Essential Functions

Essential Functions Required of MLS Students

These are the non-academic requirements of the practice of Medical Laboratory Science (MLS), comprising the physical, emotional, and professional characteristics necessary for the MLS professional. Demonstration of these entry-level competencies is required for application to the Bellarmine University MLS program. Students will be continually evaluated for their ability to meet these standards throughout the professional curriculum.

Intellectual / Conceptual

Students must be able to:
  • read and comprehend written material and follow directions
  • use basic computer word-processing and spreadsheet programs
  • analyze data, define problems, and implement solutions
  • exercise independent judgment
  • organize workspace and workflow
  • think logically
  • recognize potentially hazardous materials, equipment, and situations and respond safely in order to minimize risk of injury to patients, coworkers, and self
  • communicate clearly in English, both orally and in writing, in a professional and tactful manner with patients, laboratory personnel, and other healthcare and non-healthcare co-workers (see section on TOEFL, below).

Motor / Physical

Students must be able to:
  • participate fully in all laboratory exercises and clinical internships in the program
  • travel independently to clinical sites
  • lift and move objects (up to 20 lbs.)
  • reach laboratory benchtops, patients lying in hospital beds, or patients seated in specimen collection furniture
  • stand for extended periods of time
  • move freely and safely about a laboratory and hospital
  • possess sufficient upper body muscle coordination and adequate dexterity to handle body fluid specimens, biohazards, chemical hazards and instruments safely in order to prevent harm to self or others
  • perform delicate manipulations on specimens, instruments and equipment sufficient to meet specifications for accuracy in diagnostic testing
  • demonstrate bilateral gross and fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, and temperature discrimination to operate lab instrumentation and perform manual procedures, such as pipetting, venipuncture (blood specimen collection), plating of microorganisms, and preparation of peripheral blood smears
  • use a microscope and to visually differentiate colors, microscopic images, and fine detail
  • possess sufficient touch discrimination to discern veins in order to perform venipuncture

Behavioral / Social / Emotional

Students must be willing and able to:
  • show respect for self and others
  • work independently and with others
  • fulfill commitments
  • assume responsibility for study, work, and actions
  • maintain professional decorum and composure
  • manage stress
  • manage time and prioritize tasks
  • work accurately and quickly even in stressful conditions.
  • conform to appropriate professional standards of dress, appearance, language, and public behavior
  • exhibit high ethical standards and adherence to strict codes of confidentiality of patient information

Test of English as a Foreign Language

Applicants must be able to read and demonstrate written and oral proficiency in the English language.  For students whose academic credentials are not from American institutions, documentation of scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) are required.  The minimum score required for admission to the program is 83 or higher on TOEFL internet-based test and 26 or higher on the speaking section. (Scores from similar agencies may be considered.)

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