Essential Functions of the Profession

<< Back to Medical Laboratory Technology Program page

In order to meet the competencies required of medical laboratory technicians (MLT) and to meet the competencies of the medical laboratory technology program, students must possess the following essential functions or attain the functions while in the program.

Psychomotor skills:

The student must be able to perform many fine motor manipulations; manipulate glassware such as pipettes and flasks; read microscopic materials and use the microscope for extended periods of time; distinguish pattern, odor, clarity, and discriminate color; complete tasks within required time limits; read visual displays on a terminal; enter data into computers; hear buzzers; recognize alarm signals, both visual and auditory; bend; stand; sit; and lift.  The student must possess all skills necessary to carry out diagnostic procedures, manipulate tools, and instruments used in the clinical laboratories.  The student must possess the psychomotor skills to collect blood specimens, and independently perform manual, semi-automated and automated analysis on laboratory specimen.

Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative, and Quality Skills:

The student must be able to measure, calculate, analyze, interpret, synthesize and evaluate data; read and interpret charts and graphs; make analytical judgments, apply information, have the ability to learn to prioritize and perform laboratory testing; have the ability to learn to make sound judgments and formulate diagnoses after correlating clinical data with clinical findings; possess organizational skills; be able to solve one or more problems within specific time frames which are often short; have the ability to perform duties and assignments in a timely fashion while under stress and in a variety of settings; comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of cellular structures; use sufficient judgment to recognize and correct performance, possess the ability to develop and exhibit organizational problem solving skills.

Communication skills:

Students must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively orally and in writing.  The student must be able to read and comprehend written material.  The student must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently with all members of the healthcare team and patients.  The students must be able to understand and complete reading and written assignments; search and evaluate the literature; maintain written records; and use a computer for instructional assignments and patient care activities.

Behavioral and Social Attributes:

Students must possess the emotional health skills required for full utilization of the student’s intellectual abilities; be able to recognize emergency situations and take appropriate action.  The students must demonstrate the ability to follow instructions/procedures with accuracy and precision and possess the ability to maintain intellectual and emotional stability and maturity under stress, while maintaining appropriate performance standards.
The student must be able to manage time, organize workload and meet deadlines; develop and exhibit professional attributes; and practice discretion and confidentiality in regard to laboratory and patient reports.  The student must adhere to safety guidelines for self and others and be able to comply with standards and regulations required by external agencies; function as a part of a team and learn to delegate responsibilities.