Clinical Laboratory Science Program
The Ascension Clinical Laboratory Science Program provides academic and clinical laboratory experience for students studying laboratory science. The clinical practicum begins early in September and continues through the end of May. Organized in 1967, the Clinical Laboratory Science Program has accreditation from the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) 5600 N River Road, Suite 720, Rosemont, IL, (773) 714-8880, www.naacls.org
SCHEDULE The Clinical Laboratory Science Program is a 40-hour per week program. The program runs Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays are classroom lecture days, with the remainder of the week spent in laboratory rotations at hospitals, clinics and the Community Blood Center
TUITION AND FEES Undergraduate students from the University of Wisconsin system pay tuition to their school (the school pays the hospital). Other students pay an amount equal to the program reimbursement. In the event of withdrawal, Ascension will make an appropriate pro-rated refund.
STUDENT POLICIES Prior to orientation week, students will receive a handbook detailing general policies of conduct and attendance, grading and evaluation procedures and grievance policies.
INSURANCE Students who do not have approved professional liability insurance through their college or university may need to purchase such coverage at a nominal fee.
Students assume responsibility for their own health care and hospitalization costs. Ascension strongly recommends that all students have health insurance.
Employee health services and counseling through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) will be available to students on the same basis as services are provided for employees.
HOUSING Students arrange their own housing.
DRESS CODE Students must follow a dress code appropriate to their working environment
VACATION AND HOLIDAYS Students have off on Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving, between Christmas and New Year’s Day, Labor Day, Memorial Day and Good Friday. Students may have no more than seven excused absences during the school year for illness, job interviews or personal reasons. All other absences must be made up.
PART-TIME EMPLOYMENT Students in the program may work part-time if their jobs are outside of regularly-scheduled class time. Because of the program’s heavy workload, Ascension encourages students to limit employment to 12 hours per week. Students already working for Ascension Health System will report to the department manager and not the program director.
TERMINATION Students may face termination prior to graduation for one of the following reasons:
- failure to maintain a grade level of 70 percent in classroom and practical instruction
- inability to perform the work of the department according to the established standards
- failure to comply with program or hospital policies
GRADUATION Undergraduate students who successfully complete the program receive a baccalaureate degree from their respective college or university. All graduates of the program receive a certificate and school pin and are eligible to take a national certification examination in the clinical laboratory sciences.
Academic Requirements: Applicants must meet all of the following requirements in order to qualify for admission to the program. Those applicants who wish to count college credit from a foreign university, who have completed the academic requirements prior to seven years ago or who wish to seek advanced placement for prior education or experience, should contact the Program Director concerning additional requirements
1. A recommended science/math and overall cumulative grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale. Individuals with grade point averages between 2.50-2.75 may apply for admission and will be considered on an individual basis.
2. A minimum of 90 semester hours (or equivalent) to include the following prerequisites.
- Biology: A minimum of 16 semester (24 quarter) hours to include the following
- General Biology
- Microbiology with lab experience
- Parasitology with lab experience
- Genetics, physiology, anatomy and molecular biology are strongly recommended
- Chemistry: A minimum of 16 semester (24 quarter) hours to include the following
- Organic chemistry
- Quantitative analysis is strongly recommended and some laboratory experience must be included
- Mathematics: A minimum of one college level course. Statistics is strongly recommended.
- Clinical Laboratory Science
- Hematology with lab experience
- Immunohematology with lab experience
- Urinalysis with lab experience
The courses acceptable toward meeting the above requirements would be any courses applicable toward a major in the above fields or in clinical laboratory science. Survey courses do not qualify as fulfillment of the biology or chemistry prerequisites. Remedial math courses will not satisfy the mathematics requirements.
3. Applicants must possess, or be eligible for, a baccalaureate degree from their college or university upon satisfactory completion of the professional program.
4. Pre-tests will be administered covering the prerequisite courses during the first week of clinical orientation. A score of 60 percent on each test will be necessary to continue in the program.
Essential Non-Academic Requirements
1. Applicants must demonstrate physical, emotional and mental well being to successfully participate in the program, become employable and not endanger other students or the public, including patients.
2. All applicants are expected to meet the following criteria.
- Possess sufficient vision to easily read charts, graphs, instrument panels and printouts.
- Be able to discriminate colors in order to identify reagents, media, stained cell preparations and physical properties of various body fluids, as well as delineate fine details of cellular structure and morphology when using a microscope.
- Be able to read, write and communicate in the English language to facilitate effective communication with patients, physicians and all other members of the health care team.
- Possess enough hearing ability with or without auditory aids to understand the normal speaking voice and discern audible instrument alert signals and timing devices.
- Demonstrate sufficient manual dexterity to perform such required tasks as: performing phlebotomy safely and accurately; operating delicate instruments; manipulating tools; handling small containers of potentially biohazardous specimens; utilizing sample measuring devices; and adequately focusing and manipulating a microscope.
- Be sufficiently mobile to traverse about the laboratory and hospital corridors including patient rooms (minimum width: three feet).
- Demonstrate sufficient psychological stability to effectively problem solve and to react effectively in stressful situations. Must be able to recognize emergency situations and take appropriate action. In general, the student must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his or her intellectual abilities.
- Corrective devices and reasonable accommodations may be utilized to satisfy these technical standards.
Applicants must meet and abide by the Occupational Health Clinic policies and must submit documentation to the Occupational Health Clinic that they have met the minimum health screening requirements. Qualified students should submit the following materials prior to Oct. 1, for entry into the class beginning the following August.
1. A completed application form
2. Official transcript of grades from all colleges and universities attended, including junior colleges.
3. Letters of recommendation from two college science instructors and the director/advisors of the Clinical Laboratory Science program at the college or university for currently enrolled applicants. References from health related employers are also encouraged.
Once all the required materials have been received by the Program Director, the qualified applicant will be contacted to schedule a personal interview. The interview process takes about one hour and will include interviews with the Program Director and another Laboratory Manager.
All applicants who meet the requirements for admission and have completed the application process will be considered for admission into the program. The selection committee will rank applications, taking into consideration grades, including withdrawals and failures, interview comments and letters of reference. Applicants from affiliated institutions will be given selection preference over equally qualified candidates from other institutions. Student acceptance notices will be given by Dec. 1, prior to the next August class. Admission to the Ascension Health System Clinical Laboratory Science Program is competitive, with a limited number of student positions available annually. Attendance at an affiliated institution does not guarantee placement in the program. The Ascension Health System Clinical Laboratory Science Program admits students without regard to age, race, religion, sex, national origins or marital status.
Students receive practical and classroom instruction in various aspects of laboratory medicine during the structured nine-month program. Through formal lectures, programmed instruction, audiovisual materials, clinical case presentations and independent study, the students learn the theoretical basis and diagnostic value of laboratory procedures, including the correlation of laboratory findings with clinical condition. Pathologists, laboratory administrators, laboratory managers, and practicing registered clinical laboratory scientists all contribute their expertise at the bench and in the classroom. The program is approved for 30-34 semester hours of credit, depending on the policies of the student’s affiliated college or university.
Clinical Course Descriptions
- Clinical Chemistry (8-10 credits) Fundamental concepts of clinical biochemistry; identification and quantification of specific substances in body fluids by chemical analytical techniques; correlation of results with disease states; principles of instrumentation and quality control; toxicology and basic pharmacology; and the use of radioactive materials in clinical diagnostic studies.
- Clinical Hematology (6-8 credits) Fundamental concepts of blood and bone marrow function; normal and abnormal cell morphology; theories of blood coagulation and hemostasis; diagnosis of disease by laboratory testing, and monitoring of various treatment modalities.
- Clinical Immunohematology (3-5 credits) Theory and practice of grouping and cross matching blood for transfusion; detection and identification of antibodies;collection, processing and preservation of blood and its components, and use of blood and its components in transfusion therapy.
- Clinical Immunology/Serology (2-3 credits) Study of the structure, function and disorders of the immune system; concepts of transplantation, and performance of qualitative and quantitative immunological procedures.
- Clinical Microbiology (7-8 credits) Techniques and theories of diagnostic medical microbiology with emphasis on the cultivation, isolation, identification, and antimicrobial sensitivity of pathogenic bacteria; relationships of microorganisms to disease; principles of sterilization, asepsis, and infection; and identification techniques in medical mycology, parasitology and virology.
- Clinical Urinalysis (1-2 credits) Theory of renal function in health and disease, physical, chemical and cellular examination of urine and other body fluids with emphasis on changes seen in disease states.
- Clinical Management and Education A basic introduction to the principles and theory of management and education as it relates to the clinical laboratory.
Current five-year outcome rates for the program include:
- 100% graduation rate
- 100% certification rate
- 100% employment rate