Essential Functions

The Bachelor of Health Science degree in medical laboratory science is recognized as requiring the acquisition of general knowledge and basic technical performance skills in all areas of medical laboratory science, otherwise known as the medical technology or medical laboratory science profession.


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 functions that must be met, with or without reasonable accommodation, in order to participate in the program and graduate. Discrimination is prohibited on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, religion or veteran status.


Admission and retention decisions for the medical laboratory science program are based not only on prior satisfactory academic achievement, but also on non-academic factors that serve to insure the candidate can complete the essential functions of the academic program for graduation. Essential functions, 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 required by the faculty of each student at graduation.

The standards listed below 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 he or she feels are reasonable and are needed to execute the essential functions described. 

The Washburn University 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 materials 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 faculty.

The student must be able to perform patient testing safely and accurately. He or she must be able to 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 in order to prevent harm to self or others. He or she 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. He or she must be able to lift and move objects, e.g., load individual tubes in an analyzer and move test Washburn University Medical Laboratory Science Program Essential Functions tube racks from one bench to another. He or she must have fine motor control skills to carry out technical procedures such as isolating bacteria by smoothly moving a loop (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 have sufficient touch discrimination to discern veins in order to perform venipunctures.

The student must be able and willing to work with blood and with organisms that may be infectious. He or she must be able to work safely with a wide variety of chemical reagents. Approximately 75 percent of each day is spent standing or walking and 25 percent 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 his or her intellectual abilities. He or she must be able to 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. He or she must be able to adapt to changing environments and be able to prioritize tasks.

The student must be able to communicate effectively in verbal and written English in order to obtain and transmit information to patients and 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.


Allied Health
Benton Hall, Room 107
1700 SW College Ave.
Topeka, KS 66621

Phone & Email
Ph: 785.670.2170

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