Medical Office Laboratory Procedures

Course Number: MLT 100
Transcript Title: Med Office Lab Procedures
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: October 17, 2016
Total Credits: 4
Lecture Hours: 30
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 30
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: No
Satisfies General Education requirement: No
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP
Repeats available for credit: 0


MP 111; BI 122 or BI 233

Course Description

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

Intended Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Perform routine laboratory procedures in a professional, accurate and timely manner. (Laboratory procedures may include, but are not limited to: specimen collection, identification and processing of specimens; preparation of reagents; use of appropriate laboratory techniques, instruments and equipment.)
  2. Perform CLIA-waived urinalysis, hematology, chemistry, serology and microbiology procedures using the necessary controls, standards, and instrumentation. Properly calculate and record laboratory data obtained.
  3. Perform all laboratory procedures in accordance with current safety protocols, and blood and body fluid precautions.
  4. Use knowledge of laboratory techniques and critical thinking to resolve errors and discrepancies in test results in a professional and timely manner.

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.

  1. Assessment methods may include written and practical examinations and laboratory check-offs.
  2. Evaluation of problem solving skills, teamwork, attendance, laboratory performance and communication skills may also be included.

All laboratory exercises must be completed satisfactorily as well as satisfactory competency in phlebotomy and specimen collection to achieve a passing grade.

Course Activities and Design

The list in Learning Activities below outlines the concepts, themes and issues the student will need to understand and be able to use appropriately. The student will have the opportunity to demonstrate understanding in written and oral form, individually and in groups.

To be able to successfully complete this course, the student must receive a minimum of 70% on the total points for all exams, therefore any grade less than 70% represent a failing grade and the student will be dropped from the Medical Assisting Program.

There will be chapter specific quizzes as well as a final comprehensive in the lecture class and skill check-offs in lab class.

The total achievable score consists of  homework worth 15% of the grade, skill check-offs worth 35% of the grade, exams worth 40% of the grade and independent study worth 10% of the grade

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  1. Working with Laboratory Instruments
    • Understand bright field microscopes and their care and operation
    • Understand clinical centrifuges and their care and operation
    • Perform routine maintenance of laboratory equipment including glucose meters, centrifuges, microscopes and incubators.
  2. General Laboratory Practices
    • List steps involved in completing both equipment and supplies inventories
    • Use proper body mechanics
    • Show awareness of a patient’s concerns related to the procedure being performed
    • Protect the integrity of the medical record
    • Explain correctly the purpose of a test and reassure patient of the accuracy of test results
    • Differentiate between normal, abnormal and panic results
    • Maintain lab test results using flow sheets, charts and/or reporting documents
    • Perform an inventory with documentation and follow-up action
  3. Quality in the Laboratory
    • Understand quality assurance and its correlation with quality test results
    • Understand Quality control of all tests performed
    • Perform Point-of-care (POC) testing
    • Document patient results correctly in patient chart or into the EMR
  4. Bloodborne Pathogens and the OSHA Standard
    • Safe workplace practices and other preventative measures including completion of bloodborne pathogen training, participating in a mock exposure event and documenting corrective action
    • Select appropriate personal protective equipment
    • Maintain knowledge of universal precautions including demonstrated use of biohazardous material, sharps containers and regulated waste
    • List major types of infectious agents and describe the infection cycle
    • Define appropriate PPE for all body fluids, excretions, blood, non-intact skin and mucous membranes
    • Comply with all safety signs, symbols and labels
    • Demonstrate proper use of eyewash equipment, fire extinguishers and sharps disposal systems.
    • Evaluate the work environment to identify unsafe working conditions
    • Participate in a mock exposure event with documentation of specific steps
  5. Phlebotomy and Specimen Collection and Processing
    • Demonstrate patient rights in consenting or denying a procedure.
    • Select appropriate equipment for blood procurement
    • Perform blood collection by venipuncture and skin puncture
    • Process specimens for microbiological examination
    • Obtain specimens for hematology, chemistry, urinalysis, immunology and microbiology tests
  6. Chemistry Testing in the Medical Office Laboratory
    • Perform CLIA-waived chemistry tests associated with various diseases and conditions including: Diabetes
  7. Immunology
    • Understand immunity and the immune system in the human host
    • Perform CLIA-waived immunological tests based on antigen/antibody reactions to determine various diseases
  8. Hematology Testing in the Medical Office Laboratory
    • Understand the normal composition and function of blood and blood components
    • Perform CLIA-waived hematological tests to determine various diseases
    • Use principles and techniques of basic hematology tests
    • Understand hematological diseases and disorders and their common findings
  9. Urinalysis in the Medical Office Laboratory
    • Understand the normal anatomy and physiology of the renal system
    • Know the types of specimens required and their proper collection, storage, and processing for urine testing
    • Perform CLIA-waived urinalysis, including physical and chemical assessment.
    • Understand the principles, errors, and interpretation of commonly performed chemical tests on urine 
  10. Microbiology
    • Identify methods of controlling the growth of microorganisms except in a controlled laboratory environment
    • List major types of infectious agents
    • Perform CLIA-waived microbiology tests to determine various diseases
  11. Laboratory Skills
    • Proper use of a bright field light microscope, including
      • Correctly set up and focus the microscope
      • Proper handling, cleaning, and storage of the microscope
      • Correct use of all lenses
      • Correctly record 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
      • Safe operation including access following centrifugation
    • Proper use of testing equipment, including
      • POC hematology instruments
      • POC chemistry instruments 
      • Performing routine maintenance of laboratory equipment
  12. 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
      • Differentiate between normal and abnormal test results
      • Maintain lab test results using flow sheets
    • 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
  13. 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
      • 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

Department Notes

This is a required course which fulfills a portion of the curriculum for the certificate in Medical Assisting. The extent of transferability or credit allowed for the course would be dependent upon the institution and the program to which the student is transferring.