Clinical Practicum V

I.     Course Prefix/Number: MLT 231

       Course Name: Clinical Practicum V

       Credits: 2 (0 lecture; 12 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

MLT 220 and MLT 225, with minimum grade of C in each course.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course includes five twenty-four hours-per-week practicum sessions to perform technical procedures at assigned clinical affiliation sites, in five major laboratory areas: Blood Bank, Clinical Chemistry, Hematology, Medical Microbiology and Serology - Coagulation- Urinalysis. Each area is self-contained module. Clinical affiliate determines sequence of modules on rotational schedule. All five modules must be completed, each separately graded.

IV.   Learning Objectives

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

  1. Perform routine clinical laboratory tests (in hematology, clinical chemistry, blood bank, microbiology, immunology, and coagulation) as the primary analyst making specimen orientated decisions on predetermined criteria, with 90% accuracy, (blood bank 100%).
  2. Collect, transport, handle, and process blood specimens for analysis, following standard operating procedures, with 90% accuracy.
  3. Select appropriate laboratory equipment and supplies in testing procedures following standard operating procedures, with 90% accuracy.
  4. Identify factors that affect specimen collection and testing procedures and test results and take appropriate actions within predetermined limits, when applicable, with 90% accuracy.
  5. Perform routine clinical laboratory testing, adhering to infection control and safety policies and procedures, with 90% accuracy.
  6. Answer study questions in written form with 76% accuracy and have them checked by the clinical instructor and submit them to the MLT chairperson.
  7. Apply didactic knowledge to solve laboratory procedure problems.
  8. Solve problems related to pre-analytical and analytical factors.
  9. Adhere to affective behavior requirements to achieve a minimum "C" average.
  10. Analyze results of tests in each discipline.
  11. Perform all assigned tests within the limits established by the instructor.
  12. Troubleshoot basic instrumentation problems.
  13. Apply appropriate safety policies.
  14. Critique acceptability of specimens for each test run.
  15. Integrate tests with a high sensitivity for appropriate tests with a high specificity.
  16. Correlate test results with disease states.
  17. Enters data under supervision of the technologist.
  18. Interprets quality control utilizing department computer system.
  19. Recognizes the importance of flagged results.
  20. Acts according to laboratory policy when identifying critical values.

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. Blood Bank Rotation
    1. Laboratory Safety
    2. Quality Management
      1. Blood Bank records
      2. Record keeping
      3. Visual inspection of units of blood
      4. Inspection of equipment
      5. Reagent storage, QC, and use
    3. Blood Specimens
      1. Patient identification
      2. Precautions in sample labeling
      3. Cell suspensions
      4. Reading for agglutination and hemolysis
      5. Grading reaction strength
    4. ABO Grouping
      1. ABO typing
      2. Main subgroups
        1. Practical importance
        2. Detection of presence
      3. Causes for discrepancies between serum and cell grouping
        1. Antibody problems
        2. Antigen problems
        3. Pseudoagglutination
        4. Sources of error
    5. Rh Typing
      1. Rh typing
      2. Weak D
      3. Other Rh antigens
    6. Other Blood Group Systems
      1. Listing of antigens and antibodies
      2. Optimal temperature of reactivity
      3. Clinical significance
    7. Antiglobulin Testing
      1. Principle
      2. Definition of the direct and indirect test
      3. Sources of error
      4. Performance of test
    8. Irregular Antibodies
      1. Acquisition
      2. Clinical manifestations
      3. Serological characteristics
    9. Antibody Screening and Antibody Identification Tests
    10. Compatibility Testing
      1. Procedure
      2. Transfusion reactions
    11. Cord Blood Work-ups
    12. Rh Immune Globulin
      1. Action
      2. Screen for fetal-maternal bleed
    13. Component Therapy
      1. Definition
      2. Preparation
      3. Storage requirements
        1. As a stored product
        2. Prepared for patient use
      4. Pre-transfusion preparation and testing
      5. Therapeutic value
    14. Donors
      1. Phlebotomy technique
      2. Donor history and qualifications
      3. Emergency procedures
      4. Autologous donations
    15. Disease Testing on Donor Units
    16. Completion of Study Questions
  2. Clinical Chemistry Rotation
    1. Laboratory Safety
    2. Specimen Collection
      1. Requirements
      2. Preservatives
    3. Specimen handling and processing
    4. Disposal of hazardous materials
    5. Analysis of the following:
      Glucose HDL/LDL Thyroid function tests
      BUN Bilirubin Iron and TIBC
      Creatinine AST HCG
      Uric acid ALT Cortisol
      Electrolytes ALP HgbA1C
      Calcium Acid phosphatase Isoenzymes
      Phosphorus LD Therapeutic drug monitoring
      Total protein    GGT Drugs of abuse
      Albumin Amylase
      Cholesterol Lipase Cardiac markers
      Triglycerides Creatinine clearance
    6. Instrumentation
      1. Basic Principle of Analytical Technique
      2. Major components of the instrument
      3. Basic standardization and calibration procedures
      4. Routine maintenance technique
      5. Sources of error
    7. Normal values or reference intervals
    8. Critical values
    9. Quality management
    10. Completion of study questions
  3. Hematology Rotation
    1. Laboratory Safety
    2. Performance of procedures
      1. Preparation of blood smears
      2. Automated cell counts
        1. Routine maintenance
        2. Principle of operation
        3. Quality Control
        4. Criteria for Checking Abnormal Results
      3. Platelet counts (automated and manual)
      4. Correlation of platelet count with platelet estimate from blood smear
      5. Reticulocyte counts
      6. Body fluids
        1. CSF
        2. Semen analysis
      7. Sedimentation rates
      8. Screening test for sickle cell anemia
      9. Correction of WBC count for NRBC's
    3. Normal values or reference intervals
    4. WBC differentials
    5. Recognition of abnormalities
      1. Granulocyte maturation stages
      2. Correlation of RBC morphology and indices
      3. Abnormal RBC morphology
      4. Reactive lymphocytes
      5. Abnormal WBC morphology
      6. Abnormal platelet morphology
    6. Quality management procedures
    7. Completion of study questions
  4. Medical Microbiology Rotation
    1. Laboratory Safety
      1. Protective attire
      2. Handling and disposal of contaminated materials
      3. Decontamination of spillage areas
      4. Handling of fungal and TB cultures
      5. Checking of autoclave efficiency
    2. Set ups
      1. Collection methods
      2. Culturing procedures
        1. Throat
        2. Respiratory tract
        3. Blood
        4. Stool
        5. Wound
        6. Urine
        7. Body fluids
        8. Genital tract
        9. Ear
        10. Eye
      3. Aerobic and anaerobic techniques
    3. Recognition of contaminants
    4. Identification of normal flora
    5. Stains
      1. Gram's
      2. Acid fast
      3. Fluorescent
      4. Trichrome
      5. India ink
      6. Wet mounts
      7. Lactophenol Cotton Blue
    6. Screening of unknown smears
      1. Acid fast bacilli
      2. Intracellular diplococci
    7. Recognition of common pathogens
      1. Isolation
      2. Subculturing
    8. Rapid automated methods for identification
      1. Performance
      2. Principle
      3. Interpretation
    9. Serotyping procedures
    10. Colony counts on urine cultures
    11. Blood cultures
      1. Determination of growth
      2. Subculturing
    12. Sensitivity procedures
      1. MIC determination
      2. Kirby Bauer method
      3. Quality Control
    13. Quality Management
    14. Completion of study questions
  5. Coagulation Rotation
    1. Laboratory Safety
    2. Performance of methods
      1. Bleeding time
      2. Prothrombin time
      3. Partial thromboplastin time
      4. D-dimer
      5. Fibrinogen level
      6. FDP
    3. Theory of coagulation tests
    4. Normal values or reference intervals
    5. Quality management
    6. Completion of study questions
  6. Immunology Rotation
    1. Laboratory Safety
    2. Performance of methods
    3. Completion of study questions
  7. Urinalysis Rotation
    1. Laboratory Safety
    2. Quality Management Procedures
    3. Specimen Collection Procedures
    4. Specimen Requirements
    5. Performance of Routine Urinalysis
      1. Chemical tests
      2. Urinary sediment
      3. Sources of error
    6. Laboratory Instrumentation
      1. Routine maintenance
      2. Sources of error
    7. Confirmatory Tests: Bilirubin, Glucose, Ketones, and Protein
      1. Principle
      2. Procedure
      3. Physiological significance
      4. Normal values or reference intervals
    8. Miscellaneous Tests
      1. Occult blood in feces
      2. Commercial pregnancy testing
    9. Performance of Body Fluid Counts
      1. Diluting fluids
      2. Procedure
      3. Calculations
      4. Cell differentiation
    10. Completion of Study Questions
  8. Life Source Rotation
    1. Blood Collection
    2. Component Preparation/ Product QC
    3. Product Labeling
    4. Distribution
    5. Cord Blood Preparation, etc.
    6. Other areas:
      1. Recordkeeping
      2. Staff training
      3. Staff competency
      4. Record retention

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Methods of presentation include student observation of procedures performed in each of the major laboratory departments, followed by the student's performance of the same procedures on a repetitive basis, until proficiency is achieved.  The clinical instructor will explain principles, techniques, calculations, and reporting methods to the student, and then supervise the students practical performance.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  1. Laboratory work
  2. Completion of attendance report form.
  3. Reading assignments.
  4. Completion of assigned study questions.
  5. Completion of required clinical hours.
  6. Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

IX.   Instructional Materials

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

No additional texts will be required for practicum modules.  Other MLT course textbooks and several references will be recommended and made available to the student.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

  1. The evaluation will be discussed with the student at the end of his/her clinical area rotation.  The grade for each practicum will be an average of performance grades, including practical exam(s) and grade(s) received on written test(s).  The written test(s) grade must constitute no more than 50% of the departmental grade.  The student must earn at least a C grade in practicum.
  2. The study questions assigned for each laboratory department are designed to help the student review theory while they are developing proficiency in practice.  Study questions are to be  reviewed during the clinical assignments.  Comprehensive final exams in each clinical area will include material covered by the study questions. The student must submit the study questions completely typed to the program chair at the beginning of each rotation. A final grade for each module will not be assigned until study questions have been turned in to the program faculty. The student should bring a copy of their typed completed study questions to their clinical rotation for the clinical instructor to review.
  3. Grades are determined by the following scale:
    92 - 100 A
    84 - 91 B
    76 - 83 C
    70 - 75 D
    Below 70    F

XI.   Other Course Information

Perfect attendance in all classes and hospital practicum is required.

The student must notify the clinical instructor by phone, before his/her starting time, if she/he is seriously ill, or has a grave emergency and cannot report for the practicum.  All absences will be documented.

If any practicum days are missed they must be made up.  The make‑up days must be scheduled with the appropriate clinical instructor.  No grade will be issued for a department unless all practicum time is completed.

Promptness for class and practicum is mandatory.  The student must notify the clinical instructor by phone, if she/he will be tardy.

An attendance report will be prepared and reviewed by each clinical instructor and is to be submitted to the MLT Program Chair at the end of each semester.

Any unexcused absences or tardiness will be brought to the immediate attention of the MLT Program Chair.  Two absences or five tardiness per one practicum constitutes basis for faculty evaluation of the student's status.

MLT students are expected to be available for Open Lab sessions, Mondays from 12:00 - 3:00 pm.

Open toe shoes/sandals are not appropriate for the Student Lab/Open Lab/Clinical Practicum.

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 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 again.  Instructors 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.