Essential Functions

In accordance with Section 304 of the 1973 Vocational Rehabilitation Act, the West Virginia University Division of Medical Laboratory Science has adopted minimum technical standards for assessment of all applicants to Medical Laboratory Science.

Because the Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Laboratory Science signifies that the holder has obtained minimum competencies in all applicable areas of the clinical laboratories, it follows that graduates must have the knowledge and skills to function in a wide variety of laboratory situations and to perform a wide variety of procedures.

Candidates for the Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Laboratory Science must have somatic sensation (sense of touch) and the functional use of the senses of vision and hearing. Candidate's diagnostic skills will also be lessened without the functional use of the sense of equilibrium, smell, and taste. Additionally they must have sufficient motor function to permit them to carry out the activities described in the sections that follow. They must be able to consistently, quickly, and accurately integrate all information received by whatever sense(s) employed, and they must have the intellectual ability to learn, integrate, analyze, and synthesize data.

A candidate for the Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Laboratory Science, must have abilities and skills including observation, communication, motor, conceptual, integrative, quantitative, behavioral, and social. Technological compensation can be made for some handicaps in certain of these areas but a candidate should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner. The use of a trained intermediary means that a candidate's judgment must be mediated by someone else's power of selection and observation.

  1. Observation: The candidate must be able to observe demonstrations, procedures and instruments in the basic sciences and clinical courses. Observation necessitates the functional use of the sense of vision and somatic sensation. It is enhanced by the functional use of the senese of smell.
  2. Communication: A candidate should be able to speak, to hear, and to observe people in order to elicit information and perceive nonverbal communications. A candidate must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written form with members of the health care team.
  3. Motor: Candidates should have sufficient motor function to perform laboratory procedures. This action requires the coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.
  4. Intellectual: Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities: These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis. Problem solving requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, the candidate should be able to comprehend three dimensional relationships and to understand spatial relationships of structures.
  5. Behavioral and Social Attributes: A candidate must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his/her judgement, the prompt completion of all responsibilitie, and the development of mature, sensitive relationships with patients. Candidates must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation are all personal qualities that should be assessed during admissions and education process.

In its evaluation of applicants to the West Virginia University Medical Laboratory Science major, the Admissions committee will approach each applicant with the following questions in mind. When an applicant does not meet a non-academic standard as defined above, and when this would in the professional judgment of the Committee not satisfy the Medical Laboratory Science objectives for the student in performing laboratory procedures, education, and research, such opinion will be documented by the Admissions Committee.

The questions are not designed to disqualify an applicant but rather to give the Admissions Committee more complete information about an applicant's ability to meet these non-academic standards.

  1. Is the candidate able to observe demonstrations and perform procedures in the basic sciences and clinical courses?
  2. Is the candidate able to analyze, synthesize, solve problems and make judgements about results obtained on patient specimens?
  3. Does the candidate have sufficient use of the senses of vision and hearing and somatic sensation necessary to perform medical laboratory procedures?
  4. Can the candidate reasonably be expected to communicate the results of laboratory tests to other members of the health care team with accuracy, clarity, and efficiency?
  5. Can the candidate reasonably be expected to learn and perform laboratory tests and operate instruments?
  6. Can the candidate reasonably be expected to display good judgement in the analysis of laboratory results?
  7. Can the candidate reasonably be expected to accept criticism and respond by appropriate modification of behavior?
  8. Can the candidate reasonably be expected to possess the perseverance, diligence, and consistency to complete the Medical Laboratory Science major and become a practicing Medical Laboratory Science professional?