Essential Functions: In order to successfully complete the degree requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology, students must complete the academic and clinical practice requirements. Students must also meet the essential requirements in addition to the academic requirements. “Essential requirements are those physical abilities, mental abilities, skills, attitudes, and behaviors the students must evidence or perform at each stage of their education.”1 The absence of an essential requirement would fundamentally alter the program goals. The essential requirements include categories of observation, movement, communication, intellect, and behavior.


The student must be able to:

  1. Observe laboratory demonstrations in which biological (i.e., body fluids, culture samples, tissue sections, and cellular samples) specimens are tested for their biochemical, hematological, immunological, microbiological, and histochemical components.
  2. Characterize the color, odor, clarity, and viscosity of biologicals, reagents, or chemical reaction products.
  3. Employ a clinical grade binocular microscope to discriminate among fine structural and color (hue, shading, and intensity) differences of microscopic specimens.
  4. Read and comprehend text, numbers, illustrations, and graphs displayed in print, on a projection screen, and on a video monitor.


The student must be able to:

  1. Move freely and safely about a laboratory.
  2. Reach laboratory bench tops and shelves, patients lying in hospital beds or patients seated in specimen collection furniture.
  3. Travel to numerous clinical laboratory sites for practical experience.
  4. Perform moderately taxing continuous physical work, often requiring prolonged sitting, in confined spaces, over several hours.
  5. Maneuver phlebotomy and culture acquisition equipment to safely collect valid laboratory specimens from patients.
  6. Control laboratory equipment (i.e. pipettes, inoculating loops, test tubes) and adjust instruments to perform laboratory procedures.
  7. Use an electronic keyboard (i.e. 101-key IBM computer keyboard) to operate laboratory instruments and to calculate, record, evaluate, and transmit laboratory information.


The student must be able to:

  1. Read and comprehend technical and professional materials (i.e. textbooks, magazine and journal articles, handbooks, and instruction manuals).
  2. Follow verbal and written instructions in order to correctly perform laboratory test procedures.
  3. Clearly instruct patients prior to specimen collection (if applicable).
  4. Effectively, confidentially, and sensitively converse with patients regarding laboratory tests (if applicable).
  5. Communicate with faculty members, fellow students, staff, and other health care professionals verbally and in a recorded format (writing, typing, graphics, or telecommunication).
  6. Prepare papers, prepare laboratory reports, and take examinations within specified times.


The student must:

  1. Possess these intellectual skills: comprehension, measurement, mathematical calculation, reasoning, integration, analysis, comparison, self-expression, and criticism.
  2. Be able to exercise sufficient judgment to recognize and correct performance deviations.


The student must:

  1. Be able to manage the use of time and be able to systematize actions in order to complete professional and technical tasks within faculty-defined time limits.
  2. Possess the emotional health necessary to effectively employ intellect and exercise appropriate judgment.
  3. Be able to provide professional and technical services while experiencing the stresses of task-related uncertainty (i.e. ambiguous test ordering, ambivalent test interpretation), emergent demands (i.e. “stat” test orders), and a distracting environment (i.e. high noise levels, crowding, complex visual stimuli).
  4. Be flexible and creative and adapt to professional and technical change.
  5. Recognize potentially hazardous materials, equipment, and situations and proceed safely in order to minimize risk of injury to patients, self, and nearby individuals.
  6. Adapt to working with unpleasant biologicals.
  7. Support and promote the activities of fellow students and of health care professionals. Promotion of peers helps furnish a team approach to learning, task completion, problem solving, and patient care.
  8. Be honest, compassionate, ethical, and responsible. The student must be forthright about errors or uncertainty. The student must be able to critically evaluate her or his own performance, accept constructive criticism, and look for ways to improve (i.e. participate in enriched educational activities). The student must be able to evaluate the performance of fellow students and tactfully offer constructive comments.

1 Essex-Sorlie D. The Americans with Disabilities Act: I. History, summary, and key components. Acad Med 69; 1994: 519-524.