Medical professionals and their patients depend on technical skills, knowledge, honesty, and integrity from their healthcare team.
The MLT Program of Maine is accredited by:
The National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS)
5600 N. River Road, Suite 720
Rosemont, IL 60018
The MLT Program of Maine was created as a collaborative effort between the University of Maine at Presque Isle and the University of Maine at Augusta in cooperation with hospitals across the state that serve as clinical affiliates.
Medical Laboratory Technology is a two-year program leading to an Associate of Science in MLT awarded by the home campus.
The MLT Program of Maine includes Canadian alumni that have trained in the United States and have become certified through the Canadian Society of Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS).
Upon completion, graduates are eligible to take the certification exam administered by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP) or the American Medical Technologists (AMT).
What is a Medical Laboratory Technician?
Medical laboratory technicians (MLT) are vital to the healthcare team as they are often the first to produce patient results. MLTs use sophisticated biomedical instrumentation, as well as manual procedures, to perform testing and provide results that are essential in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. It is estimated that over 70% of all medical decisions are based in part on laboratory results.
The medical laboratory technician has diverse and multi-level functions in the areas of collecting, processing, and analyzing biological specimens and other substances, principles and methodologies, performance of assays, problem solving, troubleshooting techniques, correlation of clinical procedures and results, principles and practices of quality assessment for all major areas: clinical chemistry, hematology, immunology, immunohematology, microbiology, and molecular biology practiced in the contemporary clinical laboratory.
Medical laboratory technicians practice independently and collaboratively, being responsible for their own actions, as defined by the profession. They have the requisite knowledge and skills to educate laboratory professionals, other healthcare professionals, and others in the laboratory practice as well as the public.
The ability to relate to people, a capacity for calm and reasoned judgment, and a demonstration of commitment to the patient are essential qualities. Communication skills extend to consultative interactions with members of the healthcare team, external relations, customer service, and patient education. Laboratory professionals demonstrate ethical and moral attitudes and principles that are necessary for gaining and maintaining the confidence of patients, professional associates, and the community.
Adapted from NAACLS: Unique Standards of the Medical Laboratory Technician.
MLT Program of Maine Code of Ethics
Medical professionals and their patients depend on technical skills, knowledge, honesty, and integrity from everyone on the healthcare team. Those engaged in laboratory medicine add to those attributes careful attention to detail, accuracy, and precision.
Producing reliable and quality test results is the province of the clinical laboratory. Educators are responsible for producing ethical, well-trained graduates. Therefore, in addition to the technical curriculum, the Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) Program emphasizes professional ethics and attitudes.
Unethical practices can result in legal action and/or endangering patients. Clinical laboratories cannot tolerate dishonesty and unsafe or unethical behavior. The MLT Program will dismiss students who demonstrate such behaviors as plagiarizing, falsifying lab results, destroying/misusing equipment, and failing to adhere to safety policies. The program adheres to the Code of Ethics of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). ASCP publishes principles and standards for clinical laboratory professionals.
MLT students pledge the following
- To treat patients, instructors, and colleagues with respect and thoughtfulness;
- To perform laboratory work in an accurate and responsible manner;
- To use laboratory resources properly;
- To abide by laws and regulations and disclose illegal or improper behavior to the appropriate authorities; and,
- To study the Medical Laboratory Technician body of knowledge conscientiously throughout their training.
Continuing to update knowledge and skills throughout a career in laboratory medicine is ethical behavior. Program instructors will convey this concept of responsibility.
Evaluation of Professional Attitudes and Behaviors
One of the MLT Program goals is to train ethical, responsible laboratory professionals. To guide students toward this end, the program has developed an evaluation tool for use in clinical rotations. It conveys the program’s dedication to attributes such as honesty; integrity; persistence; initiative; dependability; flexibility; patience; respect for others; and ability to follow directions and work under stress; accept criticism; and be organized. Other attributes include compliance with safety regulations and quality assurance practices and skill in communicating, prioritizing, and making valid judgment calls.
Assessments by instructors will be completed periodically throughout the program.
Goals and Competencies
- To provide students both academic instruction and professional training in the field of laboratory medicine to meet employment needs of communities in the State of Maine.
- Provide a climate conducive to further developing interest in MLT education by participation in professional organizations, and encouraging awareness in changing trends in medical laboratory technology.
- Produce graduates that will demonstrate the technical skill of an entry-level technician in an ethical and professional manner.
- To produce skilled clinical laboratory workers who:
- through general and technical education, are qualified to perform with minimal supervision, the tests routinely performed in clinical laboratories,
- are able to collect, label, identify, and log in specimens accurately,
- have a working knowledge of the principles of the tests they are performing,
- perform laboratory test procedures accurately and efficiently,
- keep accurate and legible records and are able to communicate reports clearly to fellow medical personnel,
- correlate laboratory test results with patient diagnosis and treatment,
- are skillful in the operation of laboratory instruments and are able to recognize instrument failures and take appropriate actions by problem solving and troubleshooting,
- perform quality assessment within the clinical laboratory,
- recognize interferences with pre-analytical, analytical, and post-analytical test factors and take appropriate actions,
- demonstrate knowledge of infection control and safety practices and follow established guidelines and regulations,
- demonstrate technical training sufficient to orient new employees within the clinical laboratory,
- will take responsibility for their own work and are able to organize their work to make the most efficient use of time,
- will adapt well to various work situations by cooperating with their coworkers and all members of the healthcare team,
- maintain the confidentiality of patient results,
- are able to perform efficiently under stress; and,
- will pursue certification and strive to keep their competence and knowledge current in relation to the changing work environment with continued professional development.
- To maintain accreditation of the program through the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).
- To produce graduates that will pass certification exams as a first time applicant at a 90% pass rate.
- To maintain high academic and professional standards both in the program and in its students.
- To maintain a quality program through continuous assessment, evaluation, and revision.
- To maintain qualified faculty that pursues life-long learning and continued professional development.
At career entry, the Medical Laboratory Technician will be able to perform routine clinical laboratory testing in the departments of hematology, clinical chemistry, immunohematology, clinical microbiology, serology/immunology, coagulation, molecular, and other emerging diagnostics as the primary analyst making specimen oriented decisions on predetermined criteria, including a working knowledge of critical values.
Communication skills will extend to frequent interactions with members of the healthcare team, external relations, customer service, and patient education. The Medical Laboratory Technician will have diverse functions in areas of pre-analytical, analytical, and post-analytical processes. The clinical Medical Laboratory Technician will have responsibilities for information processing, training, and quality control monitoring wherever clinical laboratory testing is performed.
Upon graduation and initial employment, the Medical Laboratory Technician should be able to demonstrate entry-level competencies in the areas of professional practice listed below:
- Collecting and processing biological specimens and other substances for analysis;
- Performing analytical tests on body fluids, cells, and other substances;
- Recognizing factors that affect procedures and results, and taking appropriate actions within predetermined limits when corrections are indicated;
- Performing and monitoring quality control within predetermined limits;
- Performing preventive and corrective maintenance of equipment and instruments or referring to appropriate source for repairs;
- Applying principles of safety;
- Demonstrating professional conduct and interpersonal communication skills with patients, laboratory personnel, other healthcare professionals, and with the public;
- Recognizing the responsibilities of other laboratory and healthcare personnel and interacting with them with respect for their jobs and patient care;
- Applying basic scientific principles in learning new techniques and procedures;
- Relating laboratory findings to common disease processes; and,
- Establishing and maintaining continuing education as a function of growth and maintenance of professional competence.
Reference: Essentials and Guidelines of Accredited Educational Programs for the Medical Laboratory Technician, National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), revised 1995.
Revised: July 23, 2014