Medical Laboratory Science Program

Overview

program pictureFor the scholar, seeker, and servant ... OC is Home. Oklahoma Christian University is blessed to have the only accredited bachelor’s degree program in Medical Laboratory Science in Oklahoma City and the surrounding area. Our program provides opportunities for scholars to grow through a challenging curriculum, for seekers to live their calling through the diagnosis of diseases, and for servants to receive the tools they need to make a difference in the world.

Medical Laboratory Science is a vital profession in the healthcare industry, providing the expert analysis needed to help assess and treat illnesses and injuries. OC’s bachelor’s degree in Medical Laboratory Science will give you the skills you need to get a great job with a great salary right out of college. Graduates will be able to serve as supervisors after they acquire approved lab experience. This degree also can serve as a stepping stone toward advancement in other health professional service and research careers. 

What does a medical laboratory scientist do?

Scientists who work in a blood bank perform tests that determine if blood is compatible for transfusion. In chemistry, tests are performed that measure proteins, enzymes, hormones, electrolytes, and other important metabolites in the blood plasma. The immunology lab evaluates a patient’s ability to respond to disease and measures antibodies that can indicate infection or immunity. Scientists in microbiology labs isolate and identify disease-causing bacteria, fungi, and parasites. Medical laboratory scientists working in hematology count and evaluate blood cells, and perform tests that are essential for the management of anemia, leukemia, and coagulation disorders. 

More Details About Program

I. APPLICATION PROCEDURE

A. Complete Oklahoma Christian University application (if not currently enrolled).  The application is available online.  

B. Complete MLS Program application:  Applications may be obtained by calling 405-425-1934.  Submit additional transcripts with the application.  Incomplete applications will NOT be processed.

C. Schedule an information SESSION with the MLS Program Director. The purpose of the information session is to discuss the MLS Program and devise a schedule of classes.  Variation from the schedule of classes could result in delay progression in the program.

D. APPLICATION DEADLINE:  April 15th for Fall entry, November 15th for Spring entry; late applications will be considered if space allows.

E. Notification of Acceptance:  will be emailed to student by two months after the deadline date.

F. SELECTION CRITERIA:  Applicant selection will be competitive and based on academic performance with emphasis on the sciences and additional consideration for the following:  

    • Health Care work experience (minimum six months; submit documentation).
    • Missions or service project experience: (submit documentation of activity).

G. PROGRAM ACCREDITATION: The Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) program has achieved “serious applicant” status with the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS, 5600 N. River Road, Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018, 773-714-8880, www.naacls.org.).  The “serious applicant” status allows students that are eligible to take MLS Board of Certification examinations (questions regarding eligibility for such examinations should be directed to ASCP Board of Certification, 800-267-2727; info@ascp.org.

H. JOB MARKET AND SALARY: The ASCP Wage survey, published in the Fall 2013 issue of Lab Medicine, shows the      national average annual salaries for laboratory professionals. For example, the staff level MT/MLS/CLS national average is $56,430 per year and $77,113 per year at the supervisory level.

II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION:  OC is blessed to have the only bachelor’s degree program in Medical Laboratory Science in Oklahoma City and the surrounding area.  Graduates will be able to sit for the Board of Certification with the American Society of Clinical Pathology.  This degree will also enable graduates to serve as supervisors after approved laboratory experience is acquired.

Medical Laboratory Science is devoted to the diagnosis and management of illnesses by analysis of blood, body fluids, and tissues.  It’s a vital profession in the healthcare industry, providing the expert analysis needed to help assess and treat illnesses and injuries.  Earning a Medical Laboratory Science degree will give you the skills needed to get a great job with a great salary right out of college.  This degree can also serve as a stepping stone to medical school and other professions.

A. Program goals and competencies:

1. Describe how to safely collect, process, perform and report routine clinical laboratory tests on biological specimens and other substances, with precision and accuracy under minimal supervision within a reasonable length of time.

2. Explain routine maintenance and calibration procedures for laboratory equipment and use necessary corrective methods to maintain laboratory quality controls.

3. Use problem solving skills to recognize abnormal patient values and apply appropriate procedures.

4. Correlate didactic instruction with laboratory results in the diagnosis and treatment of patients to understand the concept of total patient care.

5. Discuss communication skills with all levels of personnel while demonstrating professional and ethical conduct, and adherence to patient safety guidelines.

6. Apply current laboratory technologies and procedures through continuing professional education.

B. CLASS SIZE:  Around 10 students are anticipated to be accepted into the program each year; however, the exact number is determined by the number of clinical sites available for completion of the laboratory practicum courses.  Should there be more students than available clinical affiliates, the Program Director will select the students who will perform clinical practicums, according to their academic performance on MLS Program courses completed.

C. PROGRAM HOURS:

1.     Medical Laboratory Science Program courses (MLS) are offered during the day only.

2.    General education courses and basic health science courses are offered during the day or evening.

 

D. PROGRAM LENGTH: Pre-requisite General Education and Science courses should be completed prior to beginning the MLS Program.  MLS Program courses if taken in sequence as scheduled, should be completed in two semesters.

         E. FINANCIAL INFORMATION:  see OC Undergraduate Catalog at http://www.oc.edu/academics/academic-catalog.html

III. PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

A. PHYSICAL AND MENTAL QUALIFICATIONS (also called Essential Functions)

    1. The ability to move around in the work areas.
    2. Vision sufficient to accurately distinguish colors, read, perform procedures, monitor instruments, and perform microscopic procedures.
    3. The coordination and movement ability to manipulate equipment and supplies, e.g. adjusting control knobs, manipulating small items.
    4. The ability to speak, write and comprehend the English language.
    5. The ability to communicate in an effective and professional way with clients and health-care providers.
    6. Auditory acuity sufficient to hear instructions, requests, and monitor equipment.
    7. The ability to use problem-solving skills including the application of concepts.
    8. The ability to follow instructions/regulations.
    9. The ability to reach a level of proficiency necessary to perform with minimal supervision.
    10. The ability to perform in stressful situations that are team-oriented and task-specific.

B. GRADE REQUIREMENTS for all MLS Program courses, requires minimum grade of C or better.  Failure to attain the minimum grade will result in a stop-out and require readmission to the program.  Readmission will be based upon space availability.  Students may be readmitted only one time.

 

C. MLS DRESS CODE POLICY

PURPOSE: to enhance a professional image and instill patient confidence.

SCRUBS: must be worn to MLS Program classes as well as clinical practicums:  unless the laboratory specifies a color, the color is dark blue or navy.  Scrubs should be cleaned and pressed, with a MLS patch sewn two inches below the shoulder seam on the LEFT sleeve (MLS arm patches will be made available to MLS students).

SHOES/SOCKS: white, closed toe and heel, non-fabric (athletic shoes with minimal color markings and white laces are acceptable).

LAB COATS: needed for all labs and some hospital practicums (check with the assigned clinical practicum site)

FINGERNAILS: Keep natural nails less than ¼ inch long.  Remove chipped polish; do not wear red-colored polish, artificial nails or nail extenders. 

JEWELRY: one pair ear lobe studs only; any other pierced sites must not be in view.

TATTOOS: should be covered and not in view.

HAIR: should be neat, clean, and secured to prevent falling in face.  Colored hair should be conservative.

HYGIENE: mouth and body odors should be avoided through daily baths, using deodorant, and dental care (breath mints).  Use makeup conservatively.

HEAD WEAR/CAPS/SCARVES: Caps may not be worn. Scarves should not obstruct face or interfere with lab procedures, and must be secured under the laboratory coats.

GUM and candy: Do not chew during labs or clinical practicums.

TOBACCO PRODUCTS: the hospitals do not allow smoking or any tobacco products (including E cigarettes).

 

D. HEALTH DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS

(Due one month prior to beginning hospital practicum)

    1. Mumps, Rubella and Rubeola: laboratory testing showing immunity, or proof of two MMR vaccines. Note that this vaccine may affect TB skin test results.
    2. Varicella (chickenpox): either by vaccination (2 vaccines required), laboratory testing showing immunity, or written documentation by physician or knowledgeable adult (Note: Norman Regional, Saint Anthony Shawnee Hospital, OU Medical Center, and some additional sites require vaccination OR testing showing immunity.)
    3. Flu shots are required at all clinical laboratory sites.
    4. Hepatitis B: three vaccinations OR laboratory testing showing immunity OR physician’s statement regarding contraindications precluding vaccination.
    5. TB skin test (read in mm): two separate negative skin tests must be completed at least one week apart, but no more than one year apart. If a past skin test has been positive, at least one negative chest film since conversion is required.
    6. Medical insurance: copy of card.
    7. CPR: Current Basic Life Support-Course Certification, American Heart. CPR is available at the American Red Cross (www.okc.redcross.org).

 E. Extended background check AND Drug Testing are required upon acceptance to the program.  Students are responsible for the cost. The clinical affiliate will determine the acceptance or denial of acceptance to the particular affiliation site for students who have prior convictions.

 

Anticipated OKC Clinical Laboratory Practicum Sites 2015-2016

Deaconess Hospital, Diagnostic Laboratory of Oklahoma, Integris Baptist Medical Center, Mercy Health Systems, OU Medical Center, Saint Anthony Hospital, Veterans Administration Hospital.

Videos

Want to know more about what it would be like to be a medical laboratory scientist, watch this video "I Am a Medical Laboratory Scientist."

Watch Video

Why OC is the best fit for you

  • OC is ranked among the best colleges and universities in the western region of the United States by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review.

  • OC’s faith-based approach sets our program apart, with an emphasis on medical missions opportunities in the United States and abroad.

  • OC’s reputation, along with the university’s relationships with hospitals and the broader health science community in the Oklahoma City metro area, help us place alumni in prime jobs and leading postgraduate programs.

  • OC students reap the benefits of undergraduate research opportunities in the Oklahoma City metro. Since 1996, 100% of OC students who participated in undergraduate research were accepted to professional programs (medical, dental, veterinary, physical therapy).

  • Graduates will be able to sit for the Board of Certification exam with the American Society of Clinical Pathology. 

Curriculum

The curriculum in the first three years of the Medical Laboratory Science program includes courses in biology, chemistry, microbiology, mathematics, and statistics. Senior-year courses include clinical laboratory skills, molecular diagnostics, management, and education. 

Have Questions? Contact us at mls@oc.edu