Essential Requirements

The Bachelor of Science Degree in Medical Laboratory Science is recognized as requiring the acquisition of general knowledge, professionalism, and basic technical skill performance in all areas of Medical Laboratory Science.

The Faculty in the Medical Laboratory Science Program has a responsibility for the welfare of the patients treated or otherwise affected by students enrolled in the program, as well as for the welfare of students in the program. To fulfill this responsibility, the program has established minimum essential requirements that must be met, with or without reasonable accommodation, to participate in the program and graduate. Discrimination is prohibited based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation in its programs, activities, or employment.

Admission and retention decisions for Medical Laboratory Science are based not only on prior satisfactory academic achievement, but also on non-academic factors that serve to ensure the candidate can complete the essential requirements of the academic program for graduation. Essential requirements, as distinguished from academic standards, refer to those cognitive, physical, and behavioral abilities that are necessary for satisfactory completion of all aspects of the curriculum, and for the development of professional attributes by each student for graduation.

The University of Nebraska Medical Laboratory Science Program curriculum requires essential abilities in information acquisition. The student must have the ability to master information presented in course work in the form of lectures, written material, and images. Additionally, the student must have the cognitive abilities necessary to master relevant content in basic science and clinical courses at a level deemed appropriate by the program.

The student must be able to perform patient testing safely and accurately. They must be able to visually distinguish and identify objects both macroscopically and microscopically.

The student must have sufficient upper body muscle coordination and adequate dexterity to handle body fluid specimens, biohazards, chemical hazards, and instruments safely to prevent harm to self or others. They must be able to perform delicate manipulations on specimens, instruments, and equipment (such as calibrated pipettes) sufficient to meet specifications for accuracy in diagnostic testing. They must be able to lift and move objects (e.g., load individual tubes in an analyzer and move test tube racks from one bench to another). They must have fine motor control skills to carry out technical procedures, such as, isolating bacteria by smoothly moving a loop (i.e., a 6-inch wire with a looped end) over the surface of an agar (gel) culture plate without tearing the surface of the agar. 

The student must be able and willing to work with blood and with organisms that may be infectious. They must be able to work safely with a wide variety of chemical reagents.

Approximately 75% of clinical work time is spent standing or walking and 25% is spent sitting in an indoor setting. Lifting of up to 50 pounds of equipment or supplies is required. Frequent interaction with computer terminals and laboratory equipment is necessary, requiring interpretation of visual presentation on screen, repetitive hand movements and fine manipulation.

The student must possess the emotional stability required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities. They must work accurately and safely under stress (e.g., work under time constraints), read and record numbers accurately, perform repetitive tasks, concentrate in distracting situations, and make subjective evaluations and decisions where mistakes may have a high impact on patient care.  They must adapt to changing environments and prioritize tasks.

The student must communicate effectively in verbal and written English to obtain and transmit information to all members of the health care team.  The appropriate communication may also rely on the student’s ability to make a correct judgment in seeking supervisory help and consultation in a timely manner.

The student must possess attributes that include integrity, responsibility, dependability, initiative, and tolerance. They must show respect for self and others, work independently as well as with others, and project a professional image. They must demonstrate timely communication (per program requirements), organizational and time management skills.

These standards identify the requirements for admission, retention, and graduation from the program. It is the responsibility of the student with disabilities to request those accommodations that they feel are reasonable and needed to execute the essential functions described.

Students who wish to obtain further information regarding accessibility services should contact:

Accessibility Services Center
Student Life Center (SLC) 2031

Phone: 402-554-2872
Fax: 402-554-6015

Accessibility Services website