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MLT Essential Functions

The ATS degree in Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) is recognized as a degree requiring the acquisition of general knowledge and basic skills in all areas of this allied health profession.

Faculty in the MLT program have a responsibility for the welfare of the patients treated or otherwise affected by students enrolled in the MLT program, as well as for the welfare of students in the program. In order to fulfill this responsibility, the MLT faculty and Advisory Committee established minimum Essential Functions that must be met with or without reasonable accommodation in order to participate in the program and graduate.

Admission and retention decisions for MLT students are based not only on prior satisfactory academic achievement, but also on non-academic factors which serve to insure that the candidate can complete the Essential Functions of the academic program for graduation. Essential Functions, as distinguished from academic standards, refer to those cognitive, physical, and behavioral abilities that are necessary for satisfactory completion of all aspects of the curriculum, and the development of professional attributes required by the faculty of all students at graduation. The following Essential Functions have been developed in compliance with the American Disabilities Act (PL101-336), and the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).

The Wenatchee Valley College MLT curriculum requires essential abilities in information acquisition and transmission. The student must have the ability to master information presented in course work in the form of lectures, written material, and projected images. The student must have the cognitive abilities necessary to master relevant content in basic science and clinical courses at a level deemed appropriate by the faculty. Additionally, the student must be able to hear well enough to respond to significant sounds in a clinical lab. Examples would include (but are not limited to) being able to hear the telephone ring, hear the fire alarm or other warning system; be able to hear signals generated from instrumentation that may indicate normal operating status or malfunction, and be able to follow verbal instruction from a coworker or supervisor.

The student must be able to speak in a manner that is understandable (this being both clear distinct words and adequate volume) to persons on the other end of a telephone or other health care workers listening specifically to the student in person.

The student must be able to communicate effectively in written English in order to transmit information to members of the health care team. The appropriate communication may also rely on the student's ability to make a correct judgment in seeking supervision and consultation in a timely manner.

The student must have adequate eyesight such that he/she can recognize and distinguish gradients of color such as on a urine dipstick. The student must be able to read numbers either on a video display screen, computer printout, or legible handwriting, and interpret lines and points on a graph.

The student must be able to safely and accurately perform patient testing in a timely manner. He/she must be able to distinguish objects both macroscopically and microscopically. The student must have sufficient upper body muscle coordination to practice safe specimen handling. He/she must be able to perform delicate manipulations on specimens and instruments necessary for complete and accurate diagnostic test results. Examples would include (but are not limited to) being able to operate a computer keyboard; dial a telephone; handle cuvettes, sample cups, pipet tips, and reagent vials; pick up glass slides from a table top, and use a pen or pencil to write the English language legibly.

The student must have excellent hand-eye coordination. Manual dexterity is essential. The student must be able to use a rubber bulb to draw liquid into a calibrated pipette; use a gloved finger to control the release of liquid to within 1mm of a fixed point on the pipette. He/she must be able to lift and move objects, e.g., load individual tubes in an analyzer and move test tube racks from one bench to another; isolate bacteria by smoothly moving a loop (a 6-inch wire with a looped end) over the surface of an agar (gel) culture plate without tearing the surface of the agar.

The student must be able to lift his or her arms above shoulder height in order to place or remove items from shelves. The student must be able to lift fifty pounds. The student must be able to bend over at the waist or squat down in order to place and remove items of ten pounds or less from drawers and cabinets. The student must have touch discrimination in order to discern veins for the performance of venipuncture.

The student must be able to work with organisms that may be infectious. He/she must be able to work with a wide variety of chemical reagents that may cause difficulties for individuals with chemical sensitivities.

The student must possess the emotional stability required for full utilization of the applicant's intellectual abilities. He/she must be able to work accurately and safely under stress, e.g., work under time constraints; read and record numbers accurately; perform repetitive tasks; concentrate in distracting situations; make subjective evaluations and decisions where mistakes may have a high impact on patient care. He/she must be able to adapt to changing environments, and be able to prioritize tasks.

The student must possess attributes which include integrity, responsibility and tolerance. He/she must show respect for self and others; and project an image of professionalism.   These technical standards identify the requirements for admission, retention and graduation of applicants and students respectively. Graduates are expected to be qualified to enter the field of Medical Technology. It is therefore the responsibility of the student with disabilities to request those accommodations that he/she feels are reasonable and are needed to execute the Essential Functions described.