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Curriculum Information

The prescribed course of 52 weeks consists of both practical laboratory experience and didactic lectures. The student will spend the first six months in lecture and student laboratory. He will hear didactic lectures and acquire a proficiency in the skills of basic laboratory techniques, instrumentation, problem solving and procedures not available in the clinical facility. The curriculum includes special projects, demonstrations of materials and audiovisual presentations.


Specific areas to be covered during the first six months:

  • Orientation, safety, phlebotomy and introduction to laboratory math
  • Microbiology (including parasitology, mycology, virology)
  • Chemistry (including instrumentation and laboratory math)
  • Hematology (including coagulation)
  • Immunology/Serology
  • Immunohematology/Blood Bank
  • Urinalysis/Body Fluids
  • Miscellaneous topics (including computer use, management and education.

The last six months will consist of rotation through the clinical laboratory, which will provide structured clinical training, a management series and various other projects designed to enhance the student's understanding and application of clinical laboratory science.

Program Course Descriptions

Clinical Microbiology:

This course provides an in-depth clinical survey of disease caused by microbes, such as bacteria, pathogenic fungi, and virus and routine laboratory procedures relating to the identification of those microbes. It also includes the study of parasites and their relationships to man and routine laboratory procedures relating to the identification of the parasites.

Clinical Chemistry:

Clinical chemistry is an in-depth study of the theory and techniques involved in the performance of qualitative and quantitative analyses of body fluids, such as blood, urine, and spinal fluid, as well as feces, calculi, and other materials. The student is also introduced to analytical methods and the principles of instrumentation. The student becomes not only familiar with the technique involved in the test being done, but also with the general methods of analytical chemistry. In addition to a complete knowledge of the technical aspects of the tests involved, the student is introduced to the principles of the method. This involves a knowledge of the chemical reactions and the effect of physical variables on them and the purpose of each reagent used. Laboratory Mathematics; Metabolism; Diagnostic Enzymology; Endocrinology; Proteins; Porphyrins; Vitamins; Blood Gases, Acid-base Balance, and Electrolytes; Nonprotein Nitrogenous compounds and renal function; hepatic function; Analysis of drugs and toxic substances; Amniotic fluid; and Cerebrospinal Fluid are the different subject areas. The principles of molecular and immunoassays are also introduced in this section.

Hematology:
This course is an in-depth study of the basic hematology procedures such as hemoglobin/hematocrit determination, white and red cell counting. Included is an in-depth study of basic cell structure with emphasis on the formation of white cells, red cells, platelets, and the identification of abnormal and normal forms. The major objective of this course Is the correlation of the laboratory results with the various pathological conditions such as anemias and leukemias.

Coagulation:
This course is designed as an in-depth study of the basic concepts of coagulation within the human body. The various pathways of coagulation are introduced and different coagulation factors. Emphasis is placed on the principles of the different coagulation procedures and their correlation with different disease states.

Urinalysis/Body Fluids:

The first part of this course involves a detailed look at the physiology of the kidneys and the formation of urine. The various methods of macroscopic, microscopic, and chemical analysis of the urine are covered as well as the pathological conditions that might cause urine abnormalities. The second part of the course includes a detailed look at the carious body fluids and the pathological conditions that may cause abnormalities. Emphasis is placed on the identification of the cellular elements that may be found in normal and abnormal body fluids.

Immunology/Serology:

This course provides an in-depth study in the basic concepts of immunology and serology. This includes the basic theories of antigen-antibody reactions and interactions, and the formation of the complement components. Various theories, of cell line production are discussed. Emphasis is placed on the correlation of abnormal laboratory results in certain disease states. Each of the immunology/serology procedures are covered in detail. This course is a necessary prerequisite for the immunohematology course.

Immunohematology:

The basic course of immunohematology is a continuation of the immunology/serology course with emphasis on the antigen and antibodies related to the red cells, white cells, and platelet. The various blood group systems are discussed including ABO and RH. Gene frequencies and antibody characteristics are discussed in detail as well as their association with problems that might arise in the blood bank. During the course, case studies will be presented to the student.

Laboratory Management, Supervision, Safety and Problem Solving:

This course provides an overview of management. It includes a study of management series entitled, "The Challenge of Management." Also included is a presentation on the role of a supervisor in the pathology department. Lastly, safety is presented by lectures and tape series.

Education:

This course is designed as a practical experience for students. It includes lectures on education techniques, reading assignments from education texts, and a presentation of a lecture by the student.

Computer Applications in the Clinical Laboratory Sciences:

This course provides a hands on approach to the computer system used in the laboratory at NMMC. The students are taught to use the SCM and SunQuest computer systems using IBM computers.

Phlebotomy:
This course is designed to train the students to obtain blood specimens by venipuncture and microtechniques.