Essential Requirements

The following list of 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the course of the AAS/BS MLS programs, you are unable to perform any of these functions, you will be academically withdrawn from the program.

After reading the following requirements, you will sign and return an essential requirements form to the MLS department to be placed in your student file.

Essential Requirements, WSU AAS/BS MLS Program
(functional expectations itemized by National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences)

As a AAS/BS student, you must be able to:

  1. Observe laboratory demonstrations in which biologicals (i.e. body fluids, culture materials, tissue sections, and cellular specimens) are tested for their biochemical, hematological, immunological, microbiological, and histochemical components.


  2. Characterize the color, characteristics, clarity, and viscosity of biologicals, 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.


  5. Move freely and safely about a laboratory.


  6. Reach laboratory benchtops and shelves, patients lying in hospital beds, or patients seated in specimen collection furniture.


  7. Travel to clinical laboratory sites for practical experience.


  8. Perform moderately taxing continuous physical work, often requiring prolonged sitting over several hours.


  9. Maneuver phlebotomy and culture acquisition equipment to safely collected, valid laboratory specimens from patients.


  10. Control laboratory equipment (pipettes, inoculating loops, test tubes) and adjust instruments to perform laboratory procedures.


  11. Use an electronic keyboard to operate laboratory instruments and to calculate, record, evaluate, and transmit laboratory information.


  12. Read and comprehend technical and professional materials (textbooks, magazine and journal articles, handbooks, and instruction manuals).


  13. Follow verbal and written instructions in order to correctly and independently perform laboratory test procedures.


  14. Clearly instruct patients, nurses, and other non-laboratory personnel prior to specimen collection.


  15. Effectively, confidentially, and sensitively converse with patients and other non-laboratory personnel regarding laboratory tests.


  16. Communicate with faculty members, fellow students, staff, and other health care professionals verbally and in a written format.


  17. Independently prepare papers, laboratory reports and complete computer and laboratory practical exams.


  18. Possess the following skills: comprehension, measurement, mathematical calculation, reasoning, integration, analysis, comparison, self-expression, and criticism.


  19. Be able to exercise sufficient judgment to recognize and correct performance deviations.


  20. Be able to manage the use of time and to systemize actions in order to complete professional and technical tasks within realistic constraints.


  21. Possess the emotional health necessary to effectively employ intellect and exercise appropriate judgment.


  22. Be flexible, creative, adaptive to professional and technical change.


  23. Recognize potentially hazardous materials, equipment, and situations.  Proceed safely in order to minimize risk of injury to patients, self, and nearby individuals.


  24. Adapt to working with unpleasant biologicals.


  25. 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.


  26. Be honest, compassionate, ethical, and responsible. You must be forthright about errors or uncertainty. You must be able to critically evaluate your own performance, accept constructive criticism, and look for  ways to improve (participate in enriched educational activities). You must be able to evaluate the performance of fellow students and tactfully offer constructive comments.