Course Content and Outcome Guide for MLT 230 Effective Fall 2015

Course Number:
MLT 230
Course Title:
Body Fluids
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Introduces the composition, testing procedures, and the clinical correlation of results for cerebrospinal, synovial, pleural, pericardial, peritoneal, seminal, and amniotic fluids. Prerequisites: Acceptance into the Medical Laboratory Technology Program. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

The anatomy and physiology of body cavities and the production of body fluids will be reviewed. Collection, laboratory testing of cerebrospinal, synovial, pericardial, plural, peritoneal, seminal, and amniotic fluids, sources of error, and clinical correlation with various disease states will be presented. Provides opportunity to practice performing microscopic identification and differentiation of body fluid cells and to correlate with other laboratory findings to help predict diagnosis.

Intended Outcomes for the course

  • Use an understanding of the normal and abnormal constituents of body fluids and their correlation with pathologic conditions to make appropriate and effective on-the-job professional decisions.
  • Apply appropriate laboratory techniques, methodologies, instruments and equipment; and accurately calculate, record, and report body fluid results to improve patient care.
  • Adapt laboratory body fluid techniques and procedures when errors and discrepancies in results are obtained to effect resolution in a professional and timely manner.

Course Activities and Design

The class is presented by means of lecture/discussion, audio-visual presentations, handouts, demonstrations, web based instructional media and other educationally sound practices. Comprehensive lab work requires demonstration of competency to receive a satisfactory grade. A laboratory manual is provided. 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 department. 

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment methods may include written and practical examinations, homework assignments and discussion activities. Student knowledge application, laboratory performance, problem solving skills, punctuality and attendance, participation, and communication skills is assessed in each laboratory exercise utilizing an evaluation rubric that includes cognitive, psychomotor and affective learning domains.  

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Course Themes:

  • Cerebrospinal, Synovial, Pericardial, Pleural, Peritoneal, Amniotic, and Semen
    • Anatomy and physiology associated with each body fluid
    • Methods for body fluid collection and processing
    • Composition of each body fluid
    • Common tests performed on each body fluid
    • Preparation of cytocentrifuged specimens
    • Recognition of normal and abnormal results and interpretation of clinical significance


Cognitive skills:

  • Cognitive processes
    • Explain body fluids theory supporting test principles
    • Integrate knowledge and make informed judgments about body fluids test results  in the clinical setting
    • Formulate a clear, answerable question
    • Predict expected results
    • Follow written protocols and verbal instructions
  • Analysis skills
    • Collect and organize data in a systematic fashion
    • Present data in an appropriate form
    • Assess the validity of the data (including integrity and significance)
    • Recognize errors
    • Draw appropriate conclusions based on the results
  • Troubleshooting and problem solving
    • Recognize errors or discrepancies in results during lab procedures
    • Select corrective actions for problem solving
    • Safety skills
      • Recognize safety equipment and laboratory safety measures
    • Communication skills
      • Discuss and present lab results or findings in the laboratory
    • Interpersonal and citizenry skills
      • Work effectively in teams or groups so that the task, results, and analysis may be shared
      • Effectively manage time and tasks allowing concurrent and/or overlapping tasks to be done simultaneously, by individuals and/or within a group

Performance (Psychomotor Skills):

  • Use a bright field microscope to view and interpret slides
    • Correctly set up and focus the microscope
    • Properly handle, clean, and store the microscope
    • Perform differential counts in body fluid smears
    • Identify and differentiate leukocyte and other body fluid cells
    • Record microscopic observations according to laboratory protocol

Professional (Affective) Skills:

  • Demonstrate interest, enthusiasm, and willingness to learn as seen through active participation.
  • Show initiative and motivation as demonstrated by independence in performing routine procedures, preparation before class, decreased need for supervision, willingness to go beyond the required assignments, and recognition of opportunities to improve quality and productivity of work.
  • Adapt to stressful and/or new situations by maintaining composure and flexibility without compromising individual integrity.
  • Exhibit teamwork through cooperation, courtesy, respect, and sensitivity towards others.
  • Convey a professional attitude as shown by an appropriate level of confidence and a positive outlook toward work and other people.
  • Demonstrate integrity as shown by the admission and documentation of errors, recognition of the potential danger of short cuts, and the maintenance of patient and co-worker confidentiality.
  • Act responsibly and reliably as measured by punctuality, attendance, dependability, and quality of work. 
  • Respond favorably to supervision and feedback.
  • Persevere until task is completed satisfactorily.