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Technical Standards for Admission and Retention

These are the abilities and expectations for students admitted to KU's clinical laboratory science program.

Graduates of the clinical laboratory science program must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical, research and industrial laboratory settings. The following abilities and expectations must be met by all students in the program.

          Technical Standards

          The CLS student must be able to:

          • observe and perform laboratory demonstrations in which biologicals (i.e., body fluids, culture materials, tissue sections, and cellular specimens) are tested for their biochemical, hematological, immunological, microbiological, and histochemical components;
          • characterize the color, odor, clarity, and viscosity of biological, reagents, or chemical reaction products;
          • employ a clinical grade binocular microscope to discriminate among fine structural and color (hue, shading, and intensity) differences of microscopic specimens;
          • read and comprehend text, numbers, and graphs displayed in print and on electronic devices (computer, video, phone, etc.).

          The CLS student must be able to:

          • move freely and safely about a laboratory;
          • reach laboratory bench-tops and shelves, patients lying in hospital beds or patients seated in specimen collection furniture;
          • travel to numerous clinical laboratory sites for practical experience;
          • perform moderately taxing continuous physical work, often requiring prolonged sitting and standing, over several hours;
          • maneuver phlebotomy and culture acquisition equipment to safely collect valid laboratory specimens from patients;
          • safely control laboratory equipment (i.e. pipettes, inoculating loops, test tubes) and adjust instruments to perform laboratory procedures;
          • use an electronic keyboard (i.e. 101-key IBM computer keyboard) to operate laboratory instruments and to calculate, record, evaluate, and transmit laboratory information.

          The CLS student must be able to:

          • read and comprehend technical and professional materials (i.e. textbooks, magazine and journal articles, handbooks, and instruction manuals);
          • follow verbal or written instructions in order to correctly and independently perform laboratory test procedures;
          • clearly instruct patients prior to specimen collection;
          • effectively, confidently, and sensitively converse with patients regarding laboratory tests;
          • communicate with faculty members, fellow students, staff, and other health care professionals verbally, non-verbally, and in a recorded format (writing, typing, graphics, or telecommunication);
          • independently prepare papers, prepare laboratory reports, and take paper, computer, and laboratory practical examinations.

          The CLS student must:

          • possess these intellectual skills: comprehension, measurement, mathematical calculation, problem-solving, reasoning, integration, analysis, comparison, self-expression, and criticism;
          • be able to exercise sufficient judgment to recognize and correct performance deviations.

          The CLS student must:

          • be able to manage the use of time and be able to systematize actions in order to complete professional and technical tasks within realistic constraints;
          • possess the emotional health necessary to effectively employ intellect and exercise appropriate judgment. Demonstrate appropriate affective behaviors and mental attitudes to not jeopardize the emotional, physical, mental and behavioral safety of patients and other individuals with whom there is interaction in the academic and clinical settings;
          • possess the mental and emotional rigor to demonstrate respect to all people, including fellow students, faculty, patients and medical personnel, without showing bias or preference on the basis of race, color, age, sex, religion or creed, national origin or ancestry, gender expression, gender identity, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation or genetic testing and screening;
          • be able to provide professional and technical services while experiencing the stresses of heavy workloads (i.e. ordering, ambivalent test interpretation), emergent demands (i.e. “stat” test orders), and a distracting environment (i.e. high noise levels, crowding, complex visual stimuli);
          • be flexible and creative and adapt to professional and technical change;
          • recognize potentially hazardous materials, equipment, and situations and proceed safely in order to minimize risk of injury to patients, self, and nearby individuals;
          • adapt to working with unpleasant biological;
          • support and promote the activities of fellow students and of health care professionals. Promotion of peers helps furnish a team approach to learning, task completion, problem-solving, and patient care;
          • be honest, compassionate, ethical, and responsible. The student must be forthright about errors or uncertainty.  The student must be able to critically evaluate her or his own performance, accept constructive criticism, and look for ways to improve (i.e. participate in enriched educational activities).  The student must be able to evaluate the performance of fellow students and tactfully offer constructive comments.


          KU Medical Center is committed to equal opportunity for students with disabilities. All students admitted to the KU CLS program must be able to meet the requirements and expectations of the technical standards with or without accommodation(s).

          Reasonable accommodations will be considered and may be made to qualified students who disclose a disability, so long as such accommodation does not significantly alter the essential requirements of the curriculum and the training program or significantly affect the safety of patient care.

          Students who disclose a disability are considered for the program if they are otherwise qualified. Qualified students with a disability who wish to request accommodations should provide appropriate documentation of disability and submit a request for accommodation to the following office:

          Academic Accommodation Services

          913-945-7035 (711 TTY)
          Room 1006 Dykes Library

          KU School of Health Professions

          University of Kansas Medical Center
          Clinical Laboratory Science
          3901 Rainbow Boulevard
          Mailstop 4048
          Kansas City, KS 66160
          913-588-5220 • 711 TTY