The National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences requires essential
functions required for program admission to be clearly defined, published, and provided
to prospective students and made available to the public. A CLS student at Augusta
University is expected to meet the following requirements.
- Perform laboratory manual, semi-automated, and automated procedures in which biologicals*
(e.g., blood and other body fluids, culture materials, tissue sections, and cellular
specimens) are tested for their biochemical, hematological, microbiological, and immunologic
- Characterize the color, odor, clarity, and viscosity of biologicals, reagents, or
chemical reaction products.
- Employ a clinical grade binocular microscope to discriminate among fine structural
differences of microscopic specimens.
- Read and comprehend text, numbers, and graphs displayed in print and on a computer
- Use a computer/electronic keyboard to operate laboratory instruments and to calculate
record, evaluate, and transmit laboratory information.
- Move freely and safely about a laboratory.
- Reach laboratory bench tops and shelves, patients lying in hospital beds or patient
seated in specimen collection furniture.
- Travel to numerous clinical laboratory sites for practical experience.
- Perform moderately taxing continuous physical work, often requiring prolonged sitting
or standing, over several hours.
- Maneuver phlebotomy and culture acquisition equipment to safely collect valid laboratory
specimens from patients.
- Control laboratory equipment (e.g. pipettes, inoculating loops, test tubes) and adjust
instruments to perform laboratory procedures.
- Read and comprehend technical and professional materials (e.g. textbooks, magazines,
journal articles, handbooks, and instruction manuals)
- Follow verbal and written instructions in order to correctly and independently perform
laboratory test procedures; Be able to hear (some level of hearing is required because
the student must be able to perceive and timely respond to significant sounds in a
clinical lab, such as signals generated from instrumentation that may indicate normal
operating status, critical sample value, or equipment malfunction.
- Clearly instruct patients prior to specimen collection.
- Effectively, confidentially, and sensitively converse with patients regarding laboratory
- Maintain patient confidentiality at all times.
- Evaluate the performance of fellow students, staff, and health care professionals
verbally and in a recorded format (writing, typing, graphics, or telecommunications).
- Use computer software (word processor, spreadsheet, database, information systems),
and the internet for communication, education, and professional purposes.
- Independently prepare papers, prepare laboratory reports, and take paper, computer,
and laboratory practical examinations.
- Possess these intellectual skills; comprehension, measurement, mathematical calculation,
reasoning, integration, analysis, comparison, self-expression, and criticism.
- Solve problems and think critically.
- Exercise sufficient judgment to recognize and correct performance deviations.
- Critically evaluate her or his own performance, accept constructive criticism, and
strive to improve performance (e.g. participate in enriched educational activities).
Behavior and Professional Requirements
- Dress to project a neat, well-groomed, professional appearance.
- Behave in a professional manner toward fellow students, faculty, and patients; Exhibit
attitude, integrity, communication, motivation, independence/leadership, self-worth
assessment and altruism which meet and exceed the expectations of a health care professional.
- Manage the use of time and systematize actions in order to complete professional and
technical tasks within realistic constraints.
- Possess the emotional health necessary to effectively employ intellect and exercise
- Provide professional and technical services while experiencing the stresses of task-related
uncertainty (e.g. ambiguous test ordering, ambivalent test interpretation), emergent
demands (e.g. “stat” test orders), and a distracting environment (e.g. high noise
levels, crowding, complex visual stimuli).
- Be flexible and creative and adapt to professional and technical change.
- Recognize potentially hazardous materials, equipment, and situations and proceed safely
in order to minimize risk of injury to patients, self, and nearby individuals.
- Adapt to working with potentially infectious specimens, a variety of chemicals, and
- Support and promote the activities of fellow students and of health care professionals.
- Help foster a team approach to learning, task completion, problem solving, and patient
- Be honest, compassionate, ethical, responsible, and forthright about errors or uncertainty.
* Students/individuals with special health concerns (e.g. immunocompromised, allergic)
may put their health at risk when working in the clinical laboratory due to the agents
(infectious/biological and chemical) that are handled in all areas of the laboratory.
It is the responsibility of the student to request accommodations due to disabilities.
However, the student must be able to carry out the essential functions listed above.
- Fritsma, G.A., Fiorella B. J., and Murphey, M. Essential Requirements for Clinical
Laboratory Science. Clinical Laboratory Science 1996. Vol. 9, pp 40-43.
- Russell BL, Owen M., Leibach EK, Stone RB, Meaders E., Kraj, B. Capturing Professionalism
in Pre-Service Education: Professionalism Tool Development and Implementation. Clinical Laboratory Science, 2011.24(4): Suppl pp 4-11.
Updated February 28, 2012