Clinical Laboratory Science

Program Competencies for CLS

Upon graduation from this program, students shall have demonstrated the ability to:

  • Procure laboratory test samples in an efficient, timely manner.
  • Produce accurate laboratory test results within acceptable limits of quality control.
  • Correlate and interpret laboratory test data.
  • Disseminate laboratory test information to clinicians in a timely manner.
  • Consult with more experienced team members when necessary.
  • Exhibit knowledge of laboratory tests and standards.
  • Exhibit basic knowledge of professional ethics, laws and regulations.
  • Demonstrate continued competency in the field at least annually.
  • Maintain membership in a professional organization.
  • Perform multi-functional tasks.
  • Actively participate in continuing education.

Technical Standards1 for CLS

1

For general information about technical standards and accommodation, see Technical Standards.

Students entering the CLS program must be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Comprehend textbook material at a college level.
  • Communicate and assimilate information either in spoken, printed, signed, or computer voice format.
  • Gather, analyze, and draw conclusions from data.
  • Stand for a minimum of two hours.
  • Walk for a minimum of six hours, not necessarily consecutively.
  • Stoop, bend, and twist for a minimum of 30 minutes at a time and be able to repeat this activity at frequent intervals.
  • Differentiate colors as assessed by standard color blindness evaluation.
  • Differentiate by touch, hotness/coldness, wetness/dryness, and hardness/softness.
  • Use the small muscle dexterity necessary to do such tasks as gloving, gowning, and operating controls on laboratory instrumentation.
  • Respond to spoken words, monitor signals, and instrument alarms.
  • Identify behaviors that would endanger a person’s life or safety and intervene quickly in a crisis situation with an appropriate solution.
  • Remain calm, rational, decisive, and in control at all times, especially during emergency situations.

Clinical Laboratory Science Degree (CLS) (selective)

Prepare to play a vital role in patient care by performing a wide range of clinical laboratory procedures used in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. The CLS curriculum provides general education courses and introductory CLS courses in the first year, then career-related courses and practical experience in the second year. The first year courses are open to students wishing to enter the CLS program. The second year CLS courses are restricted to those selected for the CLS program. Clinical laboratory technicians analyze specimens for bacteria, parasites, and other microorganisms; analyze the chemical and cellular content of body fluids; match blood for transfusions; and test for drug levels in the blood to show how a patient is responding to treatment. Clinical laboratory technicians also collect and prepare specimens for analysis. The important laboratory results generated by this testing are then analyzed and relayed to physicians. The modern clinical laboratory uses increasingly sophisticated instrumentation interfaced with computer technology. The CLS program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), 5600 North River Road, Suite 720, Rosemont, Illinois 60018, telephone 773-714-8880. Graduates of the CLS program will be eligible to take the national certification examination, such as that offered by the Board of Certification of the American Society for Clinical Pathology. The application deadline for the second year of the curriculum is April 1 (for clinical courses starting in the fall). This selective enrollment program requires additional application components. The selection process is competitive and space is limited (see Selective Program Requirements). For more information, call Dr. Cheryl Wilson at 978-630-9433.

Year 1
FallCredits
ENG 101English Composition I 3
CIS 127Computer Technologies 3
MAT 143Statistics 4
BIO 204Anatomy and Physiology II 4
CLS 103Intro Clinical Lab Science I 4
Humanities Elective 1 3
Spring
ENG 102English Composition II 3
Social Science Elective 3 3
CHE 203Introduction To Inorganic, Organic, And Biochemistry 4
BIO 205Microbiology 4
CLS 105Introduction to Clinical Lab Science II 23
CLS 106Phlebotomy Practicum for pre-CLS Students 41
Year 2
Fall
CLS 203Clinical Hematology I 4
CLS 204Clinical Hematology II 4
CLS 205Clinical Immunohematology I 4
CLS 206Clinical Immunohematology II 4
Spring
CLS 207Clinical Microbiology I 4
CLS 208Clinical Microbiology II 4
CLS 213Clinical Chemistry I 4
CLS 214Clinical Chemistry II 4
 Total Credits: 71
1

Humanities Electives: ART, ASL, DAN, ENG, FRE, HUM, MUS, PHL, SPA, SPC, THE
Note: Can be taken any semester.

2

CLS 106 is a co-requisite. BIO 204 Anatomy and Physiology II highly recommended as pre-requisite or co-requisite.

3

Social Science Electives: ANT, ECO, GEO, HIS, POL, PSY, SOC, SSC

4

 CLS 105 is a co-requisite.

See the clinical laboratory science general information for program competencies and technical standards.

Campus/format

Click here for information on the campus/format.

Requirement for consideration

Applicants must meet certain academic standards. See Selective Program Requirements for specific details or refer to the program application available on our website or through the admissions office.

Helpful hints

Success in this field requires attention to detail, flexibility to multitask and change tasks when interrupted, a strong concern for order, sound judgment and ability to conduct laboratory procedures accurately and when under pressure.

Transfer options

For transfer options, please click here. It is recommended that you also consult with your academic advisor.

Special requirements

Any student (after meeting with department chair) is eligible to enroll in courses in the first year of the curriculum. Only students accepted into the CLS program will enroll in CLS courses in the second year. CLS applicants must complete first year requirements before beginning the CLS program. Students enrolled in any CLS course have additional requirements. Applicants must meet all requirements for consideration before entering the program. Students must meet technical standards (see the clinical laboratory science general information) with or without accommodations and additional requirements including immunizations, physical examination, liability insurance, and a Criminal/Sexual Offender Records Information (CORI/SORI) check (see Selective Program Requirements). Students must maintain a C+ (77 percent) or better in all BIO, CHE, CLS, and MAT courses to maintain good standing. All students in selective majors must participate in the Massachusetts Community College Health Insurance Plan or provide accurate information regarding comparable coverage. Drug testing may be mandatory at some MWCC clinical instruction sites.

Career options

For career options, please click here.

Earning potential

$28,420 to $44,310

Courses

CLS 103. Intro Clinical Lab Science I. 4 Credits.

This introductory course provides students with the theory and laboratory skill that serve as the foundation for clinical coursework in the hospital laboratory. An overview of the role of the clinical laboratory scientist in health care in general and patient care in particular is emphasized. Basics of laboratory equipment, measurement, and lab math, along with use of information systems are covered. Understanding of the quality assurance process and safety in the lab prepares the student for introduction to specialized departments within the laboratory. Students will be introduced to Basic Hematology, Basic Immunology, Basic Immunohematology, and Basic Clinical Chemistry, learning to correlate results with states of health and disease. Prerequisites: BIO 113, ENG 098, FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098, or placement. Fall.

CLS 105. Introduction to Clinical Lab Science II. 3 Credits.

This introductory course expands on the student's knowledge gained in CLS 103. The course covers the production of selected body fluids (e.g., urine, semen, synovial fluid and feces); their normal characteristics and pathological changes will be discussed within the practice of acceptable quality assurance. A description of the laboratory tests used in the clinical evaluation of body fluids will also be presented. Throughout this course, special emphasis is placed on the correlation of laboratory results with the patient's probable condition. The course also provides theory in phlebotomy and practical instruction in skills needed to obtain acceptable blood samples by venipuncture, capillary (dermal) puncture, or other techniques. Students will learn to safely and proficiently collect various types of blood specimen for laboratory analysis. Prerequisites: CLS 103. Co-requisite: CLS 106 (required). BIO 204 highly recommended as a pre-requisite or co-requisite. Spring.

CLS 106. Phlebotomy Practicum for pre-CLS Students. 1 Credit.

This course provides practical experience (37.5 scheduled hours) for the student to apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills of clinical laboratory practice in specimen collection and phlebotomy that were gained in CLS 105. This knowledge is integrated into the clinical laboratory through the practice of phlebotomy, utilizing appropriate resource management, communications, quality assurance, safety, and information systems. Placement by arrangement. Prerequisites: CLS 103. Corequisite: CLS 105 (required).

CLS 203. Clinical Hematology I. 4 Credits.

This course includes a didactic component as well as a laboratory practicum in a hospital to develop clinical lab science skills in Hematology and urine and body fluid analysis in a hospital setting. The didactic portion of the course details the formation, function, and morphology of the blood's normal cellular elements as well as the systems involved in coagulation and fibrinolysis. Students will apply their knowledge and skills using principles and procedures of hematology and coagulation testing, identifying sources of error, and relating clinical significance of results to human disease. There will be correlation of laboratory findings with the patient's clinical signs and symptoms using exams and clinical experience. Prerequisite: restricted to students accepted to CLS program.

CLS 204. Clinical Hematology II. 4 Credits.

With an emphasis on relevant diseases, this course is a continuation of CLS 203. The course includes a didactic component as well as a laboratory practicum in a hospital to further develop clinical lab science skills in Hematology. This course focuses on the diseases affecting blood formation, function and morphology, as well as the coagulation and fibrinolytic system's alterations involved in disease and therapeutic modifications. Students will apply their knowledge and skills using principles and procedures of hematology and coagulation testing, identifying sources of error, and relating clinical significance of results to human disease. There will be correlation of laboratory findings with the patient's clinical signs and symptoms using practical exams, case studies and clinical experience. Prerequisite: CLS 203 (or co-requisite), restricted to students accepted to CLS program.

CLS 205. Clinical Immunohematology I. 4 Credits.

This course includes a didactic component as well as a laboratory practicum in a hospital to develop clinical lab science skills in Immunohematology. Theoretical concepts underlying blood group biochemistry, genetics, and serology as they relate to blood donation and transfusion therapy practices are presented in the didactic portion. An understanding of the role of both humoral and cellular immunity in defense against disease is investigated as they relate to common immunoassays. Students will apply their knowledge and skills using principles and routine blood bank and serology procedures including donor selection, compatibility testing, detection and identification of antibodies, and component preparation and handling. Prerequisite: restricted to students accepted to CLS program.

CLS 206. Clinical Immunohematology II. 4 Credits.

With an emphasis on relevant diseases, this course includes a didactic component as well as a laboratory practicum in a hospital to further develop clinical lab science skills in Immunohematology. Theoretical concepts underlying blood group biochemistry, genetics, and serology are applied to situations and problems related to blood donation and transfusion therapy practices. Students will apply their knowledge and skills using principles and routine blood bank and serology procedures including donor selection, compatibility testing, detection and identification of antibodies, and component preparation and handling. There will be correlation of laboratory findings with the patient's clinical signs and symptoms using practical exams and case studies. Prerequisite: CLS 205 (or co-requisite), restricted to students accepted to CLS program.

CLS 207. Clinical Microbiology I. 4 Credits.

This course includes a didactic component as well as a laboratory practicum in a hospital. A basic understanding of the role of microbes in the pathology of human infectious diseases is investigated. Students will apply their knowledge and skills using conventional microscopic, culture, and biochemical techniques to isolate, identify, quantify, differentiate, and determine the antimicrobial susceptibility of medically relevant pathogenic microorganisms with emphasis on bacteria found in clinical specimens. Prerequisite: restricted to students accepted to CLS program.

CLS 208. Clinical Microbiology II. 4 Credits.

With an emphasis on relevant diseases, this course includes a didactic component as well as a laboratory practicum in a hospital. An understanding of the role of microbes in the pathology of human infectious diseases is investigated. Students will apply their knowledge and skills using conventional microscopic, culture, and biochemical techniques to isolate, identify, quantify, differentiate, and determine the antimicrobial susceptibility of medically relevant microbial pathogens including bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi found in clinical specimens. There will be correlation of laboratory findings with the patient's clinical signs and symptoms using practical exams and case studies. Prerequisites: CLS 207, restricted to students accepted to CLS program.

CLS 213. Clinical Chemistry I. 4 Credits.

This course includes a didactic component as well as a laboratory practicum in a hospital. Understanding the interrelationship of human disease with the biochemistry of human physiology and metabolism is the foundation of this course. Students will apply their knowledge and skills using principles and procedures of clinical chemistry to operate instrumentation that generates results used to detect various diseases. In addition to learning the chemical principles underlying the laboratory procedures, students will understand the operating principles, sources of error, and routine maintenance of the instrumentation. Prerequisite: restricted to students accepted to CLS program.

CLS 214. Clinical Chemistry II. 4 Credits.

With an emphasis on relevant diseases, this course includes a didactic component as well as a laboratory practicum in a hospital. Understanding the interrelationship of human disease with the biochemistry of human physiology and metabolism is the foundation of this course. Students will apply their knowledge and skills using principles and procedures of clinical chemistry to operate instrumentation that generates results used to detect various diseases. In addition to learning the chemical principles underlying the laboratory procedures, students will also investigate the operating principles, sources of error, routine maintenance, and troubleshooting of the instrumentation. There will be correlation of laboratory findings with the patient's clinical signs and symptoms using practical exams and case studies. Prerequisite: CLS 213, restricted to students accepted to CLS program.