On-Campus Student Policy Handbook

Safety Policy

The AAS/BS program requires that all laboratory training be as safe as possible. The very nature of the profession requires you may come in contact with potentially hazardous materials and situations. As a student, you will be working with infective organisms, potentially toxic chemicals, and will be performing procedures that are invasive to the body (i.e. drawing blood, etc.). Recognizing that all appropriate methods of dealing with the great variety of potential hazards cannot be written in policy, the programs provide the following general policy:

The Medical Laboratory Sciences programs comply with all current standards set forth by Occupational, Safety, and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Universal precautions are mandatory in any laboratory setting in which contact with human blood, blood products, and related body fluids may occur. Formal training to comply with these standards is provided in all MLS courses.

Training that requires any invasive procedures, i.e., phlebotomy, will occur only under the direct supervision of an instructor. Once you have demonstrated appropriate proficiency, you may perform additional procedures under the indirect supervision of an instructor. Safety equipment and procedures for each area will be identified and explained by each respective faculty member.

Vaccination Records

Upon acceptance into the AAS and BS programs, you must provide documentation of having the following vaccinations.

  • Tetanus, Diptheria, Pertussis
  • MMR
  • Flu
  • Varicella
  • Tuberculosis (TB) Skin test
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigen test (HBsAG). Documentation of a hepatitis vaccine series is acceptable for the HBsAG test.

The Student Health Center offers free TB tests to WSU students. The center will also do HBsAG tests for a nominal charge. You will be required to present a student ID card. Check the Student Health Center site for current office hours, or call 801-626-7924.

Drug Screen and Background Check Policy

As an AAS/BS student, you will also need to have a drug screen and background check completed by December of the year that you are accepted into the AAS program. If you are a transfer student who is accepted into the BS program, you will also need to complete the drug screen and background check by December of your first year in the BS program.

Information will be provided on how and what you will need to do to complete the drug screen and background check. The cost will be at least $75.00, additional costs could be incurred if you have lived in multiple cities/counties or have had a name change.

The reason for having you complete the drug screen and background check is for your AAS and BS summer practicums. The clinical facilities where you will be doing your practicums are going to treat you as an employee. Many of the clinical facilities require screening of their potential employees prior to being hired. Therefore, in order for you to complete your practicums, you must comply with the rules set forth by the clinical facility.

Essential Requirements

The essential requirements is meant as a guideline for both students and faculty in the Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences.  If for any reason during the course of the AAS/BS programs, you are unable to perform any of these functions, you will be academically withdrawn from the program.

Student Dress Code while in MLS campus laboratories 

  • Personal protective equipment (PPE’s) should be utilized when appropriate.  These include, but are not limited to gloves, safety glasses and a lab coat.  Gloves should be changed when necessary (visibly soiled, torn, etc.) and disposed of in the biohazard waste.  Never reuse gloves. 
  • A laboratory coat must be worn at all times when you are in the laboratory, and it must be buttoned or snapped at all times.  You are to wear your lab coat only in the laboratory, i.e. do not wear your lab coat in the classroom, or to walk down the hall to the restrooms or drinking fountain.  Store your lab coat on designated coat racks in the various MLS laboratories.  You should have a designated pen and permanent marker that is kept with your lab coat to be used in the laboratories only.  Wash your lab coat once or twice a semester, or when it becomes visibly dirty, or as hygiene necessitates washing.  Your student identification badge should be displayed on your lab coat at all times.
  • In laboratory work where safety is a prime consideration, clothing should cover as much of your body as possible.  Long pants or scrubs are required, and must touch the top of your shoes.  Shorts, skirts or capris are never allowed (even during warmer months).  Shoes cannot have open-toes, open heels, or perforations.
  • Long hair can present a biohazard risk and should be kept tied back during lab, to prevent it from falling into the material that you are working on.
  • Hats of any type (baseball caps, beanies, etc.) may not be worn in the laboratory.
  • Jewelry may be worn with discretion and consideration of safety precautions.  Dangling chains, necklaces, and bracelets can be dangerous and should not be worn.  Excessive jewelry should not be worn in the laboratory. 
  • All clothing should be cleaned and neat in appearance and you should practice good personal hygiene.

Grading Policy

In keeping with the grading policy of Weber State University, final course letter grades, will be assigned as following:

Letter Grade Descriptor Grade Points % of Total Points
A Excellent 4.0 93.0-100%
A- Excellent 3.7 90.0-92.9%
B+ Good 3.3 86.0-89.9%
B Good 3.0 83.0-85.9%
B- Good 2.7 80.0-82.9%
C+ Standard 2.3 76.0-79.9%
C Standard 2.0 73.0-75.9%
C- Standard 1.7 70.0-72.9%
D+ Substandard 1.3 66.0-69.9%
D Substandard 1.0 63.0-65.9%
D- Substandard 0.7 60.0-62.9%
E Failure 0.0 Below 60%

This schedule is based on the total number of possible points you could earn at the end of the semester. Grades are assigned based upon exams and quizzes, laboratory objectives, laboratory practical examinations, and comprehensive examinations.

Competency-Based Education Policy

 

The AAS and BS MLS Programs are based on the philosophy of competency-based education. It is essential that you acquire and demonstrate a minimum level of competency as a laboratorian. With this objective in mind, the MLS Department has the following competency requirements:

 

  • A minimum competency level of 80% must be obtained on all course exams.
  • If a score of 80% is not achieved on an exam, you will be required to take a parallel retake exam and you must achieve at least an 80%. The first exam score will be used for grading purposes.
  • Failure to achieve an 80% on a retake exam will result in a final letter grade for the course being no greater than a "C."
  • If during the semester, it is necessary for you to take more than two retake examinations, the final letter grade for the course will be no greater than a "C." A letter grade of “C” will require you to retake the course in order to receive an AAS or BS degree in CLS.
  • In addition to the exam competency requirement, for your laboratory course work you must also maintain at least a proficiency of 80%. If your overall proficiency at the end of the semester is less than 80%, your final letter grade for the class will be no greater than a “C” and you will be required to retake the course.

Program Policy for Repeating AAS and BS Courses

The program makes every effort to facilitate the academic success of the students selected into its programs of study. Due to limitations on the number of students selected each year and the increasing demand for access, the program has established the following policies for students wishing to repeat MLS courses:

If you are accepted into the AAS program and cannot complete the required MLS courses during the year of acceptance, you must re-apply to the program for the year in which you wish to complete the MLS courses. This is applicable to all students without regard to the circumstances under which you were unable to complete the MLS courses within the specified timeframe.

Students accepted into the BS program must follow similar guidelines if you are unable to complete the MLS courses within two years. Repeating courses during this timeframe is possible if space is available as determined by the instructor.

Academic Probation Policy
 

If your academic performance falls below the minimum level required by the MLS Department, you may be placed on academic probation.
  • If you are enrolled in the AAS Program, if in two separate courses your final grade is less than a “C+” and/or if you receive less than a “C+” twice in the same course. Once you are placed on academic probation, you must maintain a “C+” or better in each of your MLS courses, or you will be dismissed from the program.  You will be required to reapply to the program, and if accepted, you will remain on academic probation until you complete your degree.
  • If you are enrolled in the BS Program, if in two separate courses your final grade is less than a “B-” and/or if you receive less than a “B-” twice in the same course. Also, if you receive less than a “B-” twice for the same course. Once you are placed on academic probation, you must maintain a “B-” or better in your MLS courses or you will be dismissed from the program. You will be required to reapply to the program, and if accepted, you will remain on academic probation until you complete your degree.

Prior to being placed probation, the MLS faculty and staff will review and discuss your academic performance and make a formal decision as to whether or not you should be placed on probation. If you are placed on academic probation, you will be notified by mail with certified letter from the MLS department chair.

Academic Dismissal policy

Based on your academic performance you may be dismissed from the MLS Program for the following:

  • After being placed on academic probation, you were not able to maintain a grade of “C+” or better in each of your MLS courses in the AAS Program, or a “B+” in the BS Program.

Prior to being dismissed, the MLS faculty and staff will review and discuss your academic performance and make a formal decision as to whether or not you should be dismissed or allowed to continue in the program on academic probation. If you are dismissed, you will be notified by mail with certified letter from the MLS department chair.

Student Due Process and Appeal of Dismissal

If you have been dismissed from either the AAS or BS MLS Programs, you will receive by mail, a certified letter from the MLS department chair with an explanation of why you are being dismissed and the MLS courses involved. You will have the option to appeal your dismissal. Once you receive the dismissal letter, you will have thirty days to request a formal hearing with the MLS faculty. During the hearing, you will be given the opportunity to express why you should be allowed to continue in the MLS Program and present a plan that will result in an improvement in your performance, if allowed to resume your MLS course work. After your hearing, the MLS faculty and staff will make a decision to either uphold your dismissal, or allow you back into the program on a probation status. You will be notified of that decision within five working days by certified letter from the MLS department chair.

If your appeal is denied by the MLS Department, you do have the option to request a review by the Dumke College of Health Professions (DCHP) grievance committee. The committee is composed of five to seven DCHP faculty from various departments within the college. If granted a hearing, you will again be given the opportunity to express to the committee why you feel you should be allowed to continue in the MLS Program and present your plan to improve your performance, if allowed to resume your MLS course work.

If your appeal is denied by the DCHP grievance committee, you then have the option to take your case to the Office of Student Affairs.
 

WSU Student Code

Weber State University Policies and Procedures Manual (PPM) specifically outlines acceptable student behavior in the clinical laboratory and in the academic setting (PPM 6-22 Student Code).

Maintain academic ethics and honesty, to this end, the following activities are specifically prohibited:
a. Cheating, which includes but is not limited to:

1) Copying from another student’s test paper
2) Using materials during a test not authorized by the person giving the test (as an example - cell phones)
3) Collaborating with any other person during a test without authority
4) Knowingly obtaining, using, buying, selling, transporting, or soliciting in whole or in part, the contents on any test, without authorization of the appropriate official
5) Bribing any other person to obtain any test or test content
6) Soliciting or receiving unauthorized information about any test
7) Substituting for another student or permitting any other person to substitute for oneself to take a test

b. Plagiarism, which is the unacknowledged (uncited) use of any other person or group’s ideas or work. This includes purchased or borrowed papers
c. Collusion, which is the unauthorized collaboration with another person in preparing work offered for credit
d. Falsification, which is the intentional and unauthorized altering or inventing of any information or citation in an academic exercise, activity, or record-keeping process
e. Giving, selling, or receiving unauthorized course, lab results, or test information
f. Using any unauthorized resource or aid in the preparation or completion of any course work, exercise or activity
g. Infringing on the copyright of the United States which prohibits the making of reproductions of copyrighted material except under certain specified conditions

Dismissal Policy

You may be dismissed from the AAS/BS program for failure to meet the program's stated academic standards or for any inappropriate conduct as defined by Weber State University, the Dumke College of Health Professions, and/or the program or profession for which you are training.

Misconduct Warning

This refers to warning regarding improper conduct. Any improper conduct may result in dismissal. A misconduct warning may remain in your student file indefinitely, or it may be removed as per contract agreement or at the discretion of the instructor and department chair. A misconduct warning may be given at the sole discretion of the instructor and is not prerequisite to filing a formal charge.

Suspension

Whenever an instructor has reasonable grounds to believe you pose an immediate threat to the health and safety of others, you may be suspended from classes and/or clinical participation, pending the outcome of a hearing to determine what, if any, disciplinary sanctions are appropriate.

Causes for Dismissal

Since dismissal from the AAS/BS program is a very traumatic situation, each student's problem will be evaluated on an individual basis by the MLS Department faculty. The established dismissal policy adopted by the AAS/BS program warrants dismissal from either program when any of the following conditions are present: (This list is not meant to be all-inclusive.)

  • An AAS/BS student fails to consistently follow established guidelines for protection of self and other in matters regarding health and safety.

Description of the Profession and Entry-Level Competencies

The medical laboratory scientist/medical technologist is an allied health professional who is qualified by academic and practical training to provide service in medical laboratory science. The medical laboratory scientist/medical technologist must also be responsible for their own actions, as defined by the profession.

The ability to relate to people, a capacity for calm and reasoned judgement and demonstration of commitment to the patient are qualities essential for medical laboratory scientist/medical technologist. They must demonstrate ethical and moral attitudes and principles, which are essential for gaining and maintaining the trust of professional associates, the support of the community, and the confidence of the patient and family. An attitude of respect for the patient and confidentiality of the patient's record and/or diagnoses must be maintained.

Medical laboratory scientists/medical technologists are competent in:

  • developing and establishing procedures for collecting, processing, and analyzing biological specimens and other substances
  • performing analytical tests of body fluids, cells, and other substances
  • integrating and relating data generated by the various medical laboratory departments while making decisions regarding possible discrepancies
  • confirming abnormal results, verifying quality control procedures, executing quality control procedures, and developing solutions to problems concerning the generation of laboratory data
  • making decisions concerning the results of quality control and quality assurance measures, and instituting proper procedures to maintain accuracy and precision
  • establishing and performing preventive and corrective maintenance of equipment and instruments as well as identifying appropriate sources for repairs
  • developing, evaluating, and selecting new techniques, instruments and methods in terms of their usefulness and practicality within the context of a given laboratory’s personnel, equipment, space, and budgetary resources
  • demonstrating professional conduct and interpersonal skills with patients, laboratory personnel, other health care professionals, and the public
  • establishing and maintaining continuing education as function of growth and maintenance of professional competence
  • providing leadership in educating other health personnel and the community
  • exercising principles of management, safety, and supervision
  • applying principles of education methodology
  • applying principles of current information systems

Upon graduation and initial employment, the medical laboratory scientist/medical technologist should be able to demonstrate entry-level competencies in the above areas of professional practice.

AAS and BS Program Affective Objectives

  • As an AAS or BS student, you will demonstrate attainment of the following professional affective behavioral skills according to the qualifying descriptions:

Honesty

  • You will demonstrate honesty by accepting quality control values only when within acceptable limits, and will properly record the results in accordance to the lab's established QC protocol.
  • You will demonstrate honesty in all areas of laboratory work, to include performing and documenting daily, weekly and monthly preventative maintenance procedures, temperature checks, etc.
  • You will demonstrate honesty by maintaining strict patient confidentiality regarding laboratory test results, diagnosis and treatment.
  • You will demonstrate honesty by personally completing and reporting all laboratory tests in strict adherence to the laboratory's SOPs, taking no shortcuts or unauthorized modifications in those SOPs.

Personal Interactive Skills

  • You will demonstrate appropriate professional behavior by working with co-workers in a productive, positive, non-aggressive and non-combative manner that will promote a smooth and productive workflow.
  • You will demonstrate appropriate professional behavior by refraining from making statements or actions, or encouraging the same from others, which represent sexual, racial, ethnic or homophobic harassment.

Organization

  • You will demonstrate a high degree of organizational skills by being able to work on multiple tasks in a logical fashion without detrimentally affecting the timely reporting of patient results or the quality of the test results.

Professional Demeanor

  • You will demonstrate appropriate professional demeanor by promptly and consistently attending all laboratory sessions and following all safety and other procedural guidelines for performance and behavior consistent with OSHA, CAP, and other WSU requirements.
  • You will demonstrate appropriate professional demeanor by consistently remaining in the work area during scheduled lab times and completing all required work in willing and thorough manner.
  • You will demonstrate appropriate professional demeanor by adhering to the current dress and appearance codes while in the laboratory setting.
  • You will demonstrate appropriate professional demeanor by willingly and consistently using all appropriate personal safety devices required by OSHA, CAP, and JCAHO when handling caustic, infectious, or hazardous materials.
  • You will demonstrate a high degree of professional demeanor by consistently cleaning your work area when leaving the laboratory, returning all supplies, glassware, and reagents to their appropriate storage locations, and disinfecting all necessary work areas used by, or assigned to you.
  • You will demonstrate a high degree of professional demeanor by consistently correctly notifying all coworkers in the event of chemical, radiation, physical, or biohazard spills or accidents, and then correctly following the appropriate clean-up and decontamination procedures specified by the laboratory.

Professional Responsibility

  • You will demonstrate appropriate professional affective behavior by correctly reporting all patient test values, as well as recognizing and correctly reporting all patient critical test values.
  • You will demonstrate appropriate professional affective behavior by correctly recognizing erroneous test values that represent serious pre-analytical error, such as hemolyzed, lipemic, or icteric specimens, or specimens that were obtained using an incorrect anticoagulant.
  • You will demonstrate appropriate professional affective behavior by refraining from switching patient results, or reporting patient results when there is a discrepancy in specimen labeling or handling, incorrect specimen handling, incorrect times of collection, incorrect medical record (or accession - requisition) numbers.

Critical Incidents

The following Critical Incident examples will impede or disqualify you from attaining your professional affective behavioral skills and also may affect your program standing and/or program acceptance. Depending on the severity of the incident, the MLS faculty may choose to fill out an Critical Incidence Report form which will then be filed in the student’s file.

  • Falsifying laboratory data in any way. Automatic dismissal from the course and the program.
  • Cheating during exams or quizzes or during exam review. Automatic dismissal from the course and the program.
  • Reporting test results on the wrong unknown or switching values on patients or unknowns.
  • Unauthorized disclosure of patient (unknown) information.
  • Changing test value (from unacceptable to an acceptable results).
  • Testing to compliance with controls.
  • Repeatedly entering fictitious values in the computer until one is acceptable by the computer program.
  • Failing to identify and correctly report a Critical Patient Value.
  • Failing to properly clean-up spills of reagents, biological specimens, or broken glass.
  • Reporting test values incorrectly (i.e. decimal errors, inaccurate units, etc.).
  • Failure to follow standard Universal Safety Precautions or OSHA regulations (i.e. not wearing lab coat, safety glasses, gloves when required, etc.).
  • Bringing food and/or drink in the lab, or storing food in any laboratory refrigerator or freezer.
  • Unexcused absence or tardiness to scheduled laboratory class periods or practicums.
  • Leaving work or lab area messy and failing to properly wash hands, glassware or equipment.

Evaluation and Feedback of Instructors

During the end of each MLS course, you may be asked to evaluate the AAS/BS instructor. These evaluations are administered online in Chi Tester by the MLS secretary and are completely anonymous. Faculty members will receive reports reflecting student assessment and comments. Information gained from this evaluation is useful to the instructor in determining the effectiveness of their current teaching methods. Often, the instructor can use this evaluation to learn about problems that are not apparent. This information is also part of the instructor's yearly evaluation conducted with the MLS department chair.

 

If your academic performance falls below the minimum level required by the MLS Department, you may be placed on academic probation. If your appeal is denied by the DCHP grievance committee, you then have the option to take your case to the Office of Student Affairs.

 

If your academic performance falls below the minimum level required by the MLS Department, you may be placed on academic probation. If your appeal is denied by the DCHP grievance committee, you then have the option to take your case to the Office of Student Affairs.

 

If your academic performance falls below the minimum level required by the MLS Department, you may be placed on academic probation. If your appeal is denied by the DCHP grievance committee, you then have the option to take your case to the Office of Student Affairs.

Weber State UniversityOgden, Utah 84408

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