Basic Skills in Medical Laboratory Technology

I.     Course Prefix/Number: MLT 106

       Course Name: Basic Skills in Medical Laboratory Technology

       Credits: 2 (1.5 lecture; 1.5 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

Admission to the MLT Program.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course introduces basic medical laboratory.  Content includes units on laboratory equipment, computers, laboratory safety, metric system, blood collection requirements for laboratory testing and phlebotomy.

IV.   Learning Objectives

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

  1. List laboratory safety rules for chemical, physical and biological hazards.
  2. Locate and name the parts of a microscope and explain the function of each.
  3. Demonstrate and summarize the proper care and storage of the microscope.
  4. Identify five basic types of glassware used in the laboratory and explain one use of each.
  5. Identify two types of pipets and explain one use of each.
  6. Outline the proper care and cleaning procedures for laboratory glassware.
  7. Perform measurements of distance, volume and weight using metric unit.
  8. Convert English units to metric units, metric units to English units and convert units within the metric system.
  9. Summarize the principle of the spectrophotometer and state Beer's Law.
  10. Construct a standard curve using the spectrophotometer.
  11. Calculate centrifugal force; summarize the principle of the centrifuge.
  12. Define terms and discuss basic computer applications in the laboratory.
  13. Perform calculations for quality control.
  14. Construct Levey-Jennings quality control charts.
  15. Identify Westgard rules and apply to quality control.
  16. Define selected medical terms and common abbreviations.
  17. Identify prefixes, stems and suffixes in selected medical terms.
  18. Communicate to a patient/another student/instructor the venipuncture procedure.
  19. Select equipment required to perform venipuncture.
  20. Compare the use of three common anticoagulants; include physiologic mechanisms.
  21. Apply the tourniquet according to appropriate phlebotomy technique.
  22. Summarize the difference between serum and plasma.
  23. Perform a venipuncture.
  24. Perform a capillary puncture.
  25. List precautions to be observed in venipuncture and capillary punctures.
  26. Summarize basic molecular techniques.

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

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Laboratory Safety
    1. Physical Hazards
    2. Chemical Hazards
    3. Biological Hazards
    4. Laboratory Rules
    5. Universal Precautions
    6. Decontamination
    7. Laboratory Waste Disposal
  2. Microscope
    1. Parts of microscope
    2. Types of microscopes
    3. Magnification system
    4. Care of Microscope
  3. Laboratory Measurements
    1. Glassware
    2. Plasticware
    3. Reagent Water
    4. Measurement of Mass
    5. Measurement of Volume
  4. Laboratory Mathematics
    1. Metric System
      1. Basic units
      2. Covering units
      3. Temperature conversions
        1. Fahrenheit
        2. Celsius
        3. Kelvin
    2. Proportions and Ratios
      1. Concentration
      2. Dilutions
    3. Solution Concentrates
  5. Instrumentation
    1. Spectrophotometer
    2. Centrifuge
  6. Introduction to Computers
    1. Definition of terms
    2. Computer hardware
    3. Computer software
  7. Quality Assurance/Quality Control
    1. Levey-Jennings
    2. Westgard Rules
    3. Factors
      1. Preanalytical
      2. Analytical
      3. Postanalytical
  8. Introduction to Medical Terminology
    1. Structure of Medical Terms
      1. Prefixes
      2. Stems
      3. Suffixes
  9. Phlebotomy
    1. Composition of blood
    2. Selection of site/venous access
    3. Selection of tubes (anticoagulants)
    4. Selection of needle
    5. Arm preparation
    6. Proper technique
    7. Possible failures
      1. Reasons
      2. Consequences
      3. Corrective measures
    8. Post phlebotomy care
    9. Equipment
    10. Tests by department
    11. Specimen requirements
  10. Basic Molecular Methods
    1. Principle of hybridization probes
    2. Principle of polymerase chain reaction
    3. Principle of nucleic acid blots

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Methods of presentation include lectures supplemented with films, 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 and online course.
  2. Reading assignments
  3. Writing assignments
  4. Mathematics
  5. Computer Use
  6. Lab sessions
  7. Class participation
  8. Complete all assigned Media Lab modules

Reading assignments from reference materials and texts will be required.

Attendance at additional open lab sessions (Mondays 12-3 pm) 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. Student progress will be evaluated through
    1. satisfactory completion of written tests covering both classroom theory and laboratory procedures;
    2. the satisfactory completion of all laboratory procedures;
    3. attendance;
    4. completion of all homework assignments.
  2. The student must pass each math unit exam to pass the course this means a grade of at least 75% on each math test. Make up exams will be given in cases where a score lower than 75% is earned.
  3. Points will be deducted for late assignments.
  4. 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) – 4 points
  5. The final grade will be based on the total number of points earned on the quizzes, laboratory work, homework assignments, attendance and class participation.
  6. Your final grade will be calculated as follows:
    Exams 350 points
    Math Homework 15 points
    Review Questions 60 points
    Final Exam 110 points
    Laboratory 65 points

    Total Points Possible   600 points
    Points Earned  Grade Equivalent
    552 – 600 A
    504 – 551 B
    456 – 503 C
    420 – 455 D
    Below 420 F

XI.   Other Course Information

  1. 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.
  2. Students must successfully complete both the lecture and laboratory components of the course (this means earning a 76% or above in each component).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

  5. 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.
  6. Failure to comply with established laboratory waste disposal policies will result in loss of laboratory points.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. No special projects or term papers will be accepted in lieu of class assignments, written exams, or active participation in class.
  10. College policies regarding Academic Dishonesty, Student Procedure for Appeal of a Final Grade, and Code of Student Conduct, are described in the catalogue.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.