The student's first day is spent in the Eisenhower Medical Center orientation program, reviewing hospital-wide programs, policies and procedures. The second day consists of reviewing the School of Medical Technology policies, safety policies, program schedules and expectations. After orientations, the student begins their clinical rotations.
Immunohematology (6 week rotation)
The student is trained in all facets of pre-transfusion testing, including ABO and Rh testing, antibody detection, compatibility testing and the procedures used in the identification of unexpected antibodies. Samples are provided to the student as unknowns for identification purposes. Transfusion reactions, ABO discrepancies and release of blood in emergency situations are also covered. Both a written exam and practical exam are administered during the last week of the student's rotation.
Chemistry (10 week rotation)
The Chemistry rotation consists of routine chemistry procedures, endopharmacology and therapeutic drug monitoring. Students learn about test analytes, clinical significance and testing methodologies. Using the laboratory's state-of-the-art instrumentation, including front-end robotic specimen processing, the students become familiar with the automation and computerization of the modern clinical laboratory. Quality control and calibration result reports are reviewed to explain the importance of QC and accurate calibrations. The vital role of equipment maintenance, both daily and monthly, is emphasized. Students participate in a method evaluation and are given an unknown to test. Weekly tests and a final exam are given.
The goal of the tenth week of Chemistry rotation is to enhance the students' skills. Students will observe and learn blood gas methodology and may go on rounds with a respiratory technician to observe arterial blood punctures. In addition, the student may spend a few days in the hospital emergency department laboratory.
Special Chemistry (4 weeks)
The Special Chemistry rotation includes serological procedures, hepatitis and HIV testing, protein/urine electrophoresis/nephelometry, immunoelectrophoresis, tumor marker testing and other miscellaneous infectious disease testing. Students will have the opportunity to work with a variety of automated, semi-automated and manual procedures during the first two weeks of rotation. The goal of the third week of Special Chemistry is to enhance the students' skills. Students may choose to write a Procedure or do a Method Evaluation or Quality Control project of his/her choice. Unknowns to test and weekly quizzes are given. In the fourth week of Special Chemistry rotation, the student selects and writes a Research Project of his/her choice. This project may be a research paper, a poster session, or a detailed patient case study. The medical library is available for conducting research. Each student presents his/her research project to the staff at the end of the clinical year.
In the fourth week of Special Chemistry rotation, the student selects and prepares a Research Project of his/her choice. This project may be a research paper, a poster session, or a detailed patient case study. The medical library is available for conducting research. Each student presents his/her research project to the staff at the end of the clinical year.
Urinalysis (4 weeks)
Students learn about physical, chemical, and microscopic evaluation of urine samples. The first week is spent learning the procedures of the macroscopic portion of urinalysis and in the second week, microscopic analysis is introduced. Additionally, students are instructed in special procedures that are done as part of the automated urinalysis workstation in the Chemistry section.
Hematology/Coagulation (8 week rotation)
The Hematology rotation consists of the study of blood and particularly its cellular components. The students begin their rotation by becoming familiar with the operation and theory of the automated instrumentation. Emphasis is placed on identification of white blood cells and evaluating red blood cell morphology by performing manual differentials. Proper identification is essential for the accurate diagnosis of leukemias, anemias and infectious processes. The department has an extensive file of abnormal slides and computer based learning resources. Coagulation instruments and coagulation testing are also studied. Students observe bone marrow biopsies performed by the attending pathologists and receive training in proper slide preparation. The pathologists review abnormal morphology with the student as they view the slides together under a double-model microscope.
Immunology (6 week rotation)
The main areas of study during the Immunology clinical rotation are Serology, Electrophoresis, Immunology and Flow Cytometry. For each concentrated area of clinical rotation, a study guide with questions and objectives, utilizing textbooks and articles, is given to each student to complete. Rotation exams, clinical objectives, case studies and unknown specimens are assigned to facilitate and assess the learning process.
The student learns to perform manual tests such as cold agglutinins, RPR test, cryptococcal antigen agglutination test, and ANA and ENA tests for detecting antinuclear antibodies. Also, the student learns how to run patient samples, evaluate QC, and calibrate automated instruments using the Helena Electrophoresis System and Siemens BN Prospec Nephelometer. Problem solving, interpretation and critical thinking skills are developed during the Immunology rotation as students learn test methods and disease states associated with each test.
Microbiology (12 week rotation)
The clinical rotation in microbiology consists of theory and application in the studies of Clinical Bacteriology, Mycology, Parasitology, Mycobacteriology and Virology. The students learn to use a wide variety of techniques to identify pathogenic microorganisms, including culture and isolation, direct exam, serology and use of automated equipment. The student also learns various staining procedures and is trained in the proper set up and interpretation of bacterial susceptibility studies. Students take weekly exams (practical and/or written) and a final exam. Upon completion of lecture series and clinical rotation, Case Studies are given as a final review.
Phlebotomy and Central Processing
Students spend approximately 100 hours learning the theory and techniques of phlebotomy during the clinical chemistry rotation. Instruction will emphasize the importance of proper specimen collection and processing as the first step in quality testing and ultimately, quality patient care.
Special Topics/Enhancements (1 week)
An additional week during the year is spent receiving management and instructional strategies workshops, attending professional organization seminars and spending time at enhancement sites such as the local blood donor center, respiratory laboratory, emergency department laboratory and others.
Miscellaneous/Review (1 week)
One week at the end of the year is utilized for review and a comprehensive examination. If needed, students may also use this time for completion of any course objectives.
Certificate of Completion
After successfully completing all the program objectives and passing all clinical rotation and lecture examinations, a certificate of completion is granted. The granting of this certificate is not contingent upon the student passing any type of external certification or licensing exam.
Upon completion of the program, graduates are eligible to sit for the Board of Certification (BOC) exam given by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).