CLS Essential Functions


 Students entering the Clinical Laboratory Science Program must be able to meet the physical, mental, and psychological demands of the Program and subsequently the practice of clinical laboratory science/medical technology.  The following list is to be used by potential students, counselors, and/or physicians to determine if an individual can perform these functions:

I.           Communication skills

  1. Communicate effectively in written and spoken English
  2. Comprehend and respond appropriately to both formal and colloquial English, person to person, by telephone, and in writing
  3. Appropriately assess nonverbal and verbal communication
  4. Independently prepare papers, prepare laboratory reports, and take paper, computer, and laboratory practical examinations.

II.     Large and small motor skills

  1. Move freely from one location to another in physical settings such as the clinical laboratory, patient care areas, corridors, and elevators
  2. Possess sufficient eye-motor coordination to allow delicate manipulations of specimens, instruments, and tools (e.g. manual pipetting, specimen collection from vein and capillaries)
  3. Grasp and release small objects (e.g., test tubes, pipette tips, microscope slides and coverslips); twist and turn dials/knobs (e.g., on microscopes, balances, centrifuges, spectrophotometers)

III.     Other physical requirements

  1. Safely work at laboratory benches and at patients’ bedsides or specimen collection seats, and work with laboratory instrumentation
  2. Travel to clinical sites
  3. Prolonged standing (a couple hours at a time*), prolonged sitting (i.e. at a microscope)
  4. Use computers and keyboards
  5. Lift and move objects of at least 20 pounds*
  6. Possess a sense of touch and temperature discrimination
  7. Visual acuity
    • Identify and distinguish object by observing fine structural detail and shadings macroscopically and microscopically
    • Read charts, graphs, and instrument scales-readout devices
    • Characterize the color, clarity, and viscosity of biological samples and chemical reactions*
    • Ability to smell.*   Ability to tolerate smells.
    • Must not be subject to episodic incapacitation that occurs without warning such as fainting spells or convulsive disorders due to requirements to handle potentially dangerous substances and objects.

IV.     Professional and application skills

  1. Follow written and verbal directions
  2. Possess and apply mathematical skills
  3. Work independently and with others under time constraints
  4. Prioritize requests and work concurrently on at least two different tasks
  5. Maintain alertness and concentration during a normal work period
  6. Apply knowledge, skills, and values learned from course work and life experiences to new situations
  7. Work safely with potential chemical, radiologic, and biologic hazards using universal precautions, using and wearing safety equipment mandated for laboratories (i.e. gloves, lab coats, masks).
  8. Develop algorithms and suggest appropriate follow-up tests
  9. Clearly instruct patients and health care professionals (e.g. specimen collection)
  10. Perform professional skills while experiencing the stresses of task-related uncertainty (i.e. ambiguous test ordering, ambivalent test interpretation), emergent demands (i.e. “stat” orders), and a distracting environment (i.e. high noise level, crowding, complex visual stimuli)

V.     Valuing skills

  1. Show respect for self and others.
  2. Project an image of professionalism including appearance, dress, and confidence
  3. Be honest, compassionate, ethical, and responsible.  The student must be forthright about errors or uncertainty.  The student must be able to critically evaluate his or her own performance, accept constructive criticism, and look for ways to improve.  The student must be able to evaluate the performance of others and tactfully offer constructive criticism.

VI.          Stability and Intellect

  1. Possess intellectual skills: comprehension, measurement, reasoning, comparison, integration, evaluation, synthesis, self-expression, and criticism
  2. Exercise sufficient judgment to recognize and correct performance deviations
  3. Possess the psychological health required for full utilization of abilities
  4. Possess the emotional health and maturity necessary to effectively deal with others and exercise appropriate judgment.
  5. Recognize emergency situations and take appropriate actions

*Starred items may be able to be accommodated.  Call the Program Director/Chair for more details about these or other items.  Other health conditions may also require evaluation.  Please let the Program Director know if you have an allergy to latex.