Medical Laboratory Technology

Essential Requirements

Essential requirements are performance related and provide criteria so that potential applicants can independently evaluate their own ability to fulfill the expected requirements of a medical laboratory technician. These requirements are made available to facilitate a valid career choice by the potential student.

The achievement of these cognitive and technical competencies should not endanger or compromise the health and welfare of other students, patients, or allied health professionals and should not impose "undue hardship" upon the educational facility.

If you are not sure that you will be able to meet the essential requirements please consult the Medical Laboratory Technology Program Advisor for further information and to discuss your individual situation.

The Medical Laboratory Technology student needs to be able to meet the following minimum Essential Requirements:

  1. Ability to perform visual requirements:
    1. Read orders, policies, procedures, test results, charts, graphs, instrument printouts, number sequences.

    2. Differentiate colors. Example: test results and color codes.

    3. Identify microscopic structures, cells, organisms.

    4. Determine specimen suitability.

  2. Ability to perform motor/movement requirements:
    1. Respond appropriately to alarms, pagers, telephones.

    2. Able and willing to work with blood/body fluids and with infectious organisms and to work with a wide variety of chemical reagents.

    3. Obtain and measure specimens and reagents precisely.

    4. Manipulate reagents, materials, instruments, and analytical equipment according to established protocol.

    5. Stand and/or sit for prolonged periods.

    6. Comply with safety regulations. Example: potential exposure to infectious organisms, body fluids, and toxic chemicals.

    7. Perform duties requiring manual and finger dexterity. Example: using a computer keyboard to accurately enter and transmit data and information in a timely manner, manipulating and adjusting gauges, operating specialized equipment, using microscopes, performing venipunctures.

    8. Reach laboratory bench tops and shelves, patients lying in hospital beds or seated in specimen collection furniture.

  3. Ability to perform communication/behavioral requirements:
    1. Remain calm and exercise good judgment under stressful and/or emergency situations.

    2. Communicate effectively in written/oral English with patients, fellow students, visitors, and healthcare workers by giving or receiving instructions, test results and various messages, verbally, in writing by facsimile, or via computer.

    3. Maintain a cooperative and productive working relationship with patients, fellow students, and healthcare workers.

    4. Remain flexible, creative, and adaptive to professional and technical change.

    5. Manage use of time and organizational skills to effectively complete professional and technical tasks.

    6. Practice honest, compassionate, ethical, and responsible conduct.

  4. Ability to perform intellectual/conceptional requirements:
    1. Possess these intellectual skills: comprehension, measurement, mathematical calculation, reasoning, integration, analysis comparison, self-expression, and criticism.

    2. Exercise sufficient judgment to recognize and correct performance deviations.

    3. Prepare, review, and evaluate papers, laboratory reports, reagents, and materials in order to meet the needs of various procedural standards.

The National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science requires educational programs to define and publish "specific… technical standards" (essential requirements) "required for admission to the program" and to determine "that the applicants or students’ health will permit them to meet the …technical standards…" (Essential Requirements).

Adapted from COMLE: Committee on Medical Laboratory Education

Program Contacts

Department Secretary

Linda Butler
Grundy Hall 135
Email me

Student Success Specialist: Pre-Health

Kay Wenzel
Grundy Hall 285
319-296-2329 ext.1063
Email me

Student Success Specialist: Health Science

Vic Palmer
Grundy Hall 140
319-296-2329 ext.1481
Email me

Pre-Health Advisor

Heidi Hudson
Student Services
Hawkeye Center 208
319-296-2329 ext.1079
Email me

Program Advisor

Amy Kapanka
Cedar Falls Center 112
319-296-2329 ext.1357
Email me


Dr. Gene Leutzinger
Grundy Hall 173
Email me