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Medical Laboratory Science
Terms and Agreements

Idaho State University
Medical Laboratory Science
921 South 8th Ave. Mail Stop 8288
Pocatello, ID 83209
(208) 282-4456
Contact: Rachel Hulse, MLS Program Director
Contact Email: hulsrach@isu.edu

Meridian Campus:
1311 E. Central Drive
Meridian, ID 83642
Idaho Falls Lab at EITech:
1600 S. 25th East
Idaho Falls, ID 83404
INSTRUCTIONS: After reading each section, initial each line if you agree to the terms outlined from the Program Handbook:
______ Program Goals and Objectives ā€“ Overview

The goal of the Medical Laboratory Science program is to provide students with the background and tools necessary to enter the medical laboratory science profession. The program addresses the broad array of responsibility, requisite education and experience necessary to succeed by providing preparation for entry and advancement at a variety of places and provide tools and opportunities for lifelong advancement and professional engagement.

The program is designed to ensure the success of its students. Assurance comes with the implementation of a structured program of undergraduate science preparation followed by a professional component which includes didactic course work and supervised practice with an emphasis on the development of critical thinking skills. A professional advisory committee consisting of university and community representatives from practicing professionals and Pathologists across the state has had input into the content and delivery of the professional component of this program and in the selection of faculty. Continued participation of the outside advisory committee will assure relevancy of the program to professional practice. Surveys of professional medical laboratory scientists have confirmed assumptions made about scope of practice and provided impetus and validation for the emphasis on critical thinking skills and professional development.

Summary of Philosophy

The field of Medical Laboratory Science is limited only by the preparation and motivation of the participant. This discipline encompasses practice in a broad number of venues and requires preparation in an incredible number of subject areas. The objective of this program is to provide the student with the background and tools necessary to successfully navigate the credentialing process and secure entry level employment in a variety of venues. Equally important is the transition from student to professional and the beginning of a lifetime of learning. The field is changing rapidly and has a history of change. We feel strongly that this program should not be training for a specific job description but rather preparation for a variety of positions which will themselves change in time. A recent survey of professionals confirmed that change in their position was inevitable and for the vast majority took place within the first year of hire.

Teaching is not telling. Our role as educators is to mentor and guide and provide an environment in which learning can take place. The learning styles of students vary, so material is presented in various formats. Learning is an active process on the part of the student. The transition from student to professional is neither easy nor fast and will not occur without commitment on the part of the student, no matter how skilled or dedicated the teaching staff.

In order to reach the entry level competencies, motivation on the part of the student is essential. Much of this program is based on class participation, case studies and independent problem based learning. We concentrate on building critical thinking skills as much as mastery of facts and processes. There is no way that in the short time allotted all of the entry level competencies can be covered. You will become responsible for your own education.

______ Non-discrimination Policy

Entrance into the program is regardless of race, religion or national origin. It is also regardless of disabilities so long as the essential functions can be met. If you have any conditions which need to be accommodated under ADA provisions, please contact the Americans with Disabilities Center.


Essential Functions

Laboratory Services

  1. Develop, establish, oversee and perform the pre-analytical, analytical, and post-analytical phases of testing on body fluids, cells and other specimens.
  2. Ensure appropriate laboratory utilization to optimize full value patient outcomes.
  3. Apply statistical analysis of data for use in laboratory epidemiology, examining the relationships of tests to treatment decisions, and to health care outcomes.
  4. Establish and use quality assurance and performance measurements to develop solutions to problems and to assure the validity and accuracy of information concerning laboratory data, generated both within and external to the laboratory.
  5. Advocate for patients by utilizing the results of laboratory diagnostic procedures and employing algorithms to achieve optimal, full value patient outcomes.
  6. Comply with regulations and guidelines of relevant governmental and non-governmental agencies.
  7. Implement laws, regulations and accrediting standards within the operating requirements of the organization to minimize risks and maximize patient outcomes.

Laboratory Instrumentation, Equipment and Testing

  1. Research, develop, evaluate, select, and implement appropriate techniques, instruments and methods.
  2. Establish preventive and corrective maintenance programs for instruments and equipment as well as troubleshooting and determining any appropriate action to be taken.

Laboratory Operations

  1. Utilize financial information for decision making to balance cost with quality.
  2. Apply reimbursement policies to avoid fraud and abuse, and operate on a fiscally sound basis while optimizing patient outcomes.
  3. Develop strategies for a successful operation by using effective marketing and sales techniques.
  4. Plan daily operations of the facility.
  5. Develop public relations programs for client services.
  6. Recruit and maintain appropriate levels and skill mix of personnel to insure a productive work environment meeting best practice benchmarks.
  7. Implement programs for safety, hazardous materials, infectious disease prevention and fire safety management.
  8. Define and use competencies for performance appraisal assessment.


  1. Plan, evaluate, implement and deliver effective educational programs for healthcare personnel and healthcare receivers.
  2. Consult with physicians, other health care professionals and the public on appropriate choice and sequencing of laboratory tests.
  3. Teach healthcare providers how to request tests cost effectively and appropriately for patient care.
  4. Communicate with other health care personnel, patients and public on the application and validity of laboratory data.
  5. Deliver instruction and providing information about patient testing.

Information Technology

  1. Evaluate and select information system applications.
  2. Use the principles of electronic information exchange.
  3. Implement the management of patient data utilizing contemporary information systems.

Professionals and Teamwork

  1. Demonstrate leadership, professional and ethical conduct and interpersonal skills for patients, healthcare professionals and the public.
  2. Development of management and team building skills.
  3. Develop strategies for continuing professional development, including career advancement.
______ Time Commitment

For every hour you spend in class you should expect to spend at least two hours outside of class. In fact, the state board of education expects that for every credit hour granted a minimum of 45 hours of work is expected. Obviously there are differences among students but this is a good guideline.

Translated into hours, this means that in order to earn the 38 credits that are in the professional component, you will be expected to put in at least 1710 hours of effort. The average full time job at 40 hours per week requires just under 2,000 hours per year. Students who are trying to do multiple degrees, juggle work and family should take a realistic look at the time commitment. This is also a profession in which the consequences of not knowing something, or performing a test incorrectly can cost a patient life or health. Although we will try to afford as much flexibility as possible, professional standards do not allow for major accommodations to outside time constraints. Students trying to juggle multiple responsibilities, degrees, or jobs may have to take a longer period of time to finish the program or their degrees.

Q: What is the expected time commitment for the E-Learning Courses?

A: A good rule of thumb for coursework is to assume that for every hour of credit, you will spend 2-3 hours per week outside of class. For a three-credit hour course then, you should plan to spend roughly 6-9 hours a week.

______ Working

Service work under any situation is non-compulsory. The program cannot restrict your part time work. It is advised that no more than 20 hours per week be attempted. The clinical experience is not considered work, although some facilities may supplement your income while you are doing the experience. Such arrangements are outside the venue of the program and must be arranged between the student and the clinical experience facility. Clinical experience must be during regular weekday working hours unless there is a documented reason that the experience cannot be provided during the day. On a case by case basis and with student as well as facility agreement, experience can be provided outside regular hours - for example if the student prefers nights and competent clinical faculty is available to teach on nights.

Some work study is available on campus. There is also an opportunity for MLS students to get paid as teaching assistants in undergraduate courses for which they are qualified. Graduate students are encouraged to apply for teaching assistantships. Check with graduate school and MLS Program Director.

______ Prerequisite Course and Required Courses

Prerequisite course work prior to entry into the professional block has been changed. Students who do not have the prerequisites are encouraged to get them prior to rather than simultaneously with the professional block if more than one is missing. Entrance into the MLS Program is competitive and is partially based on preparation. Undergraduate Catalog Description of MLS program

______ Advanced Placement & Credit for Experience

On a case by case basis, credit may be given for experience. That experience will have to be documentable, in a facility equivalent to those on our affiliate list and you may be tested over the content. Contact the Program Director with questions.

______ Health and Emergency Health Care

If you have any health conditions which put you at risk of contracting infections from human pathogenic organisms in the laboratory or you are pregnant or contemplating becoming pregnant - please contact a MLS faculty as soon as possible.

Prior to any work with human blood it is strongly recommended that you be vaccinated for Hepatitis B. If you do not wish to be vaccinated, you will be asked to sign a release indicating that you have been informed of the risks.

Some of the clinical experience sites to which you may be sent may require other vaccinations or tests such as TB, MMR, Polio etc. These are available through student health or the Public health departments. There is usually a fee associated with them. Students are responsible for obtaining and paying for these immunizations or tests.

You are eligible for health insurance and the use of the student health facilities the same as any other student. Please refer to the student handbook. You must be a registered student to use the facility. ISU Student Health Center

Also, you need to be familiar with the MLS Exposure Protocol.

______ Conduct

You will be expected to conduct yourselves in a professional manner at all times. Courtesy and respect for your classmates and faculty is expected. According to University policy, rudeness and disrespectful behavior will not be tolerated. Any conduct which endangers a fellow student, patient, faculty member or employee at a clinical site will be grounds for immediate dismissal from the program. Infractions of the school honor code as outlined in the student handbook are grounds for dismissal. Any breach of confidentiality concerning patients, fellow students or information from the clinical experience sites will be grounds for dismissal. All HIPAA regulations will be followed and flagrant violation is punished with dismissal.

Specific expectations such as dress, telephone courtesy, use of personal protective devices, and observance of OSHA safety regulations may be required by clinical experience sites. In such cases, you will be made aware of these procedures and policies prior to your clinical experience.

______ Financial Aid, Tuition & Fees

You are eligible for the same financial aid as any other graduate or undergraduate (if you have not already received a degree). There are some restrictions on the types of loans available if you already have a degree. Naturally, if you have used up all the available resources, they will not be available for an additional degree.

Tuition and fees are as outlined in the current catalog. There is a professional fee, laboratory fee and malpractice insurance fees associated with the MLS Program.

ISU Financial Aid
Current fee schedule
______ Appeals & Withdrawals (Time Outs)

You are entitled to the same rights of appeal as other students. Please refer to the student handbook for the current procedures for appeals.

ISU Student Handbook (Pocatello Students)
ISU Meridian Student Handbook (Meridian Students)

______ Grading and Progression in the Program

In order to complete the MLS curriculum, a passing grade (C or better) is required in all MLS courses. Admission to the MLS Level II courses will not be allowed until the student has successfully completed MLS Level I courses, unless prior permission of the program director has been granted. Students will not be allowed to participate in supervised clinical experience until all Level II courses have been successfully completed. In unusual circumstances a grade of ā€œIā€ may be recorded for a student needing extra time in any of the courses rather than issuing a failing grade. However, this must be completed before the end of the next semester and a written contract between the student and the University executed.

______ Computers

Most of your assignments and information sources will be on the computer using Moodle ISU or Internet. It is the student's responsibility to obtain computer and internet access (hardware and software) prior to the semester of entry into the MLS courses. Suggestions and recommendations on hardware, software, and computer accounts can be obtained from the ISU Help Desk. Browser recommendations for Moodle ISU can be found on the Moodle ISU homepage. It is ultimately the student's responsibility to assure access will accommodate their needs prior to the beginning of the semester and no later than the first week of classes.

Computer Center Help Desk - accounts, information and help
______ Enrollment Limits

Due to increasing interest in the MLS Profession, enrollment limits may be placed on classes, particularly Level II and supervised clinical experience. Entry into those classes may be available the following fall or spring. MLS Faculty are responsible for arranging practicum/internship experiences. Depending upon the clinical sites availability, students may be placed the summer, fall or spring following successful completion of the MLS academic program.

Refer to the Clinical Placement Policy.

______ Attendance

Students are expected to attend all meetings or classes in which they are registered. Each instructor may, consistent with departmental policy, establish such specific regulations governing attendance as may seem suited to a particular course. No one is authorized to excuse a student from class meeting except the instructor in charge of the class.

ISU Attendance Policy located on page 25 of the ISU Student Handbook

______ Minimum Entry Level Competencies for the Profession

Although the practice venues for entry level into the profession vary considerably; there are two consensus surveys of practicing professionals which suggest entry level competencies. They are the Body of Knowledge from ASCLS and the Consensus Report from ASCP. These are suggested guidelines. Both certification exams are based on these documents.

______ Evaluation at Clinical Sites

Internship checklist -list of tasks

By signing below I acknowledge receipt of these Terms and Agreements and have read and initialed each section provided.
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Mail the completed signoff sheet to:
Medical Laboratory Science Program
921 S. 8th Ave. Stop 8288
Pocatello, ID 83209-8288
208-282-4546 fax

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