Essential Functions of a Clinical Laboratory Technologist

The concept of essential functions is defined as the physical and mental attributes of an individual that are required to be able to perform in an academic or work setting.

The position of a clinical laboratory technologist requires a variety of skills and abilities which are clearly defined by the job descriptions developed by each laboratory.

The following is a long winded way to say that you must have visual acuity, hand-eye coordination, discrimination of colors, the ability to communicate effectively, be strong enough to lift a reasonable load, be psychologically stable and able to make an ethical decision.

Applicants and matriculated students must demonstrate the ability to perform (or learn to perform) essential skills according to the technical standards listed below.

These standards have been developed in accordance with Section 504 of the 1973 Vocational Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Standards and Guidelines for an Accredited Educational Program for the Medical Technologist/Clinical Laboratory Scientist as adopted by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) Programs and Essential Requirements for Clinical Laboratory Science.

Due to the nature of the tasks required of a working medical technologist/clinical laboratory scientist, certain physical characteristics are required. Each student must have reasonable visual acuity sufficient physical dexterity and fine motor skills and finger/hand dexterity in both hands that enable the student, in a timely and efficient manner, to do the following:

Learning Skills
Follow verbal and written instructions. Observe demonstrations and participate in laboratory procedures as required by the curriculum. Complete reading assignments and search/evaluate assigned literature in a timely fashion, complete any written assignments and records, and use a computer as needed for assignments and patient care. Solve problems and think critically. Apply knowledge, skills, and values to new situations. Independently prepare papers and laboratory reports, and take paper, computer-assisted, and laboratory practical examinations.

Communication Skills
Communicate effectively in written and spoken English; comprehend and respond to both formal and colloquial English; and appropriately interpret nonverbal communication signals. Various communications may be in person, over the telephone, or in writing.

Visual Acuity
Read written materials, charts, graphs, and instrument scales; and identify and distinguish objects macroscopically and microscopically.

Movement
Move easily from one location to another such as the clinical laboratory, patient areas, corridors, and elevators. Travel to different clinical sites for practical training.

Small Motor Skills
Safely handle specimens and laboratory reagents; manipulate instruments, including handling small objects; adjusting dials/knobs and manipulate other laboratory materials (e.g., pipettors) in order to complete tasks. Use an electronic keyboard to calculate record, evaluate, and transmit laboratory information.

Personal Physical Requirements
Demonstrate adequate stamina to tolerate physically taxing workloads and work situations such as sitting or standing at a microscope or other laboratory equipment for extended periods of time. Lift and move objects of at least 20 pounds. Discrimination texture and temperature of objects.

Safety Awareness
Work safely with potential chemical, radiologic, and biologic hazards and follow prescribed guidelines for working with all potential hazards, including mechanical and electrical.

Professional Skills
Follow written and verbal directions; work independently and with others; prioritize requests and work concurrently on at least two different tasks; maintain alertness and concentration during a normal work period.

Personal Stability
Demonstrate the psychological health required to respond to supervisors, coworkers and others in a collegial manner; Recognize emergency situations and respond with appropriate actions. Maintain a high level of competence in a stressful and distracting environment.

Values
Demonstrate respect for self and others and present a professional image and deportment, including qualities of confidence, personal integrity, and appropriate appearance. Critically evaluate own performance, accept constructive criticism, and plan self-improvement activities.

These essential functions are provided to current and prospective students and to the public as part of the admissions process and in compliance with Standard 10 of the Standards of Accredited Educational Programs for the Clinical Laboratory Sciences of the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences.

All students must perform these essential functions of the curriculum according to the standards described- with or without reasonable accommodations. Students in need accommodations should initiate a request for specific accommodations through the Dean of Students.