Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Program Overview

Preparation for Employment

The Medical Laboratory Technology Program, nationally known for its excellent and realistic education, provides traditional campus based courses as well as extensive experience in actual clinical laboratories. The campus-based courses are taught at Cascade Campus in the newly remodeled Jackson Hall. Here, the lecture and laboratory exercises focus on up-to-date theory, learning manual techniques, instrumentation, problem solving and application of knowledge. The facilities are modern and well equipped for this purpose. To begin the transition to "real world" medical technology, students spend time in in a simulated laboratory setting (SimLab) at the Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital. Here, students receive instruction using actual clinical specimens in a laboratory environment. Finally, in the affiliate laboratories, students continue to develop understanding of principles, mastery of basic skills and professionalism. Every aspect of the students' education on campus, in the the SimLab, and in the affiliate labs has been designed to be as thorough as possible to prepare graduates as health care professionals in clinical laboratory medicine.

MLT class

Campus-based Instruction

Campus lectures and labs provide students with a substantial knowledge base as well as fundamental skills and techniques. Students are challenged to critically examine all data and results and to be alert for potential technical errors. Students are actively involved in discussions relating theory to tests results, and perform detailed lab write-ups, which also help to correlate laboratory findings with theory. Examinations are designed to further help students hone their critical thinking and deductive reasoning skills. 

During the first year of the MLT Program, all activities are designed to give students a solid framework for the more rigorous curriculum of the program's second year.  

During the second year, the classroom activities and laboratory components of the campus setting complement each other in an integrated and sequential manner. Each module of instruction prepares students for subsequent concepts and techniques, laying a solid foundation for entry-level knowledge and skills.  

Simulation Laboratory at Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital

MLT student working in the Emmanuel Lab.

To provide as much realism as possible, a Simulation Laboratory (SimLab) is located at Legacy Good Samaritan with PCC instructional staff on-site. The SimLab helps students make the transition from the structured laboratory setting on campus to the more independent clinical setting. Students refine skills and develop confidence through repetition of basic procedures. They also develop analytical skills by researching answers for their study questions, performing practical examinations to test their technical competency, and completing written exams to determine how well they are able to relate theory and practice.

This component of the Clinical Laboratory practice takes place during the fourth and fifth terms of the program and corresponds to a total of approximately 140 to 150 hours.

The Clinical Laboratory

During the second year of the Program, a variety of affiliate laboratories provide the training required for the Clinical Lab Practice component of our program. Within these laboratories there is never more than one student per one clinical instructor in any given department. Students are supervised while they continue to learn procedures and instrumentation and apply knowledge to practice.

Each student rotates through key areas of the clinical laboratory including blood bank, chemistry, hematology, phlebotomy and microbiology. During the last two terms of the program, each student is scheduled for an average of 32 hours per week in a clinical setting with the last few weeks spent in an area of special interest. Rotation clinical sites will be assigned by the Clinical Coordinator based on site availability. The location of the final rotation is based on student and Clinical Coordinator discussion about student achievement throughout the Program and ultimate student career goals. This experience is designed to provide students with the opportunity to apply what they have learned throughout the year, and to further enhance practical clinical experience and develop professionalism. Although it is not a guarantee of employment, this final rotation often results in a job for the student. It also may provide networking opportunities for future employment.

The overall training in clinical laboratory practice, including student lab activities and clinical lab training, amounts to nearly 800 hours.

See Partner Laboratories for a list of laboratory affiliates.

Program Mission Statement

The Portland Community College MLT Program provides high quality education in an atmosphere that recognizes the potential of each student, and supports a comprehensive and innovative approach to meet the needs of Oregon’s health care community.

Program Goals

  • To provide high quality education in an atmosphere that promotes successful completion of the program.
  • To address the shortage of qualified laboratory professionals.
  • To prepare graduates to function effectively as members of the health care team and of the greater community.
  • To build and maintain strong partnerships in the health care community throughout the Pacific Northwest.
  • To teach curriculum that is reflective of current technologies in health care.

Program Outcomes

  1. Act professionally and adhere to ethical and legal responsibilities toward consistent quality patient care.
  2. Apply knowledge of theory and principles of related content areas (e.g. clinical chemistry, hematology, microbiology, immunohematology, etc.) to the clinical laboratory setting in making appropriate professional decisions.
  3. Select, prepare, perform, correlate and evaluate appropriate laboratory procedures in a high quality, professional, accurate and timely manner.
  4. Recognize and identify technical, mechanical and physiological problems within the laboratory and effect resolution of problems according to the protocols of the institution.
  5. Function effectively as a contributing member of the laboratory team and the broader healthcare delivery system.

Professional Objectives

Theoretical knowledge, technical skills, and interpersonal relations and professionalism provide the cornerstones for success as a medical laboratory technician. Students must demonstrate competence in each of these areas to become competent medical laboratory technicians.

Knowledge & Knowledge Application (Cognitive Skills)

Upon completion of the MLT Program, students will:

  1. Communicate effectively through reading, writing, listening, and verbal skills.
  2. Explains facts and principles related to laboratory test procedures.
  3. Apply knowledge to working situations.
  4. Recognize problems, errors in performance, and discrepancies in test results.
  5. Troubleshoot and solve problems as required and/or suggests appropriate corrective actions.
  6. Interpret and correlate test results.

Performance (Psychomotor Skills)

Students will demonstrate the following skills with increasing ease throughout the sequence of laboratory courses:

  1. Adhere to laboratory safety policies.
  2. Demonstrate good organizational skills as seen by a logical workflow and ability to prioritize tasks.
  3. Strive to increase productivity to include timely output, and economy of time and materials.
  4. Exhibit good manual dexterity, coordination, and ease in handling equipment with a minimum of mishaps or abuse.
  5. Achieve accuracy in test results.
  6. Perform techniques in a skillful and orderly technique with good attention to details of the test procedure.
  7. Employ good record keeping skills so that reports are complete, accurate, legible, and according to established protocol.

Professional Skills (Affective Skills)

Interpersonal skills and professionalism are essential for the medical laboratory technician in providing high quality patient care and in performing as a member of the health care team. Upon completion of the MLT Program, students will:

  1. Demonstrate interest, enthusiasm, and willingness to learn as seen through active participation.
  2. 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.
  3. Adapt to stressful and/or new situations by maintaining composure and flexibility without compromising individual integrity.
  4. Exhibit teamwork through cooperation, courtesy, respect, and sensitivity towards others.
  5. Convey a professional attitude as shown by an appropriate level of confidence and a positive outlook toward work and other people.
  6. 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.
  7. Act responsibly as measured by punctuality, attendance, dependability, and quality of work.
  8. Respond favorably to supervision and feedback.
  9. Persevere until tasks are completed satisfactorily.
  10. Present an acceptable level of cleanliness as seen by one’s personal hygiene, professional appearance, and maintenance of the workspace.