Essential Functions and Technical Standards | Universidad Ana G. Méndez, Recinto de Gurabo

Sciences and Technology

Department of Medical Technology

Essential Functions and Technical Standards

Health Sciences programs establish technical standards and essential functions to insure that students have the abilities required to participate and potentially be successful in all aspects of the respective programs. Students are required to meet technical standards and essential functions for the Medical Laboratory Technology program as indicated below. Satisfactory completion of the MLS Program and successful employment following graduation demands your ability to meet the following requirements. If you are uncertain as to your ability with any of these essential functions, please consult with the MLS Department Chair.

1. Observational - Ability to participate actively in all demonstrations, laboratory activities and clinical experiences in the professional program component.  Such observation and information requires functional use of visual, auditory and somatic sensations.

  1. Observe laboratory demonstrations in which biological (i.e., body fluids, culture materials, tissue sections, and cellular specimens) are tested for their biochemical, hematological, immunological, and histochemical components.
  2. Characterize the color, odor, clarity, and viscosity of biological, reagents, or chemical reaction products.
  3. Employ a clinical grade binocular microscope to discriminate among fine structural and color (hue, shading, and intensity) differences of microscopic specimens.
  4. Read and comprehend text, numbers, and graphs displayed in print and on a video monitor.

2. Movement - Sufficient motor ability to execute the movement and skills required for safe and effective performance of duties.

  1. Move freely and safely about a laboratory.
  2. Reach laboratory bench tops and shelves, patients lying in hospital beds or patients seated in specimen collection furniture.
  3. Travel to numerous clinical laboratory sites for practical experience
  4. Perform moderately taxing continuous physical work, often requiring prolonged sitting or standing, over several hours.
  5. Maneuver phlebotomy and culture acquisition equipment to safely collect valid laboratory samples.
  6. Possess finger and manual dexterity necessary to control laboratory equipment (i.e. pipettes, inoculating loops, test tubes) and adjust instruments to perform laboratory procedures.
  7. Use a computer keyboard to operate laboratory instruments and to calculate, record, evaluate, and transmit laboratory information.

3 Communication - Ability to communicate effectively in English using verbal, non-verbal and written formats with faculty, other students, clients, families and all members of the healthcare team.

  1. Read and comprehend technical and professional materials (i.e. textbooks, magazine and journal articles, handbooks, and instruction manuals).
  2. Follow verbal and written instructions in order to correctly and independently perform laboratory test procedures.
  3. Clearly instruct patients prior to specimen collection.
  4. Effectively, confidentially, and sensitively converse with patients regarding laboratory tests.
  5. Communicate with faculty members, fellow students, staff, and other health care professionals verbally and in a recorded format (writing, typing, graphics, or telecommunication).
  6. Transmit information to clients, fellow students, faculty and staff, and members of the healthcare team
  7. Independently prepare papers, prepare laboratory reports, and take paper, computer, and laboratory practical examinations.

4. Intellectual - Ability to collect, interpret and integrate information and make decisions.

Possess intellectual skills: comprehension, measurement, mathematical calculation, reasoning, integration, analysis, comparison, self-expression, and criticism.
Be able to exercise sufficient judgment to recognize and correct performance deviations.
Apply knowledge to new situations and to problem solving scenarios.

5. Behavioral - Possess the emotional health and stability required for full utilization of the student’s intellectual abilities, the exercise of professional judgment, the prompt completion of all academic and patient care responsibilities and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with faculty, fellow students, clinical instructors, patients and other members of the healthcare team.

  1. Manage heavy academic schedules and deadlines.
  2. Be able to manage the use of time and be able to systemize actions in order to complete professional and technical tasks within realistic constraints.
  3. Possess the emotional health necessary to effectively employ intellect and exercise appropriate judgment under conditions of physical and emotional stress.
  4. Be able to provide professional and technical services while experiencing the stresses of task-related uncertainty (i.e. ambiguous test ordering, ambivalent test interpretation), emergent demands (i.e. "stat" test orders), and a distracting environment (i.e. high noise levels, crowding, complex visual stimuli).
  5. Be flexible and creative and adapt to professional and technical change.
  6. Recognize potentially hazardous materials, equipment, and situations and proceed safely in order to minimize risk of injury to patients, self, and nearby individuals.
  7. Adapt to working with unpleasant biological's.
  8. Support and promote the activities of fellow students and of health care professionals. Promotion of peers helps furnish a team approach to learning, task completion, problem solving, and patient care.
  9. Be honest, compassionate, ethical and responsible.  Accept responsibility and accountability for one’s own actions.  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 performance (i.e. participate in enriched educational activities).  The student must be able to evaluate the performance of fellow students and tactfully offer constructive comments. 

Adapted from: Fritsma, G.A., Fiorella B. J., and Murphey, M. Essential Requirements for Clinical Laboratory Science.  CLS 1996.  Vol. 9, pp 40-43