Medical Laboratory Science
Dawn Taylor, Department Chair and Program Director
Associate Professor: D. Taylor, C. Doty
Assistant Professors: R. Brown
Instructors: R. Barrett, K. Weber
Adjunct Faculty: The program utilizes medical laboratory professionals in medical, research, and public health laboratories.
- Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science (joint degree with Oregon Tech and Oregon Health and Science University - OHSU)
Oregon Tech, in partnership with OHSU, offers a course of study leading to a Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science degree. Students take coursework that combines a rigorous competency-based science curriculum with community-sponsored clinical training. Graduates are prepared to enter the medical laboratory science profession and to pursue career opportunities in various laboratory settings including medical, research, and public health. Students who successfully complete the degree program are eligible to take the Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) national board certification examination offered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
The Medical Laboratory Science professional program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Medical Laboratory Science (NAACLS), 5600 North River Road, Suite 720, Rosemont, Illinois 60018-5119, (773) 714-8880.
The mission of the Oregon Tech • OHSU Medical Laboratory Science Program is to educate, train, and graduate professionally competent and ethical individuals, committed to life-long learning, and who are prepared to meet current and future workplace challenges in medical laboratory science.
Program of Study
During the pre-professional phase of study, students complete a minimum of 95-quarter hours that includes (a) 47-quarter hours of general education coursework, including two college-level math courses, one of which must be statistics; (b) 24-quarter hours of biology (200 level or above) that must include one microbiology course and one immunology course; and (c) 24-quarter hours of chemistry (200 level of above). Students must receive a grade of C or better in all required course work.
Through an application process, students are selected to enter the professional program.
The MLS professional program is admission-restricted and 15 months (5 consecutive terms) long, beginning in September of the academic year in which a student is admitted and ending in December of the following year. Admitted students spend four quarters completing medical laboratory science-specific coursework on the Oregon Tech Portland-Metro campus. Upon successful completion of the on-campus work, students are assigned to one or more program-affiliated laboratories to complete an extended fifth term (16 weeks) of clinical training. During clinical training, students spend 40 hours per week applying knowledge and skills to perform a wide variety of testing in a contemporary, accredited medical laboratory and to further develop discipline-specific competency under supervision of clinical instructors. Currently, the Department of MLS maintains affiliations with accredited laboratories in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Alaska, and Wyoming.
Students admitted to the MLS professional program are guaranteed placement for their clinical training subject to the following policies and procedures:
- Due to the variable availability of training sites year to year, student placement at a specific site and term may not be possible. Therefore, placement of students for clinical training is determined by the program in consultation with clinical affiliate training sites.
- Before beginning clinical training, students must comply with all training site and Oregon standardized administrative requirements including but not limited to immunizations, screening (e.g., background check, drug screen, etc.), trainings (e.g., safety, CPR, etc.), and proof of health insurance coverage valid for the entire clinical training period.
- All academic and non-academic requirements must be met to the satisfaction of program faculty before a student is permitted to start clinical training.
- Students are solely responsible for transportation and housing needs associated with their clinical training placement.
Professional Program Application and Admission Requirements
The professional program admits one cohort of students a year. All prospective students should submit completed applications from September 1st to January 15th. Students can download application instructions and the application forms from URL http://www.oit.edu/portland-metro/academics/degrees/medical-laboratory-science/how-to-apply.
Importantly, transfer and post-baccalaureate students must also submit a separate application for admission to Oregon Tech. Prospective students may apply online at URL http://www.oit.edu/portland-metro/admissions. When asked, applicants should select “Pre MLS” as their major. NOTE: Admission to Oregon Tech does not mean that an applicant has been admitted to the MLS professional program.
Admission to the professional program is criterion-based, competitive, and decided by the program admissions committee. Admission selection is based upon scholarship, personal qualifications, recommendations from three references, and interview results. Selected candidates are interviewed in February or early March and applicants selected for admission are notified in writing by the Program Director during March. To be eligible for admission, candidates for the MLS professional program must meet the following minimum eligibility requirements:
- Those applicants who have earned a Baccalaureate degree must have completed a minimum of 95 transferable quarter credit hours to include:
- Mathematics: one college-level math course. Minimum requirements are met by MATH 111 - College Algebra . Additional required math course: statistics;
- Biology: 24-quarter credit hours that must include one course in immunology and a course in microbiology. The microbiology coursework must include a laboratory component either integral to the course or taken separately; courses must be at the 200-level or above and not survey type. Highly recommended courses: general biology, genetics, anatomy and physiology, cellular or molecular biology;
- Chemistry: 24-quarter credit hours of chemistry; courses must be at the 200 level or above and not survey type. Highly recommended courses: general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, and quantitative analysis
- Those applicants who have not earned a Baccalaureate degree must have completed a minimum of 95 transferable quarter hours to include the prerequisites listed in 1 above and:
- 18-quarter credit hours of Communication course work including specified course work in writing and speech (see Baccalaureate General Education Requirements described elsewhere in this catalog);
- 9-quarter credit hours of Humanities course work in topical areas such as Art, Art History or Appreciation, Music, Music History or Appreciation, English (excluding writing and speech), Linguistics, and Philosophy (no more than three credits of activity of performance-based courses may be used in this category); and
- 12-quarter credit hours of Social Science course work in topical areas such as Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology.
Prerequisite course work does not need to be completed to apply, but official transcript(s) documenting completion of all outstanding prerequisite coursework with grades of ‘C’ or better must be on file with the MLS Department office before any offer of admission is finalized. The Oregon Tech Registrar’s office will review each applicant’s transcripts to confirm that the requirements are met. Applicants who have met admission requirements seven or more years prior to application to the MLS Program must complete additional academic work to qualify. This may be accomplished by:
- Completing a course in chemistry and a course in biology with a grade of C or better; courses must be at the 200-level or above and not survey type; or
- Receiving credit by examination in biochemistry and in microbiology; or
- Achieving a CLEP score at or above 50 on both the biology and chemistry examinations.
Applicants seeking transfer credit from international institutions must provide a credential evaluation from an Oregon Tech-approved credential evaluation service and must meet requirements as described in two above. Contact the Oregon Tech Office of Admissions on-line at http://www.oit.edu/admissions/international-students or by telephone 503.821.1250 or 1.800.422.2017 for additional information.
- All applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 to apply.
Health Insurance and Immunizations
Students admitted to the MLS program are required to have and show proof of comprehensive health insurance coverage. This is because during a student’s tenure in the MLS program they will work with patient samples and be in close contact with patients who may be ill. This means MLS program students are at a high risk for exposure to certain infections. Health insurance is not available through the university. Students must acquire this insurance on their own.
Note: MLS program students are NOT permitted to begin the program or attend a clinical externship without demonstrating proof of health insurance.
All MLS program students are required to meet immunization requirements as dictated by OARs 409-030-0100 to 409-030-0250. Students will be provided with current information once accepted into the professional program.
In accordance with its accreditation standards, the MLS program has established essential requirements. To be admitted and maintain enrollment, participate in, and successfully complete the MLS professional program, a student must meet these non-academic standards of performance:
- Students must demonstrate the ability to acquire and to communicate information. Specifically, a program student must be able to:
- Read for comprehension and follow verbal and written instructions to demonstrate mastery of information presented in coursework, including relevant content in basic science and clinical courses, at a level deemed appropriate by the faculty.
- Effectively communicate in written and spoken English in order to transmit information to faculty, staff, peers, and members of the health care team.
- Make a correct judgment in seeking supervisory help and consultation in a timely manner.
- Competently utilize technology to research, investigate, acquire and present information obtained by observation and experimentation.
- Use strategies that minimize miscommunication.
- At all times and in all circumstances, follow established procedures to safeguard protected patient information communicated by non-electronic and electronic means.
- Students must demonstrate sufficient motor and sensory function to execute movements required to carry out work assignments in all phases of diagnostic testing, including pre-analytical, analytical, and post-analytical. Specifically, a program student must be able to:
- Distinguish physical and/or chemical attributes, including color, shape, size, and fine detail of objects both macroscopically and microscopically.
- Demonstrate sufficient dexterity to safely manipulate specimens, laboratory utensils, tools, equipment and instrumentation including computer touch-screens, keyboards and handheld calculators, necessary to obtain and report complete and accurate diagnostic test results.
- Demonstrate adequate mobility to attend to duties in the various locations of the medical laboratory work environment.
- Use sensory skills to acquire and apply information presented by various means and media, including demonstrations.
- Perform sustained, often repetitive physical activity that may require sitting, standing and/or walking for prolonged periods of time.
- Accurately read, record, and when necessary, respond to numbers, letters and symbols displayed in print whether transmitted through non-electronic, electronic or other technological media.
- Demonstrate proficiency performing a wide range of tests in areas of the contemporary medical laboratory including but not limited to hematology, clinical chemistry, immunohematology, and microbiology, molecular and other emerging diagnostic venues.
- Students must project an image of professionalism through behavior, speech, and grooming. Each student is to possess requisite knowledge and skill and safely perform a wide variety of test procedures with precision and accuracy. Specifically, a program student must be able to:
- Follow established laboratory safety protocols when working with various sample types including blood, urine, and other body fluids and tissues, and with microbial organisms that may be infectious, and hazardous chemicals.
- Work accurately and safely under stress and time constraints to make subjective evaluations and decisions when mistakes may have a negative and/or high impact on patient care.
- Adapt to changing environments, maintain a professional demeanor and concentration in distracting situations.
- Demonstrate attributes that include integrity, responsibility, and tolerance.
- Speak, act and perform all work in an ethical manner.
- Show respect for self and others.
- Work independently as well as cooperatively with others, performing professional obligations in a timely, responsible manner.
- Prioritize tasks and accept responsibility for work performed independently and as a team member.
- Assess his or her performance, willingly accept criticism, and actively seek ways to improve.
Program Learning Outcomes:
1. Competency to perform a full range of testing in the contemporary medical laboratory encompassing pre-analytical, analytical, and post-analytical components of laboratory services, including immunology, hematology, clinical chemistry, immunohematology, microbiology, molecular, hemostasis, urinalysis, body fluids, parasitology, mycology, virology, and other emerging diagnostic venues.
2. Proficiency to problem-solve, troubleshoot, and interpret results, and to use statistical approaches when evaluating data.
3. Professional and ethical conduct, respecting the feelings and needs of others, protecting the confidence of patient information, and never allowing personal concerns and biases to interfere with the welfare of patients.
4. Maintaining appropriate composure under stressful conditions.
5. Administrative skills consistent with philosophies of quality assurance, continuous quality improvement, laboratory education, fiscal resource management.
6. Application of safety and governmental regulations and standards as applied to medical laboratory practice. 7. Effective communication skills to ensure accurate and appropriate information transfer.