PRE-PROFESSIONAL PROGRAM

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Pre-Professional Program Curriculum 
MS in Medical Laboratory Science

The MS in Medical Laboratory Science program is a two-year, full-time program requiring 70 credit hours for completion. Classes are taught in a hybrid environment and include recorded, asynchronous lectures as well as timed assessments and written assignments.

Students will participate in monthly, one-day intensive laboratory sessions at PCOM Georgia. Students will work with state-of-the-art equipment, performing labs that will prepare them for clinical based internships for the second-year of the degree.

During the second year of the program, students will be placed in hospital laboratories or reference laboratories for three semesters of clinical rotations in each of the major five disciplines of medical laboratory science. Students will complete the unpaid internships alongside seasoned technologists, performing side by side work to gain technique, experience, and training for their future career goals. In the final semester, an intensive review course is required, and is designed to prepare students for the national certification exam. 

Clinical Rotations

Clinical rotation sites are located throughout Georgia, with a substantial concentration around PCOM Georgia (Suwanee, Georgia) and PCOM South Georgia (Moultrie, Georgia).  Despite concentrations in these locations, space in these rotation sites is still limited and it may become necessary for students to accept the financial impact of traveling and living out of town for a portion of their clinical assignments.

The program will make every effort to place all students on clinical rotations, making every attempt to select sites for students that are near them. However, occasionally a scheduled clinical experience at an external site may be unavailable due to circumstances beyond the control of PCOM, and failure to complete all required clinical rotations may delay a student’s graduation. Since the clinical rotation is required,  the program may place a student in a site at some distance from the student, or in a simulated laboratory experience on campus.

Course Sequence

The courses and sequence listed below are subject to change. Please consult the course catalog for additional information.

First Year Course Sequence

Fall Term

Introduction to Laboratory Methods (3 Credit Hours)

Introduces terms, concepts, procedures, and equipment used in a professional laboratory. Topics of professional ethics and regulatory agencies; basic laboratory safety, laboratory equipment, and techniques; phlebotomy and specimen processing; quality control concepts; laboratory math; required documentation and retention policies; point of care testing, basic instrumentation, automation, and computerization in the laboratory. Laboratory experience in phlebotomy will be provided in the campus laboratory and the clinical setting.

Urinalysis and Body Fluids (3 Credit Hours)

This course will focus selected body fluids including urine, amniotic fluid, cerebrospinal fluid, pleural fluid, peritoneal fluid, pericardial fluid, and synovial fluid. Renal pathophysiology and the physical and chemical properties of urine and cellular elements of the urine in healthy and diseased states are studied. The formation, function, and analysis of cerebrospinal fluid and amniotic fluid will be presented and analyzed. The pathophysiology of pleural, peritoneal, and pericardial cavities will be presented. Focus is provided to the cellular and formed elements found in these body fluids. This course includes the performance of various laboratory procedures utilized in the analysis of each of these fluids. Case studies will be analyzed to incorporate synthesis of the content and ability to assess the laboratory results associated with various disease states. Laboratory applications of patient samples and quality control procedures are required.

Hematology and Coagulation I (4 Credit Hours)

This course is a study of the normal production, maturation, and function of erythrocytes, leukocytes, and platelets. Lectures on hematologic disorders involving red/white cells will be discussed with emphasis on the pathogenic mechanisms. Laboratory tests, along with correlation to common disease states will also be examined and performed. Normal hemostasis will be considered including pertinent laboratory tests used in diagnosis of coagulation problems., Students will be expected to analyze case studies, evaluate laboratory data, and compose written evaluation of the differential diagnosis through comparing or contrasting similar conditions, and suggest appropriate reflex testing to confirm diagnosis.

Winter Term

Clinical Chemistry I (4 Credit Hours)

Provides students with an opportunity for in-depth application and reinforcement of chemistry principles and techniques in a medical laboratory setting. Topics include carbohydrates, electrolytes and acid-base balance, nitrogenous compounds, enzymes and endocrinology, liver functions, lipids, therapeutic drugs and toxicology, automated chemistry routine, immunoassay, special chemistry tests, molecular diagnostics, recording accuracy, safety, and quality control. Students will review case studies, evaluate data, and compose written evaluations of the differential diagnosis by comparing and contrasting similar conditions. Laboratory experiences will be required to demonstrate competency and comprehension of techniques applicable to the study.

Medical Microbiology I (4 Credit Hours)

Lectures and laboratory experiences emphasize current medical laboratory procedures for the safe collection, culture, staining, identification, and control of microorganisms routinely encountered in a medical setting. This course includes a survey of gram positive and gram-negative organisms encountered in medical microbiology laboratories and includes laboratory exercises focusing on plate characteristics and biochemical identification of organisms.

Research Methods (2 Credit Hours)

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to basic research methods in the Medical Laboratory Science field, including familiarization with both quantitative and qualitative methods. Students will be introduced to topics on how to write a research proposal, and how to analyze quantitative and qualitative results.

Spring Term

Immunohematology I (4 Credit Hours)

This course will provide the study of the major blood groups of humans including the red cell antigen systems, alloantibodies, and non-immune stimulated antibodies. Topics of focus will cover blood group systems, compatibility testing, transfusion reactions, and hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn will be discussed. Learners will analyze and resolve complex case study scenarios, compile research data, and prepare and discuss presentations on specific blood group systems. Laboratory experiences will focus on type and screens, antibody panels, and resolving multiple antibody related panels.

Immunology, Serology and Molecular Diagnostics I (4 Credit Hours)

This course discusses immunity, cell-mediated immune response, and antibody-mediated immune responses to immunogens. The cells, development, and role in human immune response will be discussed. Immunoglobulins, cytokines, and complement will be analyzed for role in immune responses. Common disorders of impaired immune function and infectious diseases will be discussed including autoimmunity, hypersensitivity, transplantation and tumor immunology, immunodeficiency, syphilis, infectious mononucleosis, COVID, and hepatitis. Laboratory exercises for disorders will be performed, analyzed, and compared to conditions for synthesis. Learners are expected to integrate the role of specific immune responses, current research findings, and the laboratory testing used in diagnosis and treatment of the specific condition.

Education Design (2 Credit Hours)

Learners will explore topics related to teaching, taxonomy, evaluation, assessment, and accreditation as they explore roles as a trainer, preceptor, program director and faculty.

Summer Term

Laboratory Management (3 Credit Hours)

Learners focus on general management and laboratory-specific management topics to include human resource management, organizational behavior, financial analysis, and compliance and regulatory issues. Reimbursement related issues, CPT coding, and analysis of financial decision-making regarding cost per test will be evaluated. Job specific skillsets, professional attributes of management, and interviewing will be assessed. Assignments and projects will show comprehension, synthesis, and application of the learner’s ability to integrate these principles and topics in laboratory related scenarios.

Parasitology, Mycology and Virology (3 Credit Hours)

The disease mechanisms of blood, tissue and intestinal parasites will be studied with emphasis on general characteristics of parasitic infections, test methods and treatments. The study of mycology, characteristics of medically important molds and fungi, as well as test methods are detailed. Virology, medically important viruses, transmission routes and methods of testing will be addressed.

Second Year Course Sequence

Fall Term

Advanced Hematology II (4 Credit Hours)

This online course will provide understanding, application principles and didactic reinforcement of hematology/coagulation principles and techniques. Evaluation of case studies involved in laboratory principles and procedures at a medical technologist level will require learners to critically think and employ troubleshooting methods to solve difficult cases. Topics include complete blood counts and differentials, routine and special blood tests, evaluation of data for leukemias, anemias, and sample acceptability; calibration and instrument to instrument comparisons; coagulation to disease states and critical levels; recording and evaluating accuracy, safety, and quality control, and management issues.

Advanced Clinical Chemistry II (4 Credit Hours)

This online course provides an analysis and synthesis of chemistry related case studies as a reinforcement of chemistry principles and techniques in a medical laboratory job setting. The cases will require learners to apply concepts and techniques, coupled with previously learned theory to diagnose, troubleshoot, and correlate results to pathophysiologic disease states. Learners will evaluate data, apply knowledge, and compose and defend both orally and written cases through presentations and reports. Topics include carbohydrates, electrolytes and acid-base balance, nitrogenous compounds, enzymes and endocrinology, liver functions, lipids, therapeutic drugs and toxicology, automated chemistry routine and stat, immunoassay, special chemistry tests, molecular diagnostics, recording accuracy, safety, and quality control.

Clinical Internship I (3 Credit Hours)

Students will be assigned a clinical placement in a hospital laboratory, reference laboratory, or equivalent in the following areas:

  • Urinalysis and Body Fluids: 120 hours
  • Phlebotomy: 10 hours
  • Immunology: 30 hours

Winter Term

Advanced Immunohematology II (4 Credit Hours)

This online course provides an analysis of difficult case studies through the application and reinforcement of immunohematology principles and techniques. Case study applications allow the learner to fully immerse them in topics of complicated transfusions, difficult antibody identifications using various biochemical methods to solve, transfusion related complications such as TRALI (Transfusion Related Acute Lung Injury) and TACO (Transfusion Associated Circulatory Overload), inventory control, management of disease states, inventory control, records and reagent quality control, equipment and safety, and regulatory accrediting agency standards.

Advanced Microbiology II (4 Credit Hours)

This online course provides a review of basic microbiology principles. Evaluation of case studies involved in laboratory principles and procedures at a medical technologist level will require learners to critically think and employ troubleshooting methods to solve difficult cases.  The case study approaches enable learners to identify both physical and biochemical characteristics of bacterial samples, microbial physiology and the interactions between the host and pathogenic microorganisms, clinical and epidemiological consequences of these interactions, and molecular diagnostic testing are also covered.

Clinical Internship II (4 Credit Hours)

Students will be assigned a clinical placement in a hospital laboratory, reference laboratory, or equivalent in the following areas:

  • Hematology: 160 hours
  • Chemistry: 160 hours

Spring Term

Directed Research (2 Credit Hours)

Learners will perform the 10 principals of research, conduct a small-scale research project as assigned by the clinical internship host on a topic within the scope of the medical internship, and present and defend the project.

Grad Seminar (1 Credit Hour)

This course provides a detailed analysis of the disciplines that comprise medical laboratory science. The course is a preparatory course to aid graduates in preparation for the certification exam. Analysis of case studies from the spectrum of disciplines within the field, real life scenarios are presented that not only correlate with disease states, but also serve as problem-solving and critical thinking exercises. So as to better prepare for sitting for the national certification examinations required and for clinical practice, a mock registry national examination will serve as the final exam which requires a passing score of 70% for successful completion of the course.

Advanced Immunology/Molecular Diagnostics II (4 Credit Hours)

This online course emphasizes immunologic techniques in the serologic identification of antigens and antibodies. This course will employ a case study approach to solving difficult cases with emphasis is made on measurement of the immune product, reactions which can yield significant information in the clinical differential diagnosis and monitoring the progress of a disorder/disease through results presented. Learners will communicate understanding through presentations, written reports, and evaluation of the data to determine if additional testing is required to definitively identify the cause.

Clinical Internship III (4 Credit Hours)

Students will be assigned a clinical placement in a hospital laboratory, reference laboratory, or equivalent in the following areas:

  • Blood Bank: 160 hours
  • Microbiology: 160 hours
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