Clinical Chemistry

I.     Course Prefix/Number: MLT 215

       Course Name: Clinical Chemistry

       Credits: 4 (3 lecture; 3 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

MLT 113, 115, 117, CHM 121, and CHM 122, with minimum grade of C in each course.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course combines classroom lecture and laboratory course. Content includes basic theories, techniques and sources of error in routine clinical chemistry procedures. Focus is on correlations between clinical picture and laboratory results.

IV.   Learning Objectives

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

  1. Differentiate between volumetric and serological pipettes, identify the correct usage for three different types of water, and state the purpose of the basic laboratory equipment within the chemistry department.
  2. Perform routine mathematical equations including solution problems and simple conversions.
  3. Calculate and define standard deviation and coefficient of variation; relate their significance to accuracy and precision using Levy-Jennings plots and the Westgard rules of analysis.
  4. Compare the basic concepts of chromatography.
  5. Apply Beer's Law and relate it to various spectrophotometric analyses.
  6. Relate the principle of electrophoresis to separation of protein fractions. Interpret abnormal patterns. Correlate results with disease states.
  7. Summarize the principles involved in enzyme kinetics. Correlate enzyme levels with disease states.
  8. Categorize various automated chemistry instruments according to their principles of operation.
  9. Compare and contrast the various types of immunoassays.
  10. Define the term, osmolality.  Interpret results and relate to disease states.
  11. State the function of sodium, potassium, chloride, and carbon dioxide. Identify control mechanisms. Correlate abnormal results with clinical significance.
  12. Identify the clinical conditions for which an arterial blood gas (ABG) is used. Interpret results and correlate with the patient's clinical condition. State the principles of arterial blood gas instrumentation.
  13. Summarize the metabolism of carbohydrates, tracing various pathways. Identify disease states associated with abnormal metabolism. Correlate pathologic states with clinical evaluations that diagnose and monitor.
  14. Trace the metabolism of calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. Compare the roles hormones play in the functioning of these analytes. Correlate disease states with laboratory results.
  15. Summarize the anatomy, physiology, and major functions of the kidney. Identify diagnostic tests used to evaluate renal function. Correlate disease states with laboratory results.
  16. Summarize the function of the liver as it relates to bilirubin metabolism, bile acid production, and detoxification. Correlate disease states with laboratory results.
  17. Relate aminoacidopathies to enzyme defects. List the clinical symptoms for each deficiency. Correlate disease states with laboratory results.
  18. Trace the development of porphyrias. Differentiate among the porphyrias according to laboratory results.
  19. Outline the metabolism of iron. Correlate hematologic and chemical laboratory findings with the degree of iron deficiency or overload.
  20. Differentiate between the exocrine and endocrine functions of the pancreas. Compare pancreatic insufficiency with malabsorption problems. Correlate disease states with laboratory results.
  21. Summarize lipid and lipoprotein metabolism. Correlate lipid levels to coronary artery disease (CAD) risk.
  22. Summarize the endocrine function of the body; include related hormones and feedback systems. Correlate disease states with laboratory results.
  23. State the purpose of therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) and drug screening. Compare the methods used for the assays and the specimen of choice. Identify the major drug categories that are tested.
  24. Demonstrate proficiency in performing all laboratory procedures.
  25. Demonstrate the use of pipettes and spectrophotometer.
  26. Calculate the mean, standard deviation, and coefficient of variation.
  27. Given quality control values, prepare Levy- Jennings quality control charts.
  28. Identify the endocrine organs of the body, state the hormones they produce, the effect these hormones have on the body, and feedback mechanisms which exist, and correlate any abnormal hormone level with the clinical picture.
  29. Orally present Chemistry report on selected disease according to established criteria.
  30. 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

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Lab Basics, Quality Control
  2. Carbohydrates
  3. Lipids
  4. Triglycerides, Cholesterol, HDL
  5. Proteins, Tumor Markers
  6. Enzymes, Vitamins, Cardiac Markers
  7. Protein (Serum, CSF, Urine), Albumin
  8. GI, Pancreas
  9. Liver, Porphyrins
  10. Bilirubin, Iron/UIBC
  11. Renal Function, NPN
  12. Electrolytes
  13. Creatinine, BUN, Acid-Base Balance, Blood Gases
  14. TDM, Toxicology
  15. Automation, Chloride, LD, CMV
  16. Endocrine

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Classroom lectures, reading assignments, and laboratory exercises and demonstrations will be used to present theory and techniques. Laboratory sessions will provide the students to develop skills, accuracy, and understanding of theory.

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. Completion of reading assignments
  3. Participation in all laboratory sessions
  4. Participation in classroom discussions
  5. Preparation and presentation of clinical report/case study
  6. Complete all assigned Media Lab modules

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, class presentations, and attendance as follows:
    Exam 1 100 points
    Exam 2 100 points
    Exam 3 100 points
    Exam 4 100 points
    Exam 5 100 points
    Exam 6 100 points
    Final Comprehensive Exam   100 points
    Paper and Presentation 25 points
    Laboratory Practical 40 points
    Labs 70 points
    Homework 15 points
    Total Points Possible 850 points
  2. The final grade will be based on the total points earned as follows:
    Points Earned  Grade Equivalent
    782 – 850 A
    714 – 781 B
    646 – 713 C
    595 – 645 D
    Below 595 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 make up 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.

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.