Medical Laboratory Science

School of Health Professions

Program Coordinator: Vivi-Anne Griffey, M.S.

Description

Medical laboratory science combines the basic sciences of biology and chemistry with medicine and the clinical sciences into a very satisfying professional career. Medical laboratory scientists (also known as medical technologists) develop, perform, evaluate, correlate and assure the accuracy and validity of laboratory tests and collaborate with other health care professionals in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. The mission of the medical laboratory science program is to graduate ethical, certified, entry-level medical laboratory scientists with the knowledge and skills necessary to work in all areas of the clinical laboratory including, microbiology, chemistry, hematology, blood banking, immunology, and molecular diagnostics.

The certified medical laboratory scientist is qualified by academic and practical training to work wherever laboratory testing is researched, developed or performed including, hospital, private, research, industrial, biomedical and forensic laboratories, pharmaceutical companies and fertility centers. In addition to laboratory positions, medical laboratory scientists also find careers in infection control, marketing, technical sales and services, laboratory information systems, teaching and consulting.

In partnership with Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Stevenson University offers a “2+2” baccalaureate program in medical laboratory science consisting of two years of prerequisite courses in the basic sciences and liberal arts, a third year of liberal arts and introductory courses in laboratory medicine, and a fourth year which integrates professional and clinical practicum courses at Sinai Hospital. The clinical practicum provides a bridge between academics and application, allowing students a smooth transition to the workforce as medical laboratory scientists.

The program provides specialized technical training in test performance, correlation of laboratory data and disease management, and practice in problem-solving in the clinical laboratory. Graduates of our program are equipped to seek career enhancement and pursue management positions and/or graduate studies.

The medical laboratory science program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences. (NAACLS); 5600 North River Road, Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018-5119; 773-714-8880, www.naacls.org.

Graduates of the medical laboratory science program earn a Bachelor of Science degree and are eligible to take the national certification examination for medical laboratory scientists offered by the American Society of Clinical Pathology Board of Certification (ASCP-BOC).

Students planning to apply to medical or dental school may want to adopt the pre-medical option of the medical laboratory science curriculum. These students follow the medical laboratory science curriculum with the following changes: Organic Chemistry II is taken instead of Principles of Biochemistry and two semesters of General Physics are added. Students adopting this option of the curriculum will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science and will have fulfilled all requirements for applying to medical or dental schools.

Freshmen and transfer students enter as medical laboratory science majors. The medical laboratory science program accepts only ten students to continue into the junior year of the medical laboratory science major, and selection is determined by the Medical Laboratory Science Admissions Committee.

Objectives

Upon completion of the Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Laboratory Science, graduates will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate proficiency in performing the full range of clinical laboratory tests in the contemporary clinical laboratory.
  2. Evaluate test systems and diagnostic algorithms in terms of diagnostic value, compliance outcomes, and cost-effectiveness.
  3. Evaluate the results of laboratory analyses for accuracy and validity, and correlate laboratory data to disease processes.
  4. Apply the principles and practices of quality assurance/quality improvement as applied to the pre-analytical, analytical, and post-analytical components of laboratory services.
  5. Exhibit the ethical and professional behaviors required within the healthcare delivery system.
  6. Communicate effectively orally, in writing, and through laboratory information systems in order to consult with members of the healthcare team, to provide patient education and customer service, and to interact with external parties.
  7. Use research design/practice skills to evaluate published studies and investigate clinical laboratory issues/problems.
  8. Exhibit an understanding of the concepts and principles of laboratory management such as human resource management, finance, operations, regulatory compliance, performance improvement, critical pathways and clinical decision-making.
  9. Demonstrate understanding of education techniques and terminology to train/educate users and providers of laboratory services.
  10. Seek national certification as a Medical Laboratory Scientist and pursue employment within this field or a related field or continue to post-graduate education.

Policies

Students must earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.80 to be admitted into the Medical Laboratory Science program, and the lowest acceptable grade is a "C" in all major and Stevenson Educational Experience (SEE) courses. No student, regardless of major, will be permitted to take a science or math course unless he/she earns a grade of "C" or better in all prerequisite courses.

After admission into the junior year of the program, students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.50 in the major to remain in good standing and to be eligible for admission to the clinical practicum. A student whose GPA is less than 2.50 will be reviewed by the Medical Laboratory Science faculty for continuance in the program.

A student may not earn a grade of “C-” or lower in any science or math course more than three times during the program. If a fourth grade of “C-” or lower is earned in any science or math course, the student will be automatically dismissed from the Medical Laboratory Science major.

Probation: The student who earns any combination of two grades of “C-” or lower in a science or math course will be notified, in writing, by the program coordinator that he or she is on probation in the School of Health Professions.

Final Probation: The student who earns any combination of three grades of “C-” or lower in a science or math course will be notified, in writing, by the program coordinator that he or she is on final probation in the School of Health Professions.

Dismissal: If a fourth grade of “C-” or lower in any science or math course is earned, the student will be notified, in writing, by the program coordinator that he or she has been dismissed from the major.

Final Exam Policy

A score of 73% must be achieved on the final exam in each senior-level medical laboratory science (MLS 4xx) course to be able to proceed to the corresponding clinical practicum course. If a student does not pass the relevant final exam the first time with a 73% or better:

  1. The first score on the exam is used to calculate the final grade in the course.
  2. Student's corresponding clinical rotation schedule may be adjusted.
  3. Student will be allowed to retake a different exam a maximum of two times.
  4. Student must pass the retake exam with a score of 73% or better. If the student fails to earn a 73% on the retake exam after two attempts, he/she is required to repeat the course.

Competency Exam Policy

  1. The minimum passing score for each competency exam is determined by each instructor (80-100%).
  2. A student who does not achieve the minimum passing score will have a second opportunity to achieve a passing score. However, the score that will be used for the final grade computation will not exceed the minimum passing score, regardless of the score on the second competency exam.
  3. If a student fails the competency exam a second time, he or she will be counseled by the program coordinator and faculty member. The outcome could result in repeating the entire course.

Medical Requirements

Students enrolled in Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) courses will have potential exposure to blood-borne pathogens or other potentially infectious materials and may be at risk of acquiring hepatitis B virus (HBV). Also, during the course of the Medical Laboratory Science program, students may have direct patient contact. The program requires the student to demonstrate effective vaccinations prior to starting the Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) courses (except MLS 210).

  1. All full-time, part-time and categorical certificate students admitted to the junior (3rd) year of the Medical Laboratory Science program must submit the following forms
    • Stevenson University Student Health Form to the Wellness Center.
    • Supplemental Health Form for Medical Laboratory Science Students to the program coordinator.
  2. Students must provide evidence of immunity to Varicella (chicken pox), Measles, Mumps, and Rubella
    1. Varicella
      1. Documentation of 2 doses of vaccine OR
      2.  Healthcare provider’s diagnosis of varicella or verification of history of varicella OR
      3. Laboratory evidence of immunity = Positive titer OR
      4. Laboratory confirmation of varicella disease
    2. Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR)
      1. Documentation of 2 doses of measles and mumps vaccine and at least 1 dose of rubella vaccine OR
      2. Laboratory evidence of immunity = Positive titer OR
      3. Laboratory confirmation of disease
  3. Documentation of immunity to Hepatitis B (HepB)
    1. HepB immunization series (3 doses) AND
    2.  Laboratory evidence of immunity: anti-HBs titer = > 10mlU/mL
        1. If anti-HBs titer = < 10mlU/mL, student MUST:
          • Receive 1 booster dose of HepB vaccine AND
          • A repeat titer within 1-2 months after receiving booster dosed.
        2. If repeat anti-HBs titer = < 10mlU/mL, student MUST:
          • Receive 2 booster doses of HepB vaccine AND
          • A 2nd repeat titer within 1-2 months after receiving booster dose
        3.  If 2nd repeat anti-HBs titer = < 10mlU/mL, student MUST receive counseling by Wellness Center regarding their risk of acquiring hepatitis B.
  4. Student may choose to decline the hepatitis vaccine, but he/she must sign the Hepatitis Declination Form (Appendix A of the Exposure Control Plan on the SHP portal) and as documentation of understanding the risk of acquiring hepatitis B.
  5. Student must submit documentation of Tdap vaccine within 10 years of starting the junior year of the Medical Laboratory Science program
  6.  Students enrolled in MLS courses (except MLS 210) must submit documentation of all required immunizations and titers listed in the Supplemental Health Form by July 1 for fall courses and January 2 for spring courses . If the documentation of immunizations and titers or signed declination form is not on file by the deadline, the student will be dropped from any registered MLS course.
  7. Students entering the senior (4th) year of the program must also present documentation of a negative tuberculosis screening test (PPD or chest x-ray) prior to the start of classes in the fall semester.
  8. An annual influenza immunization (free of charge to seniors at Sinai Hospital in fall) is required by the hospital and clinical practicum affiliates.
  9.  It is strongly recommended that students maintain personal medical insurance.
  10. Students are financially responsible for any costs incurred due to illness or injury experienced by the student, in conjunction with the student labs and clinical practicum.

Clinical Practicum

  1. The clinical practicum is scheduled in the spring semester of the senior year. It is divided into four discipline-specific rotations and is scheduled for five days a week, eight hours a day.
  2. Students may be assigned to clinical departments at the following affiliates:
    • Sinai Hospital
    • Northwest Hospital
    • Carroll Hospital
    • Greater Baltimore Medical Center
    • Johns Hopkins Hospital
  3. Students must provide their own transportation to the clinical affiliates, which may include paying for parking.
  4. Personal protective equipment is provided by the facilities.
  5. Liability insurance is purchased by the University to cover students during their clinical practicum.
  6. The clinical practicum culminates in a final comprehensive exam as preparation for the national certification examination for Medical Laboratory Scientists

Program Completion

Upon satisfactory completion of the required program of study, the student will be awarded a Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science. The granting of the degree is not contingent upon passing any external certification examination.

National Certification Examination

Program graduates are eligible to take the national certification examination for Medical Laboratory Scientists offered by the American Society of Clinical Pathology Board of Certification (ASCP-BOC).

Program Admission Requirements

Freshmen and transfer students enter the University as medical laboratory science majors. The Medical Laboratory Science Program accepts only 10 students to continue into the junior (3rd) year of the program, and selection is determined by the Medical Laboratory Science Admissions Committee.

Consideration for admission to the MLS program in the spring semester of the sophomore year is based on the following criteria:

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.80 in all university work attempted
  • Grade of “C” or better in all prerequisite courses in biology, chemistry, and mathematics
  • Completion of at least 60 credit hours, including prerequisite courses in biology, chemistry and mathematics by the start of the fall semester of the junior year in the program
  • Ability to meet published, non-academic Essential Functions (see below)
  • Letters of recommendation from at least two faculty who will be able to address the student's academic and technical laboratory skills
  • Submission of a complete application to the program by the established deadline in the spring semester of the sophomore year

Each applicant is reviewed by the program coordinator for admission eligibility to the junior year of the medical laboratory science program. The student’s transcript is reviewed for overall grade point average (GPA) in all university work, for GPA in the specific prerequisite courses in biology, chemistry and mathematics, and for potential to successfully complete 60 credit hours towards fulfilling requirements for the degree. To insure that all standards are met and that students have been assessed equitably, the program coordinator reviews the eligibility of all students with the Medical Laboratory Science Admissions Committee, which makes the final decision.

All students receive written notification of their acceptance/rejection status prior to registration for the fall semester of the junior year. Students who are not accepted into the medical laboratory science program may be reviewed again the following year, if they so desire, or are counseled about alternative majors.

In order to participate in the program, students must be able to comply with program-designated Essential Functions or request reasonable accommodations to execute these functions. The Essential Functions are the non-academic requirements of the program comprising the physical, emotional and professional demands of the medical laboratory scientist. To ensure that the decision to pursue a career in medical laboratory science is the correct one for the individual, each applicant is asked to determine if they are able to comply with all of these Essential Functions (see below) by which they will be assessed as a medical laboratory science major.

As stated in the University’s non-discrimination policy, the University does not discriminate on the basis of health or disability.

Non-academic Essential Functions

The medical laboratory science student must:

  1. Possess visual acuity sufficient to:
    • Differentiate colors and color changes in the performance of laboratory tests and procedures. Color blindness, of itself, does not preclude admission.
    • Identify cellular components and microorganisms using a microscope.
    • Read laboratory instrument procedure manuals, standard operating procedures, specimen labels and other pertinent materials for patient care and professional practice.
  2. Possess sufficient manual dexterity in order to:
    • Process specimens and perform laboratory testing procedures.
    • Lift and handle typical hand-held medical laboratory equipment and tools.
    • Operate clinical laboratory instruments and equipment, including computers.
    • Perform delicate manipulations that require good eye-hand coordination.
  3. Perform laboratory procedures accurately within an established time-frame while maintaining efficiency and organization.
  4. Exercise independent judgment and use critical thinking skills to solve problems.
  5. Communicate in a professional and positive manner with faculty, classmates, patients, laboratory personnel, and other healthcare and non-healthcare personnel.
  6. Maintain patient confidentiality and exercise ethical judgment, integrity, honesty, dependability, and accountability in the classroom and clinical laboratory.

This policy shall be interpreted and applied in a manner consistent with the requirements of all state and federal laws concerning education of students with disabilities.

Requirements

The courses listed below are required for completion of the bachelor’s degree in medical laboratory science. Students must also complete the requirements for the Stevenson Educational Experience (SEE).

Specific pre- and co-requisites for each course are listed in the course descriptions.

Major Requirements:

SCI 100School of Sciences New Student Seminar

1 credit

BIO 113General Biology I: Cell Biology and Genetics

3 credits

BIO 113LGeneral Biology I Laboratory: Cell Biology and Genetics

1 credit

BIO 130Human Anatomy and Physiology

4 credits

BIO 203Microbiology

4 credits

BIO 217Principles of Biochemistry

3 credits

BIO 230Genetics

4 credits

BIO 320Pathogenic Microbiology

4 credits

CHEM 115General Chemistry I

3 credits

CHEM 115LGeneral Chemistry I Laboratory

1 credit

CHEM 115SGeneral Chemistry I SoLVE

0 credits

CHEM 116General Chemistry II

3 credits

CHEM 116LGeneral Chemistry II Laboratory

1 credit

CHEM 116SGeneral Chemistry II SoLVE

0 credits

CHEM 210Organic Chemistry I

3 credits

CHEM 210LOrganic Chemistry I Laboratory

1 credit

MATH 136Introduction to Statistics

4 credits

MLS 210Principles of Laboratory Science

3 credits

MLS 310Hematology I

3 credits

MLS 310LHematology I Laboratory

1 credit

MLS 320Urinalysis and Body Fluids

2 credits

MLS 320LUrinalysis and Body Fluids Laboratory

1 credit

MLS 325Clinical Chemistry I

4 credits

MLS 335Clinical Laboratory Management

3 credits

MLS 338Molecular and Immunologic Diagnostics

4 credits

MLS 405Transfusion Medicine

4 credits

MLS 410Hematology II

3 credits

MLS 420Clinical Microbiology

4 credits

MLS 425Clinical Chemistry II

3 credits

MLS 430Professional Research and Writing

4 credits

MLS 431Clinical Chemistry Practicum

3 credits

MLS 432Clinical Hematology Practicum

3 credits

MLS 433Clinical Microbiology Practicum

3 credits

MLS 434Clinical Immunohematology Practicum

3 credits

PSY 101Introduction to Psychology

3 credits

Suggested Course Sequence

Suggested Course Sequence MLS Pre-Medical Studies

Suggested Course Sequence MLS

Other Options

Categorical Certificate Training Program: The Categorical Certificate Training Program is available for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in biology, biotechnology, chemistry, or related science. Please see the Medical Laboratory Science website for information, admission requirements and application procedures.

Course Descriptions

See Medical Laboratory Course Descriptions

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