read, transcribe, and report written and numerical data that is presented in a manual or computer, generated format.
b. Sense of touch to distinguish temperature discrimination for safety purposes.
- Tolerate airborne irritants (such as gases, chemical fumes, latex particles, etc.) that are inherent in clinical and research laboratory environments.
- Maintain focus and accurately perform complex technical procedures within reasonable time constraints and under stressful working conditions (e.g. distracting and noisy environment, multi-task exercises/workload, ambiguous orders, etc.).
- Comprehend and adhere to policies and regulations as prescribed by the department and/or appropriate governing agencies. These policies are generally but not exclusively related to competent, ethical and safe practice.
- Utilize effective and respectful written and oral communication skills in professional interactions with patients, peers, faculty/clinical supervisors, and other health care professionals.
- Submit to and receive a satisfactory report on criminal background checks and drug testing for substances of abuse in compliance with clinical placement regulations (for curriculum tracks including clinical placement).