St. Louis Community College

Essential Functions


The Clinical Laboratory Technology (CLT) student must possess the following essential functions:


The CLT student must be able to..

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

Characterize the color, consistency, and clarity of biologicals or reagents.

Employ a clinical grade binocular microscope to discriminate among fine differences in structure and color (hue, shading, and intensity) in microscopic specimens.

Read and comprehend text, numbers, and graphs displayed in print and on a video monitor.


The CLT student must be able to..

Move freely and safely about a laboratory.

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

Travel to clinical laboratory sites for practical experience.

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

Maneuver phlebotomy and culture acquisition equipment to collect laboratory specimens from patients.

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

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


The CLT student must be able to..

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

Follow oral and written instructions in order to correctly perform laboratory test procedures.

Clearly instruct patients prior to specimen collection.

Effectively, confidentially, and sensitively converse with patients regarding laboratory tests (not including the release of results).

Communicate with faculty members, student colleagues, staff, and other health care professionals orally and in a recorded format (writing, typing, graphics, or telecommunication).


The CLT student must..

Possess these intellectual skills: comprehension, measurement, mathematical calculation, reasoning, self-expression, and criticism.

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


The CLT student must..

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

Possess the emotional health necessary to effectively use her or his intellect and to exercise appropriate judgment. The candidate must be able to provide professional and technical services while experiencing the stresses of task-related uncertainty (ie. ambiguous test ordering, ambivalent test interpretation), emergent demands (ie. "stat" test orders). and a distracting environment (ie. high noise levels, complex visual stimuli).

Be flexible and creative and adapt to professional and technical change.

Recognize potentially hazardous materials, equipment, and situations and proceed safely in order to minimize risk of injury to self and nearby personnel.

Adapt to working with unpleasant biologicals.

Be capable of supporting and promoting the activities of colleagues and health care professionals. Promotion of peers helps furnish a team approach to learning, task completion, problem solving, and patient care.

Be honest, compassionate, ethical, and responsible. The student must be forthright about errors or uncertainty. The student must be able to critically evaluate her or his own performance, accept constructive criticism, and look for ways to improve (ie. participate in continuing education activities).

(Adapted from Fritsma, George; Fiorella, Beverly J.; Murphy, Maryrose. "Essential Requirements for Clinical Laboratory Science." Clinical Laboratory Science. Jan/Feb 1996, p. 40-43.


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Clinical Laboratory Technology

© 2018 St. Louis Community College
Last revised 5 September 2007