Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
MLT 100
Course Title:
Medical Office Laboratory Orientation
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Introduces clinical laboratory principles and procedures commonly performed in the physician's office setting, including specimen collection and handling, urinalysis, basic hematology, chemistry, serology, microbiology and quality control. Prerequisites: MP 111 and BI 55 or BI 122 or BI 233. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the laboratory techniques and procedures utilized in the physician€™s office setting. The proper care and use of the microscope, centrifuge, and other laboratory equipment and supplies will be included. The course will focus on the anatomy and physiology of the kidney and the physical, chemical and microscopic assessment of the urine, elementary hematology including hemoglobin, hematocrits, ESR and the function and identification of normal blood cells, blood specimen collection and processing and transportation, basic immunology, microbiology, and chemistry. Students will be expected to properly perform laboratory exercises related to the subject matter discussed/presented.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion students should be able to:

1. Use an understanding of routine laboratory procedures including: appropriate collection, identification and processing of specimens, and preparation of reagents to make appropriate and effective on?the?job professional decisions.
2. Apply appropriate laboratory techniques, methodologies, instruments and equipment; and accurately calculate, record, and tabulate data to improve patient care.
3. Adapt laboratory techniques and procedures in a corrective manner when errors and discrepancies in results are obtained to affect resolution in a
professional and timely manner.

Course Activities and Design

The material in this course will be presented in a lecture/lab format. Lecture material will consist of discussion, diagrams, digital images, multimedia and other educationally sound practices. Following each lecture, a laboratory exercise pertaining to the material presented will be done. The laboratory exercises provide an opportunity for students to employ the testing principles and methodologies discussed and allow for discussion, application and correlation of the concepts presented. The student is expected to perform all laboratory procedures according to the criteria established by the instructor.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

The instructor will outline the methods used to evaluate student progress and the criteria for assigning a grade at the beginning of the course. Assessment methods may include written and practical examinations and laboratory write-ups. Evaluation of problem solving skills, teamwork, attendance, laboratory performance and communication skills may also be included. Extra credit will not be available. All laboratory exercises must be completed satisfactorily as well as satisfactory competency in phlebotomy and specimen collection to achieve a passing grade. Laboratory exercise write-ups must be turned in on time.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  • Course Themes
    • Theme 1: Common Laboratory Instruments
      • Bright field microscopes and their function
      • Clinical centrifuges and their care and operation
    • Theme 2: Quality in the Laboratory
      • Quality assurance
      • Quality control
      • Proficiency programs
      • Point-of-care (POC) testing
    • Theme 3: Bloodborne Pathogens and the OSHA Standard
      • Safe workplace practices and other preventative measures
      • Personal protective equipment
      • Universal precautions
    • Theme 4: Chemistry Testing in the Medical Office Laboratory
      • Routine tests associated with various diseases and conditions including:
        • Diabetes
        • Gout
        • Cardiopathies
        • Thyroid disease
    • Theme 5: Phlebotomy and Specimen Collection and Processing
      • Appropriate equipment for blood procurement
      • Blood collection by venipuncture and skin puncture
      • Processing of specimens for microbiological examination
    • Theme 6: Immunology
      • Immunity and the immune system in the human host
      • Laboratory tests based on antigen/antibody reactions
    • Theme 7: Hematology Testing in the Medical Office Laboratory
      • The normal composition and function of blood and blood components
      • Testing principles and techniques of basic hematology tests
      • Hematological diseases and disorders and their common findings
    • Theme 8: Urinalysis in the Medical Office Laboratory
      • Normal anatomy and physiology of the renal system
      • Specimens and their proper collection, storage, and processing for urine testing
      • The routine urinalysis, including physical assessment, chemical and microscopic examination
      • Principles, errors, and interpretation of commonly performed chemical tests on urine
      • Renal diseases and disorders and their common findings
  • Laboratory Skills
    • Proper use of a bright field light microscope, including
      • Correctly setting up and focusing the microscope
      • Proper handling, cleaning, and storage of the microscope
      • Correct use of all lenses
      • Recording microscopic observations
    • Properly prepare slides for examination, including
      • Proper disposal of slides
      • Preparing smears from blood and urine
      • Performing proper staining techniques when applicable
    • Proper use of a centrifuge, including
      • Proper speed and time settings
      • Safe operation including access following centrifugation
      • Correct balancing of the rotor
    • Proper collection of peripheral blood samples, including
      • Performing phlebotomy and capillary blood collection techniques according to the industry standards
    • Proper use of testing equipment, including
      • POC hematology instruments
      • POC chemistry instruments
    • Proper use of standard microbiology laboratory equipment, including
      • Using a bacticinerator
      • Using an incubator
  • Cognitive Skills
    • Cognitive processes, including
      • Formulating a clear, answerable question
      • Predicting expected results
      • Following written protocols and verbal instructions
    • Analysis skills, including
      • Collecting and organizing data in a systematic fashion
      • Presenting data in an appropriate form
      • Assessing the validity of the data (including integrity and significance)
      • Recognizing errors
      • Drawing appropriate conclusions based on the results
    • Communication skills, including
      • Discussing and presenting lab results or findings in the laboratory
    • Interpersonal and citizenry skills, including
      • Working effectively in teams or groups so that the task, results, and analysis may be shared
      • Effectively managing time and tasks allowing concurrent and/or overlapping tasks to be done simultaneously, by individuals and/or within a group
      • Integrating knowledge and making informed judgments in the clinical setting and in everyday life
  • Laboratory Safety
    • General laboratory procedures, including
      • Reporting all spills and broken glassware to the instructor and receiving instructions for clean up
      • Minimizing or containing the production of aerosols and describing the hazards associated with aerosols
      • Washing hands prior to and following laboratories and at any time contamination is suspected
      • Using universal precautions with blood and other body fluids and following the requirements of the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standard
      • Disinfecting lab benches and equipment prior to and at the conclusion of each lab session, using an appropriate disinfectant and allowing a suitable contact time
      • Identification and proper disposal of different types of waste
      • Good lab practice, including returning materials to proper locations, proper care and handling of equipment, and keeping the bench top clear of extraneous materials
    • Protective procedures, including
      • Tying long hair back, wearing personal protective equipment (eye protection, coats, gloves, closed shoes), and using such equipment in appropriate situations
      • Always using appropriate pipetting devices and understanding that mouth pipetting is forbidden
      • Never eating or drinking in the laboratory
      • Never applying cosmetics, handling contact lenses, or placing objects (fingers, pencils, etc.) in the mouth or touching the face
    • Emergency procedures, including
      • Locating and properly using emergency equipment (eye wash stations, first aid kits, fire extinguishers, chemical safety showers)
      • Reporting all injuries immediately to the instructor
      • Following proper steps in the event of an emergency