Essential Functions

The primary goal of the Medical Laboratory Technology program is to prepare qualified graduates for entry level employment in clinical laboratories.

Student in a lab looking into a microscope
The duties of the Medical Laboratory Technician require the operation of complex, automated lab equipment in a safe and effective manner.

The accrediting agency for the Medical Laboratory Technology Program (the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences or NAACLS) mandates that students be informed of essential functions necessary to perform activities related to the major and the practice of medical laboratory technology.

Following is a listing of the types of skills usually required for job performance:

Physical requirements

Sufficient strength and mobility to:
  • Lift and transport containers weighing up to 25 pounds
  • Reach equipment on shelves higher than eye level
  • Work at counter tops and bench tops having an average height of 40-46 inches
Fine motor coordination sufficient to perform manual manipulation of lab equipment such as:
  • Pipettes, glass slides, and tubes
  • Plating media and cover slips
Adequate vision to:
  • Read tube labels, instrument control panels, computer screens, and print-outs
  • Perform microscope work in blood bank, microbiology, hematology, and urinalysis
  • Distinguish color coding and biochemical reactions
Sufficient hearing to:
  • Answer phones, beepers, and alarms
  • Respond to questions
  • Receive directions

Interpersonal skills

The ability to:
  • Work in a professional manner with patients of all ages, races, creeds, and physical condition while maintaining and respecting patient confidentiality
  • Interact with other members of the health care team in a polite, professional manner
  • Communicate and receive written and verbal instructions and accurately carry them out using proper channels of communication
  • Use accurate verbal written communications in English to interpret laboratory data, obtain and document relevant clinical information, comprehend and carry out physician requests, and pride patient/public education related to the profession of medical technology

Intellectual ability and emotional stability to

  • Exercise independent judgment and avoid distraction in the technical performance of laboratory procedures
  • Solve laboratory mathematical problems quickly and accurately
  • Prioritize requests and work concurrently on at least two different tasks
  • Work under time constraints
  • Work calmly and efficiently in stressful situations
  • Recognize emergency situations and take appropriate actions
  • Complete program requirements

Environmental requirements

Laboratory work involves risks or discomforts that require special safety precautions, additional safety education, health risk monitoring, working with sharps, chemicals and infectious disease.
  • Use protective clothing or gear such as masks, goggles, gloves and lab coats or aprons
  • Work safely with potential chemical, radiologic, and biologic hazards using universal precautions
Medical Laboratory Technology students are required to:
  • Receive a Hepatitis B Vaccine series or sign a waiver
  • Provide proof of recent immunizations against infectious diseases such as measles, mumps, and rubella (prior to clinical rotations)
  • Submit to periodic drug screening and annual testing for exposure to tuberculosis (prior to clinical rotations)
  • Submit proof of current enrollment in a health insurance plan (each semester)