Program Clinical Prerequisites

Program Clinical Prerequisites

Before beginning the clinical experience rotations at the hospitals, the student must:

  1. Maintain a minimum of 2.0 (C) overall grade point average. A student who earns less than a C in any prerequisite course is strongly advised to repeat the course or change majors. A grade of C or better must be earned in all Micrb 151 courses.
  2. Complete all prerequisite courses for the Micrb 151 series.
  3. Document satisfactory completion of PSU online training programs:  "HIPAA Training for Students,"  "Bloodborne Pathogen Training," and the "Orientation to Clinical Laboratory Safety" lesson (during the freshman Micrb 150 course).
  4. Document a physical examination, either at a personal physician or at Campus Health Services, to be completed not more than one year before the start of the practicum. The MLT program Physical Examination form must be used. It must include required immunizations.  The student shall present it to the assigned clinical sites.  Some clinical sites may require blood tests and drug testing.
  5. Purchase health insurance, and provide proof of insurance coverage to the assigned clinical site (photocopy of insurance ID card or copy of current policy statement are acceptable).
  6. Purchase malpractice insurance and provide proof of coverage to the clinical site.
  7. Pay tuition (in full, or first installment) by the start of the clinical rotation in order to be covered by malpractice insurance.
  8. Provide background checks and negative drug testing, and complete a hospital orientation as required by the clinical site. Some clinical sites require an interview in the selection process.
  9. Attain satisfactory "Pre-clinical Student Evaluation" scores (at least 80%) on two of the following lab-based courses: Biol 142, Micrb 202, Chem 111, Biol 110. Evaluations are completed by the course instructors and are based on student interest, attendance, behavior and attitude.

Student Health

The student’s physical examination report must include physician's verification that the student appears to be free of communicable diseases or impediments that would interfere with the completion of the clinical experience. Students are required to document immunization to measles (rubeola), mumps, and rubella (or MMR), and have a current negative 2-step PPD test for tuberculosis (or chest X-ray). A clinical site has the right to deny a student from participation if s/he refuses to comply with immunization and physical exam requirements.

Insurance Coverage/Clearances

The student is required to show proof of medical insurance coverage to the clinical site prior to beginning the practicum. Student insurance is available from the University. Some clinical sites may provide emergency medical treatment; all costs are the responsibility of the student. 

The student will be directed to purchase the required amount of medical liability (malpractice) insurance. Proof of insured status must be presented to the clinical site prior to the start of the practicum.

The clinical sites require the student to obtain criminal background records including Pa. State Police and Child Abuse Clearances, and may require FBI fingerprint records and random drug testing. Students are informed which checks are required, and will be responsible for all fees associated with them. Clinical sites have the right to bar students from their facilities if a criminal record or positive drug test is noted. For students with a criminal record, the program's Clinical Education Coordinator will make a maximum of two attempts to secure a practicum. The program cannot guarantee placement.

Technical Standards  (Essential Functions)

In order to succeed as an MLT, the student must be able to conform to these essential functions:

Physical requirements: see fine detail thru a microscope; discriminate colors of various stains and reactants; possess required manual dexterity when performing venipuncture and other laboratory techniques requiring fine motor skills of the hands; use a computer keyboard; sit or stand at the clinical laboratory bench; move safely around the laboratory.

Communication in English: read and comprehend written materials; follow verbal and written instructions; clearly write reports and examinations; communicate verbally and in writing to patients and medical staff. (Note: While the inability to communicate in the English language may not bar a graduate from practicing as an MLT, competency in English is required during the student's clinical experience at the clinical sites affiliated with Penn State Hazleton at this time.)

Behavior: accept responsibility and accountability for one's actions; accept constructive criticism; exercise professional judgment in stressful situations.

If the student is uncertain about being able to comply with any of these essential functions, s/he should consult with the MLT program director. Students anticipating the need for accommodations, both before and after enrollment, are encouraged to contact the campus Coordinator for Disability Services at 570-450-3017 for assistance in obtaining aids or services to meet their needs.


Satisfactory completion of the MLT Safety Orientation is required before a student can begin the clinical year. The program requires strict adherence to the safety rules distributed during the introductory Micrb 150 course, including Standard (Universal) Precautions, while in the student lab and during clinical rotations. In addition, the student must read and follow the safety manual at each assigned clinical site.

Gloves and fluid-resistant lab coats must be worn during collection and handling of patient specimens. Although the student is not required to be vaccinated against Hepatitis B, it is strongly suggested. Protective goggles are provided and are strongly recommended. Other safety regulations will be distributed at the time of acceptance to the program.