Hematology

I.     Course Prefix/Number: MLT 111

       Course Name: Hematology

       Credits: 4 (3 lecture; 3 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

Admission to the MLT Program.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course stresses development of basic techniques as well as understanding of the principles and sources of error in hematology lab work. Classroom lectures emphasizing principles, procedures, and sources of error and student laboratory sessions teaching basic techniques combine to develop skills needed to work in the area of hematology.  Content includes the formed elements of blood, including erythrocyte, leukocyte, and thrombocyte cell maturation, normal cell function, and basic concepts of methods used to detect normal and diseased blood states.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course the student shall be able to:

  1. Summarize the composition of whole blood and the preservation of blood samples for hematological studies.
  2. Compare the use of anticoagulants; include physiologic mechanisms.
  3. Summarize the difference between serum and plasma.
  4. Trace the cells in developmental order that will mature into erythrocytes, thrombocytes, plasma cells and the five leukocyte types.
  5. Name and state the average percentage and cellular characteristics of the six mature leukocytes found in peripheral blood.
  6. Compare the function of erythrocytes, with the six mature leukocytes and structure and function of platelets.
  7. Demonstrate proficiency in performing manual erythrocyte, leukocyte and thrombocyte counts, and list sources of error and normal ranges.
  8. Adjust the microscope properly for use with low power, high power, and oil immersion objectives, perform daily maintenance and store the microscope properly.
  9. Perform all calculations involved in hematology math (dilutions, calculations of counts) with 90% accuracy.
  10. Calculate erythrocytic indices and correlate them to clinical abnormalities as seen on a blood smear.
  11. Trace and compare the theory and function of automated cell counters.
  12. Summarize the principle of electronic cell counting and list possible sources of error.
  13. Perform a routine cyanmethemoglobin determination, list sources of error and normal ranges, identify toxic and genetic variations of hemoglobin and describe their clinical significance.
  14. Perform routine microhematocrit determinations, list sources of error, normal ranges, and describe the relationship to hemoglobin level and erythrocyte counts.
  15. Examine, recognize and classify normal cells in a stained peripheral blood smear, estimate thrombocyte and leukocyte counts, describe erythrocyte morphology in technical terms, and recognize cell abnormalities and criteria for referral.
  16. Correlate abnormal cell counts and morphology with disease states.
  17. Perform routine erythrocyte sedimentation rates, Westergren method, and list the sources of technical error, normal values, and clinical application.
  18. Perform a supravital stain of a peripheral smear and reticulocyte count, and list the sources of error, normal values, and clinical application.
  19. Draw the structure of the hemoglobin molecule and identify and compare the special tests designed to detect hemoglobin abnormalities.
  20. Identify the principle and methodology of special hematological procedures (i.e. osmotic fragility, G6PD, eosinophil counts, sickle cell preps, sucrose test.)
  21. Interpret results of the special procedures listed above.
  22. Summarize the principles involved in enzyme deficiencies.
  23. Compare the principles and interpretations of cytochemical staining.
  24. Differentiate blood disorders (i.e. anemia, leukemia) including classification, clinical symptoms and correlations of hematologic findings.
  25. Construct a chart that will aid in interpreting the above categories.
  26. Orally present Hematology report on selected disease according to established criteria.
  27. Demonstrate teaching ability through peer teaching and group discussion.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at
www.oakton.edu/studentlife/student-handbook.pdf

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Basic Hematology
    1. Introduction to Hematology
      1. Definition of hematology
      2. Composition of blood
      3. Functions of blood components
    2. Blood collection procedures
      1. Venipuncture procedures
      2. Skin puncture procedures
      3. Anticoagulants
      4. Preparation of blood smears
    3. Microscopes
      1. Usage
      2. Daily care
    4. Safety
      1. Hazards
      2. Safety Rules
      3. PPE
      4. RACE and PASS
    5. Manual RBC and WBC counts
      1. Diluents
      2. Unopettes
      3. Dilutions
      4. Hemacytometer
      5. Counting procedures
      6. Normal ranges
      7. Calculations
      8. Sources of error
      9. Abnormals; terminology and diseases reflected by abnormal counts
    6. Hemoglobin
      1. Hemoglobin function
      2. Types of hemoglobins
      3. Measurement by cyanmethemoglobin method
        1. Principles
        2. Spectrophotometer, Beer's law, wavelength
        3. Preparation of hemoglobin curve standards, controls, blanks, and unknowns
        4. Specimen determination and pigment measured
        5. Normals and abnormals
        6. Hemolysis, hemoglobinemia and hemoglobinuria
    7. Hematocrit determination (microhematocrit)
      1. Principle and measurement
      2. Normal values
      3. Sources of error
      4. Relationship to other hematological parameters
      5. Fluctuation in health and disease
    8. Red Cell Indices
      1. Calculations
      2. Normal values
      3. Correlations to red cell morphology
  2. Hematopoiesis
    1. Introduction to cell maturation
    2. The "typical" cell as related to function
      1. Nucleus
      2. Cytoplasm and its organelles
    3. Production maturation of white blood cells and function of the mature cell
      1. Granulocytic (myelocytic) series
        1. Neutrophilic series
        2. Eosinophilic series
        3. Basophilic series
      2. Mononuclear series
        1. Lymphocytic series (T-cells & B-cells)
        2. Monocytic series
      3. Maturation of thrombocyte precursor, production andfunction of mature platelets
    4. Erythropoiesis
      1. Normal maturation
      2. Morphology of red cells and red cell precursors
      3. Red cell production and its controls
      4. The inherited and acquired abnormalities
    5. Blood smears, Wright's stain, and differential counts
      1. Preparation
      2. WBC estimates
      3. Identification of normal cells and their function
      4. Recognition of abnormal cells from normal
      5. Erythrocyte descriptions, normal and abnormal terminology
      6. Thrombocyte estimates and descriptions
      7. Absolute and Relative Counts
        1. Definition
        2. Normals
      8. Correlation of inclusions with disease states
    6. Hemoglobin
      1. Structure
        1. Heme portion
        2. Globin portion
        3. Location of abnormalities
      2. Electrophoresis
        1. Principle
        2. Sources of error
        3. Procedure
        4. Order of migration
      3. Special tests
        1. Acid elution
        2. Alkali denaturation
      4. Effect of abnormal hemoglobins on red cell morphology
      5. Hemoglobin metabolism
      6. RBC catabolism
  3. Hematological procedures
    1. Reticulocyte counts
      1. Stains used
      2. Correlation of results with normal and disease states
      3. Counting procedure
      4. Calculations
      5. Normal range
    2. Platelet counts
      1. Normal range
      2. Diluting fluids
      3. Counting procedure
      4. Calculations
    3. Sedimentation rate
      1. Description of methods
      2. Sources of error
      3. Mechanics involved
      4. Diagnostic value
  4. Automated Cell Counters
    1. Listing of parameters
    2. Principle of function
    3. Major components
      1. Description
      2. Function
      3. Maintenance
    4. Source of error
    5. Calibration
      1. Daily standardization
      2. Quality control
  5. Special hematological procedures
    1. Osmotic fragility
      1. Specimen collection
      2. Technique
      3. Test interpretation
    2. Sucrose Hemolysis Test
      1. Principle
      2. Procedure
      3. Interpretation
    3. Ham's test
      1. Principle
      2. Procedure
      3. Interpretation
    4. Sickle cell test
      1. Principle
      2. Procedure
      3. Interpretation
    5. Principle of Enzyme deficiencies
      1. Glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase
      2. Pyruvate kinase
  6. Bone marrow aspiration
  7. Cytochemistry
    1. Wright stain
      1. Criteria for good smear
      2. Anticoagulant effect
      3. Methods
      4. Sources of error
    2. Principle, Procedure, and Application of the following stains:
      1. Peroxidase stain
      2. Periodic acid Schiff stain
      3. Sudan Black stain
      4. Giemsa stain
      5. Prussian Blue stain
      6. Heinz bodies stain
      7. Supravital stain
      8. Esterase stain
      9. Acid Phosphatase
  8. Blood Disorders
    1. Anemias
      1. Classifications
      2. Description
      3. Correlation with peripheral and bone marrow finding
    2. Leukemias
      1. Classification
      2. Incidence
      3. Symptoms
      4. Correlations of hematologic findings with types of leukemia
      5. Correlations of cytochemical findings with types of leukemia
      6. Correlations of genetic findings with types of leukemia
    3. Other Disorders
      1. Description of polycythemia
      2. Description of myelofibrosis
      3. Description of the myeloproliferative disorder

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Methods of presentation include lectures supplemented with films, video cassettes, kodachrome slides, and laboratory demonstrations.  Student laboratory practice sessions analyzing biological specimens are required to develop skill and accuracy.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  1. Course is taught face-to-face, hybrid or online course
  2. Reading assignments
  3. Writing assignments
  4. Oral presentations
  5. Mathematics
  6. Computer Use
  7. Lab Practicals
  8. Class participation
  9. Complete all assigned Media Lab modules

Reading assignments from reference materials and texts will be required.

Attendance at additional open lab sessions (Mondays 12-3pm) may be necessary to satisfactorily complete all laboratory assignments.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

  1. The final grade will be based on the total number of points earned on the 6 multiple choice exams, a comprehensive multiple choice final exam, laboratory work, 3 slide tests, and class presentations as follows:
    Exam 1 80 points
    Exam 2 80 points
    Exam 3 80 points
    Exam 4 80 points
    Exam 5 80 points
    Exam 6 80 points
    Final Comprehensive Exam 100 points
    Slide Test 1 30 points
    Slide Test 2 40 points
    Final Slide Test 50 points
    Paper and Presentation 25 points
    Study Questions 30 points
    Laboratory 245 points
    Total Points Possible 1000 points
  2. A total of 245 points may be earned in laboratory work; therefore the lab component is 24.5% of the final grade. All lab work must be completed to pass the course; any absences must be made up in open lab sessions.

    Point distribution for Hematology Lab is as follows:
    Manual Cell Counts 80 points
    Differentials 100 points
    Other Labs 15 points
    Midterm Practical Exam 20 points
    Final Practical Exam 30 points
  3. All study questions must be turned in to pass this course even if no points will be earned. Points will be deducted for incomplete/late assignments as follows:
    Incomplete (one answer missing) – 1 point
    Incomplete (more than two answers missing) – 2 points
    Late (handed in next class session) – 1 point
    Late (handed in 2 classes later) – 2 points
    Late (handed in >2 classes later) – 5 points
  4. The final grade will be based on the total points earned as follows:
    Points Earned  Grade Equivalent
    920 – 1000 A
    840 – 919 B
    760 – 839 C
    700 – 759 D
    Below 700 F

XI.   Other Course Information

Students must notify the instructor if they will be late or absent. Attendance and class participation are included in grading.  Points will be deducted for excessive absences and late arrivals to class as they disrupt class for your classmates.

Students must successfully complete both the lecture and laboratory components of the course (this means earning a 76% or above in each component).

No makeup quizzes or exams will be given unless the instructor agrees (to give the exam) prior to the class meeting.  Students will be permitted to make up only one exam.  The exam must be completed in a timely manner for full credit.  Instances where the exam is not completed before the next class session may result in a reduction of points.  Students that do not complete an exam in the regularly scheduled time slot will still be required to complete it, but may receive little or no credit depending on the circumstances.

Students are responsible for material covered in class, even if missed.  If absent, it is advised that students contact someone in class for this information prior to the next class session.  Your instructor is willing to assist you in reviewing any material you do not understand.  Please initiate the contact for such help.

All assignments are due at the beginning of class on the date specified; late papers will have points deducted. If you are absent on the date an assignment is due you must make arrangements with the instructor to be allowed to turn it in for credit. All assignments must be completed in order to earn a grade for the class.

Failure to comply with established laboratory waste disposal policies will result in loss of laboratory points.

Established laboratory safety protocol must be followed while in the laboratory including: no eating or drinking in the lab, removal of personal protective equipment and washing of hands before leaving lab, and others discussed in class.

Proper clothing must be worn to all laboratory sessions which includes no shorts or open toe shoes.  Long hair must also be tied back.   If shorts or open toe shoes are worn to class, you will not be allowed to participate in the lab session.  You will be asked to leave and points will be deducted for an absence.  The lab will need to be made up in open lab.

No special projects or term papers will be accepted in lieu of class assignments, written exams, or active participation in class.

College policies regarding Academic Dishonesty, Student Procedure for Appeal of a Final Grade, and Code of Student Conduct, are described in the catalogue.

Oakton Community College recognizes the broad diversity of religious beliefs of its constituencies.  The college has embraced a practice of shared responsibility in the event a religious observance interferes with class work or assignments.  Students who inform instructors in advance of an intended absence for a major religious observance will not be penalized.  The instructor will make reasonable accommodation for students, which may include providing a make-up test, altering assignment dates, permitting a student to attend another section of the same course for a class period or similar remedies.  Instructors are not responsible for teaching material againInstructors should inform students of this practice at the beginning of the semester so that arrangements can be made accordingly.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services.  To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus.  All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements.  The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Health Status Change Policy Statement – Any change in health status of currently enrolled students, resulting in the inability to meet the course/program objectives and standards as outlined in the Essential Skills requirement policy will require documentation and medical approval for the student to return to clinical, theory, and lab-which require lifting without restrictions.

  1. Any change in health status must be reported to the Chair of the department.  Examples may include but are not limited to, back injury, pregnancy, infection such as shingles, fractures, etc.
  2. Students must provide documentation of care by an Illinois licensed physician or an Illinois certified nurse practitioner and submit a medical release without restrictions before returning to clinical/class.
  3. Releases from physicians or nurse practitioners must state that the student “can return to the laboratory and clinical facility without any work restrictions.”

A change in health status must be reported to the Chair of the department.  Failure to submit a medical release or information regarding a change in health status within 30 days is grounds for immediate dismissal from a Health Career Program.



If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.