Medical Laboratory Science

Sandra R. Berman School of Nursing and Health Professions

Program Coordinator: Lara Biagiotti, M.S. MLS(ASCP)CM

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 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 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 for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification (ASCP-BOC).

Students planning to apply to medical or dental school can follow the medical laboratory science curriculum with the following additional courses: Organic Chemistry I and II, and two semesters of General Physics. Students adopting this option of the curriculum are strongly advised to meet with the Health Professions Advisor regarding specific requirements. The student will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science.

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, 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

The lowest acceptable grade is a "C" in all courses listed in the catalog under "Major Requirements" for the major, including both courses in the major and SEE courses required by the major. No student, regardless of major, will be permitted to take a science, math, or MLS course unless they earn a grade of "C" or better in all prerequisite courses.

Students must earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.800 to be admitted into the Medical Laboratory Science program. 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 “D” or lower in any science, math or MLS course more than three times during the program. If a fourth grade of “D” or lower is earned in any science, math or MLS course, the student will be automatically dismissed from the Medical Laboratory Science major.

Probation: The student who earns any combination of two grades of “D” or lower in a science, math or MLS course will be notified, in writing, by the program coordinator that they are on probation in the Medical Laboratory Science program.

Final Probation: The student who earns any combination of three grades of “D” or lower in a science, math or MLS course will be notified, in writing, by the program coordinator that they are on final probation in the Medical Laboratory Science program.

Dismissal: If a fourth grade of “D” or lower in any science, math or MLS course is earned, the student will be notified, in writing, by the program coordinator that they have been dismissed from the Medical Laboratory Science major.

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 Medical Laboratory Science program, students may have direct patient contact. The program requires students to demonstrate effective vaccinations prior to starting the Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) courses (except MLS 210).

One-time Requirement prior to the junior year:

  1. Required vaccinations and/or proof of immunity to the following: Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR), Hepatitis B (HBV) and Tdap

Annual Requirement:

Documentation of personal medical insurance

One-time Requirement prior to the senior year:

  1. Documentation of a negative tuberculosis screening test (PPD or chest x-ray)
  2. Seasonal influenza vaccine (free of charge to seniors at Sinai Hospital in fall).
  3. Background Check and Drug Screen

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure all medical and clinical requirements are met as described using the procedures and deadlines published in the School of Nursing and Health Professions Student Policy manual. Failure to provide acceptable documentation of medical requirements by the established guidelines may result in a student being ineligible to participate in laboratory and/or clinical experiences.

Clinical Practicum.

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.

Students may be assigned to clinical departments at the following affiliates:

  • Sinai Hospital
  • Northwest Hospital
  • Carroll Hospital Center
  • Greater Baltimore Medical Center
  • Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Baltimore Washington Medical Center

Students must provide their own transportation to the clinical affiliates, which may include paying for parking.

Personal protective equipment is provided by the facilities.

Liability insurance is purchased by the University to cover students during their clinical practicum.

The clinical practicum culminates in a final comprehensive exam as preparation for the national certification examination for Medical Laboratory Scientists. Students will not substitute for or replace laboratory personnel in turning out routine workload during their specified hours at the clinical site. After demonstrating proficiency, students, with qualified supervision, may be permitted to perform procedures. It is permissible; however, for the clinical site to hire students to perform laboratory procedures outside the regular rotation hours.

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 for 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 2.800 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 ensure 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 possess:

  1. 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. Sufficient manual dexterity 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. Behavioral and Social Abilities:
    • Possess the physical and emotional health required, combined with the employment of sound judgment in an appropriate and prompt manner for application of intellectual abilities.
    • Ability to function effectively in times of physical and emotional stress.
    • Display compassion, sensitivity and concern for others while maintaining professional ethics and integrity at all times including, appropriate interactions with individuals from a variety of diverse backgrounds.
    • Demonstrate flexibility and adaptability to rapidly changing environments.
    • Accepting of and integrating constructive criticism and learning to function cooperatively and efficiently with colleagues and others.
  4. Organization skills and be able to maintain attention to details in a potentially distracting environment.
  5. Ability to work safely in an environment that contains both chemical and biological hazardous materials, and to comply with requirements for personal protective equipment (i.e., gloves, disinfectants).
  6. Oral and written proficiency in the English language to communicate in an effective and positive manner.

Stevenson is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to meet the needs of students with documented disabilities without fundamentally altering essential components of the program. Applicants should be aware that in addition to classroom learning, laboratory-based learning takes place throughout the program and involves considerations, such as safety and placement in facilities outside of the University that may not be present for classroom accommodations. Applicants and current students with disabilities are advised to assess whether an accommodation may be needed in the laboratory setting as early in the program as possible, and to inquire of the program if further information on laboratory requirements is needed.  Requests for accommodations should be initiated with Disability Services in the Office of Student Success. Disability Services will engage in the interactive process with the applicant/student and consult with the appropriate medical laboratory science program faculty members as necessary to determine accommodations on an individualized case-by-case basis. To be considered for an accommodation, applicants and students will be required to submit documentation of their disability that meets the guidelines established by Disability Services.

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:

FYS 100First Year Seminar

1 credit

BIO 112Principles of General Biology

3 credits

or

BIO 113General Biology I: Cell Biology and Genetics

3 credits

BIO 113LGeneral Biology I Laboratory: Cell Biology and Genetics

1 credit

BIO 203Microbiology

4 credits

BIO 217Principles of Biochemistry

3 credits

BIO 222Human Anatomy

4 credits

BIO 230Genetics

4 credits

BIO 322Human Physiology

4 credits

CHEM 114General Chemistry I with Problem Solving

3 credits

or

CHEM 115General Chemistry I

3 credits

CHEM 115LGeneral Chemistry I Laboratory

1 credit

CHEM 116General Chemistry II

3 credits

CHEM 116LGeneral Chemistry II 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 311Communication and Cultural Competence in Health Care

3 credits

MLS 315Clinical Mycology, Parasitology and Virology

2 credits

MLS 320Urinalysis and Body Fluids

2 credits

MLS 320LUrinalysis and Body Fluids Laboratory

1 credit

MLS 325Clinical Chemistry I

3 credits

MLS 325LClinical Chemistry I Lab

1 credits

MLS 330Clinical Microbiology I

3 credits

MLS 330LClinical Microbiology I Lab

1 credit

MLS 335Clinical Laboratory Management

3 credits

MLS 338Molecular and Immunologic Diagnostics

3 credits

MLS 338LMolecular and Immunologic Diagnostics Lab

1 credit

MLS 405Transfusion Medicine

4 credits

MLS 410Hematology II

3 credits

MLS 420Clinical Microbiology II

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

SCI 215Writing in the Sciences

3 credits

Suggested Course Sequence

2020-2021 MLS SCS

Minor in Medical Laboratory Science

The discipline minor in Medical Laboratory Science requires successful completion of a minimum of six courses and 18 credits of courses with a MLS designation. Senior level (400-level) MLS courses are not eligible for this minor. Depending on the courses taken, students may partially fulfill the requirements for categorical certification from the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). See the Program Coordinator for further information regarding this minor. General guidelines regarding minors may be found in the Minors section of the catalog.

Other Options

The Categorical Certificate Training Program is available for students who may want to become certified as a technologist in a laboratory discipline to be eligible for employment in the clinical laboratory. Requirements for this training program can be satisfied by pursing the minor in Medical Laboratory Science. Please see the Program Coordinator for further information regarding this certificate program.

Course Descriptions

See Medical Laboratory Course Descriptions

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