JCU Inherent Requirements for Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science (70309, 70310)
Persons wishing to enrol in the Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science should read these requirements in conjunction with the course handbook.
Students should carefully consider the inherent requirements statement below as a guide to their learning during the course, and as a way to identify early possible challenges they may have in meeting these requirements.
Prospective students who remain interested or engaged in the course should discuss their concerns with College staff, such as the Course Coordinator, as soon as possible. If the challenges are related to a disability or health condition, students should contact AccessAbility Services to discuss possible strategies and reasonable adjustments.
If the inherent requirements cannot be met with reasonable adjustments, JCU staff may provide guidance regarding other study options.
Reasonable adjustments must:
- Be consistent with legislative and regulatory requirements, and not compromise codes, guidelines and policies
- Not result in unethical or unprofessional behaviour
- Meet the necessary standards of timeliness, accuracy and functional effectiveness to ensure that self and patient care, treatment or safety is not compromised
- Address the need to perform the full range of tasks involved in clinical practice, including undertaking learning activities in mixed gender environments, which reflect the Australian context, and
- Ensure that performance is consistent and sustained over a given period.
Compliance with Australian Law and professional regulations.
Knowledge, understanding, and compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements are necessary in order to reduce the risk of harm to self and others in clinical and related settings; compliance with these professional regulations and the Australian Law ensures students are both responsible and accountable for their practice.
- Meet Queensland Health, or equivalent, work placement requirements
- Comply with relevant child protection safety, health and safety and anti-discrimination legislation
- Comply with the requirements for membership with the Australian Institute of Medical Scientists
Ethical and professional behaviour
Ethical and professional behaviour in academic, clinical and professional environments.
Compliance with standards, codes, guidelines and policies that facilitates safe, competent interactions and relationships for students and the people they engage with in the many environments of practice is required for the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of all.
- Comply with academic and non-academic conduct codes and policies and professional standards
- Identify and enact relevant applications of these codes and standards, including those relating to plagiarism, informed consent, privacy, confidentiality and equitable, inclusive and respectful behaviour in academic, professional and clinical settings
Compliance with safe practice sufficient to meet professional performance, including considerations of current scope of practice, workplace health and safety and infection control and alarm system responsiveness.
Compliance with current scope of practice, workplace health and safety, infection control considerations and effective and timely response to alarm systems are required to provide safe environments for students, staff and others.
- Limit task performance to current scope of practice
- Comply with relevant workplace health & safety policies for equipment use and storage
- Comply with infection control procedures, including the use of Personal Protective Equipment
- Meet Queensland Health, or equivalent, work placement requirements including first aid and CPR knowledge and competencies
- Be able to respond to alarm systems to maintain personal safety
Knowledge and cognitive skills
Knowledge acquisition, utilisation and retention spanning and drawing together all coursework subjects. Cognitive skills for focus, memory, attention to detail, theoretical deliberation, and practical functioning sufficient to meet professional performance.
Understanding and retention of coursework information and the effective processing of this information is required for appropriate, safe and effective professional performance.
- Make safe and appropriate scientific process decisions from retained knowledge
- Assess the application of policy and procedures in the context of professional performance
- Research and use an evidence based framework to decide on appropriate methodology for scientific inquiries
- Understanding the need for method validation, reference ranges and limitations of different methodologies on result interpretation
- Identify and analyse potential causes for abnormalities in blood analysis results and observations of growth patterns in bacterial cultures
- Notice and respond effectively to critical small changes in instructions, measurements or equipment functioning
Awareness of own thinking, and skills to reflect, evaluate, adapt and implement new cognitive strategies for improved learning and professional performance.
Understanding and ongoing learning about oneself as an instrument in professional performance is required for safe and effective delivery of professional performance.
- Identify and analyse unanticipated outcomes of applied professional knowledge, and modify practice for future practice
- Understanding your limitations in knowledge, experience and skill e.g. when an acute leukaemia is diagnosed allowing the Oncologist/Haematologist contact the requesting clinician
- Respectfully dealing with clinicians when they do not understand your interpretation of a result
- Dealing with mistakes and failings which may happen in the laboratory in an ethical and honest way, admitting to colleagues, supervisors and clients that a mistake has been made and putting in place corrective action
- Confronting social situations, e.g. dealing with a positive pregnancy test or sexually transmitted disease of a 12 year old
- Be aware of, and take responsibility for your personal role in inter-personal and team interactions including personal responses to cultural and professional paradigms
- Manage and proactively learn from academic and professional practice set-backs by self-evaluation
- Manage multiple priorities and time management decisions.
English literacy skills to allow the creation and interpretation of clear meaning for professional performance through a range of symbols and English language text.
Information can be delivered by many different modes and competent literacy skills for these are essential to provide appropriate, safe and effective delivery of professional performance.
- Comprehend, summarise and reference a range of literature in accordance with appropriate academic conventions in written assignments
- Interpret graphs, tables, diagrams, pictographs
- Produce accurate, concise and clear documentation for professional practice to meet legal requirements e.g. results of gross and microscopic histological examination, interpretation of blood film examination and microbiological microscopic examination of faeces, sputum, vaginal swabs and gram staining.
Accurate processing and reasoning with numbers and numerical concepts for professional performance and ultimately patient care decisions.
Competent reasoning and reliable accuracy with numerical concepts are essential for safe and effective professional performance.
- Perform accurate calculations to produce scientific data e.g. dilution calculations, chemical concentrations to prepare reagents
- Accurately interpret scientific, pathology and research data including data resulting from pathological investigations, machine generated data and result interpretation of colleagues
- Accurately produce and interpret scientific graphs, diagrams and statistical analyses including predicting the likelihood of an outcome and comparing the effectiveness of two or more treatment outcomes
Ability to interact with verbal communication in English to a standard that allows clear and comprehensible two-way interactions for professional performance.
Effective interaction with spoken English from university, professional and clinical staff as well as peers is required for effective learning and to provide safe and effective professional performance.
- Understand and respond accurately and appropriately in a time-constrained environment when provided with additional verbal information impacting on a work process e.g. changes to a blood analysis protocol; changes in status for analysis for example when a situation becomes urgent following a request from the Emergency department
- Engage with peers, supervisors and teaching staff to explore relevant issues around a developing team task/ a tutorial simulation exercise, e.g. discuss current testing protocols and plan a new method and protocol validation project
- Present information and results formally to a wider audience, including clinical, nursing and other hospital staff
Non-verbal communication skills that enable respectful communication with others to meet professional performance.
The ability to recognise, interpret and respond to non-verbal cues, to communicate with congruent and respectful non-verbal behaviour, and to be sensitive to individual and/or cultural variations in non-verbal communication are required for safe and effective professional interactions.
- Use non-verbal behaviour that is respectful of others and consistent with the nature of the discussion during work team discussions, presentations
- Recognise cues in facial expression, appearance, behaviour, posture, movement in people and in animals (e.g. when conducting tissue or blood sampling from animals and/or human subjects)
Ability to produce English text to a standard that provides clear and professional-level communication, with a language usage and style that is tailored to the targeted recipients.
Effective communication in English text is required to demonstrate applied skills in academic writing conventions and in sustained and organised academic argument and provide safe and effective professional performance.
- Communicate complex academic and scientific perspectives in writing
- Summarise and appropriately reference a range of literature in written assignments
- Read, understand and use precise and appropriate language to contribute clearly to handwritten and electronically-produced records in a time-constrained environment
Ability to interact with visual inputs sufficiently to manage learning environments and to meet professional performance needs.
Elements in the teaching, learning and working environment are delivered by visual means, and the ability to learn from or respond to these inputs is required to provide safe and effective professional performance.
- Respond and analyse to colour differences in cells under a microscope; respond to visual cue on malfunctioning equipment
- Set-up and use equipment and tools including centrifuges, sterilisers, microscopes, petri dishes and culture plates
- Process visual information from reagent labels, electronic displays, wall-posted information, equipment gauges, flasks and pipettes, pipettes, and handwritten and electronic documents
- Process the visual information required to add precise quantities of reagent to test tubes, syringes, pipettes
- Set-up and safely use surgical equipment and medical technologies
- Monitor the broader environment for patient safety
Ability to interact with auditory inputs sufficiently to manage learning environments and to meet professional performance.
Elements in the learning and working environments are delivered by auditory means, and the ability to learn from or respond to these inputs is required to provide safe and effective professional performance.
- Interact with verbal communications that provide additional information impacting on a work process (e.g. discussing setting up and using a new piece of equipment)
- Follow developing discussions with colleagues which will modify practice (e.g. changes to a testing procedure and sampling handling technique)
- Detect, discriminate and respond to equipment alarms at different frequencies, emergency calls over PA systems, and urgent verbal information for professional practice
Ability to respond to tactile input sufficiently to meet professional performance needs.
Elements in the working environment are detected and measured by tactile means, and the ability to learn from or respond to these inputs is required for safe and effective professional performance.
- Apply appropriate pressure when pipetting small quantities of reagent into a solution by hand
- Holding glass microscopy slides; lifting frozen sections of tissue onto slides using appropriate equipment
- Careful pipetting and manipulation of patient samples
Gross motor ability
Strength, range of motion, coordination and mobility sufficient to meet professional performance needs.
A range of physical actions in a time-constrained environment is required to provide safe and effective professional performance.
- Move and maintain balance and body position around practice areas to access, transport and use ingredients, glassware and equipment on varying surfaces and levels, to complete tasks within constrained timeframes
- Reach and work across sterile areas without contaminating surfaces or materials
- Position and tighten a tourniquet on a limb for collecting blood
- Safely retrieve, move and utilise stock and equipment from reasonable storage positions at a range of heights
Fine motor ability
Manual dexterity and fine motor skills sufficient to meet professional performance needs.
A wide range of fine-motor manual tasks in a time-constrained environment are required for safe and effective professional performance.
- Position and insert a needle into a vein for collecting blood
- Use of touch screens and instrument panels, microscopes
- Use instruments for scientific/diagnostic procedures
- Unscrew reagent bottles, hold glass pipettes and release small quantities, place small samples/tubes in analysers/centrifuges
- Maintain sterile technique in fume hoods and/or during dissections (e.g. opening jars with one hand)
- Contribute to both handwritten and electronic scientific records
Sustained physical, cognitive and psychosocial performance sufficient for safe and complete professional performance in a time-constrained environment.
A range of complex, multi-component or extended practice tasks carried out over a period of time and in a time-constrained environments is required for safe and effective professional performance.
- Sustain study practices and clinical performance to sufficiently engage with the learning workload for a study period, and for the degree, within a timeframe
- Sustain a working posture, associated manual tasks, cognitive engagement, performance level and emotional control for the full duration of a practice process e.g. accurately pipetting for extended time periods, perform laboratory tasks in a constrained timeframe with a significant ongoing workload
- Cross matching urgently for transfusion on multiple trauma patients
Behaviour that adapts to changing situations sufficiently for safe and complete practice, and instigates self-care consistent with professional expectations.
Behavioural adaptability is required to manage personal emotional responses as an individual and within teams in changing and unpredictable environments. Students will also be required to adapt their behaviour appropriately during times of additional stressors in their own lives, whether this adaptation involves ways of continuing to engage with their role or withdrawing for self-care for a period.
- Adjust ways of working within teams of varied personal and professional backgrounds and clinical opinions to facilitate effective practice decisions
- Cope with own emotions and behaviour effectively when dealing with multiple and/or changing demands in the practice setting including working with pathology agents, human and animal products i.e. urine, faeces, blood, sputum
- Maintain respectful communication practices in times of increased stressors or workloads
- Be receptive and respond professionally to constructive feedback
- Adjust to changing circumstances in a way that allows self-care while maintaining a professional-level focus on practice needs