Skip to main content

Medical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology Track - Course Descriptions

CHEMISTRY

MEDT 355 BIOCHEMISTRY (3 SEMESTER HOURS)

This course is designed to introduce students to the principles of biochemistry – the chemistry of living matter. The first section of the course will emphasize building blocks of biomolecules, biological buffers, protein structure and enzymes. The next section will deal with the molecular biology of the informational macromolecules, DNA and RNA, and with protein synthesis. The final section discusses the metabolic pathways of the macromolecules – carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids and nucleic acids – as well as the action and mechanisms of hormones.

MEDT 356 INSTRUMENTATION / ANALYTICAL METHODS (4 SEMESTER HOURS)

This course is designed to introduce students to the basic laboratory instrumentation and analytical methods common to both clinical and research laboratories. The course will explore miscellaneous instruments and techniques through their application and use. Instructional formats include lecture, discussion, question and answer sessions, reading assignments and laboratory exercises. The laboratory component of the course will serve to complement and enhance lecture topics by both demonstrations and laboratory performance using the instrumentation and analytical techniques discussed.

The laboratory component of the course will serve to complement and enhance lecture topics. Prerequisite: MEDT 355

MEDT 452 CLINICAL CHEMISTRY (4 SEMESTER HOURS)

This course is designed to present in-depth information relating to the pathophysiology of commonly measured analytes in the clinical chemistry laboratory. Discussion will include the following topics: proteins, clinical enzymology, carbohydrates/diabetes, lipids/lipoproteins, renal function, tumor markers, liver function, acid-base balance, blood gases, electrolytes, bone metabolism, cardiac markers, thyroid and adrenal endocrinology, and therapeutic drug monitoring/toxicology. The instructional formats used include lecture, discussion, question and answer sessions, case study presentations, reading assignments, and laboratory exercises which include sample/data analysis, evaluation of quality control parameters and clinical correlation exercises.

MICROBIOLOGY

MEDT 490 PATHOGENIC MICROBIOLOGY (4 SEMESTER HOURS)

Students are introduced to bacteria, which may cause disease or may reside as normal flora in humans. In the lecture portion of the course, each genus of pathogenic bacteria is studied according to its classification, structure, virulence, epidemiology, clinical syndrome(s) and treatment. Major emphasis is placed on learning the basic identification characteristics of each of the genera studied and the differentiation of the various species within each genus. Gram positive/negative, cocci/bacilli, aerobic/anaerobic organisms are studied as well as mycobacteria, mycoplasma/chlamydia, actinomycetes, rickettsia, and spirochetes. Conventional and/or automated and molecular techniques are discussed. The laboratory portion of the course supports the lectures by providing practical experience in the identification of pathogenic bacteria by conventional techniques. The student obtains expertise by working with known organisms as well as unknown samples.
Prerequisite: General Microbiology

MEDT 471 PARASITOLOGY/MYCOLOGY (3 SEMESTER HOURS)

This course involves two different modules that together constitute a comprehensive introduction to parasitic and fungal infections of humans with emphasis on the major pathogens encountered in the clinical laboratory.

In the didactic portion of the course, students are introduced to each taxonomic group of parasites and fungi where morphology, life cycles, clinical symptoms, disease, diagnosis, treatment, and epidemiology are discussed in detail.

In the laboratory portion of the course, the emphasis is on visual identification of pathogenic organisms.

In the Parasitology Module, students will view stained slides and/or numerous reference vials of organisms such as cestodes, trematodes, filarial/intestinal/tissue nematodes, protozoans, malarial parasites, as well as Babesia, Leishmania, Trypanosoma and Toxoplasma. Each student will be responsible for accurate and independent identification of two unknowns (one from a concentration procedure and one from a trichrome-stained slide).

In the Mycology Module, students will view a variety of yeast strains as well as lactophenol cotton blue –stained slides of pathogenic molds. Organisms such as Zygomycetes, Dermatophytes, Dematiaceous, Hyaline and Dimorphic fungi as well as Pneumocystis jiroveci will be examined. Students will be responsible for the accurate and independent identification to the genus and species level of one unknown organism.

MEDT 472 CLINICAL MICROBIOLOGY (3 SEMESTER HOURS)

The course presents a review of pathogenic microbiology/virology with the approach used in the clinical microbiology laboratory. Students are introduced to medical microbiology and the clinical basis of infectious diseases. Each system of the body is discussed in terms of anatomy and physiology, normal flora, occurrence of infectious diseases, expected pathogens, their characteristics, and factors which predispose them to pathogenesis in that particular body site. In the laboratory, students become acquainted with the proper collection, handling, identification and appropriate treatments of pathogens from the various body sites. Students use the information and laboratory skills acquired in Pathogenic Microbiology. During the course each student works independently building self-reliance and analytical skills to identify pathogens from clinical specimens and in the reporting of their findings.
Prerequisite: MEDT 490 – Pathogenic Microbiology

MEDT 491 CLINICAL IMMUNOLOGY (4 SEMESTER HOURS)

This course presents a systematic review of the structure and function of the human immune system and its relationship to disease. Students will acquire the background and practical skills necessary to work in a clinical immunology laboratory. Some lecture topics include innate and acquired immunity, antigens, antibody structure/function, B & T lymphocytes, immunodeficiencies, MHC and antigen processing/presentation, soluble mediators of immunity, immune response to infection, hypersensitivity, autoimmunity, and transplantation/tumor immunology. Some laboratory topics include laboratory safety, phagocytosis, complement, various precipitation/agglutination assays, various labeled immunoassays (including ELISA, FTA-ABS, IFA) serology of various disease states, antinuclear antibody testing (colorzyme vs. fluorescent) and the basics of flow cytometry.

MEDT 451 CELLULAR & MOLECULAR BIOLOGY (4 SEMESTER HOURS)

This course is an introductory course in which students acquire the basic skills, concepts and theoretical background needed for the biotechnology research laboratory. In the lecture portion of this course, basic concepts of molecular cell biology are discussed. The molecules, structures, organization and function of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells are examined and compared. Experimental techniques used to analyze and manipulate DNA and RNA are explained. Molecular diagnoses of genetic and cancerous diseases will be discussed. In the laboratory portion of the course, the students learn basic skills in DNA technology. Initially students will practice sterile techniques, micropipetting, DNA extraction and establish a bacterial growth curve. Additional laboratory skills are learned through agarose gel analysis of DNA, PCR, cloning, plasmid transformation, selection and identification of recombinant clones, DNA isolation and purification, restriction endonuclease analysis and mapping, DNA probe labeling, Southern blot analysis, DNA hybridization and principle of DNA sequencing, different types of PCR and microarrays.

HEMATOLOGY

MEDT 331 HEMATOLOGY I (3 SEMESTER HOURS)

This course is an introduction to the fundamental concepts and principles of the field of clinical hematology. Components include: units on hematopoiesis, normal values, introduction to stem cells, and in-depth study of various anemias, hemoglobinopathies, qualitative leukocyte disorders and related laboratory tests. The pathogenesis, clinical and laboratory manifestations of hematologic disorders are described. Students learn to distinguish normal and abnormal cellular characteristics of peripheral blood smears by examining and applying systems of qualitative differentiating criteria. Association of abnormal morphologic findings with underlying disorders are emphasized. Other laboratory topics include: general laboratory safety precautions, routine hematological tests, an introduction to automated hematology cell counters and quality control measures for the hematology laboratory. Instructional methods include lectures with educational objectives and comprehensive outlines, small group discussions, case histories, and study guide review questions. Grades are determined by lecture examinations, laboratory competency exercises, quizzes and homework.

MEDT 432 HEMATOLOGY II (3 SEMESTER HOURS)

This course is designed to emphasize advanced theoretical concepts in hematology and hemostasis and their practical applications. Students are exposed to the pathogenesis, laboratory diagnosis, clinical correlation and peripheral blood cell identification of the acute myeloid and lymphocytic leukemias. Other topics include: myeloproliferative and lymphoproliferative disorders, the myelodysplastic disorders, and plasma cell disorders. Cytochemical staining patterns in acute leukemias are stressed and their utility in the diagnostic process is developed through case study exercises. Students learn to interpret abnormal automated CBC results and perform follow-up procedures. Anemias are reviewed throughout the course of the semester. Topics in coagulation include an overview of hemostasis, platelet disorders, hereditary factor disorders, von Willebrand’s disease, fibrinolysis, DIC, physiologic and pathologic inhibitors, thrombosis and anticoagulant therapy. Each hemostasis concept is supported by laboratory exercises which emphasize the practical aspects of coagulation test systems, and reagent, quality control and diagnostic usefulness. Instructional methods include lectures and educational objectives, case studies, problem-based exercises, and homework.
Prerequisite: MEDT 331 – Hematology I

MEDT 464 IMMUNOHEMATOLOGY (4 SEMESTER HOURS)

This course is designed to cover practical and theoretical concepts in the study of blood group serology and transfusion medicine. Students will learn and apply basic knowledge of immunological principles to the ABO, Rh, and other significant blood group systems. Transfusion medicine topics discussed include donor screening, component preparation, apheresis, and blood component therapy. The course will also cover topics in the investigation of hemolytic disease of the newborn (HDN), drug related red blood cell sensitization, transfusion reactions and autoimmune hemolytic anemias. Emphasis will be placed on quality control and regulations in transfusion medicine. In lab, students will demonstrate proficiency in ABO/Rh grouping, direct antiglobulin testing, antibody screening, and compatibility testing. In addition, students will be introduced to various blood bank special techniques and apply basic knowledge of concepts and techniques to the investigation of unexpected serological reactions in Blood Banking.
Prerequisite: MEDT 491 Clinical Immunology or equivalent

LABORATORY SCIENCES

MEDT 321 INTRODUCTION TO LABORATORY TECHNIQUES (1 SEMESTER HOUR)

This course serves as a basic introduction to the field of clinical and research laboratory sciences. Students will acquire the fundamental skills necessary to ensure competency in the clinical and research laboratory. Course topics include: laboratory safety, organization of the clinical laboratory, phlebotomy, collection and processing of laboratory specimens, quality assurance, systems of measurement, basic laboratory equipment, microscopy, laboratory mathematics and point-of-care testing. This course includes a mandatory phlebotomy rotation at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

MEDT 421 URINALYSIS / BODY FLUIDS (2 SEMESTER HOURS)

This course covers the anatomy and physiology of the genitourinary system, procedures and principles behind the complete urinalysis including physical, chemical, microscopic properties, and genitourinary disease status. Other body fluids including spinal fluid, synovial fluid, seminal fluid, transudates, exudates and fecal analysis are also covered. Specimen handling, analysis and disease correlation are discussed for all fluids.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

MEDT 309 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT (1 SEMESTER HOUR)

Utilizing a problem-based learning approach towards instruction, this course is designed to heighten students’ awareness of professional and ethical issues impacting the practice of medical laboratory science and biotechnology science research. Modes of instruction include group exercises, web-based activities, oral presentations and written assignments. Professional societies are introduced along with career development strategies, cover letter and resume writing and interviewing skills. In addition, emphasis will be placed on fine-tuning presentation skills. Students will be required to give a group presentation using a graphics software program. At the end of the term, each student submits a portfolio, which is an accumulation of course assignments and their individually tailored career plan.

MEDT 308 SCIENTIFIC & TECHNICAL WRITING (1 SEMESTER HOUR)

Scientific and Technical Writing is designed to meet competencies defined by the industry and the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science. This one-credit course will provide undergraduate students with the basic structure, format and content for writing scientific papers, technical reports, professional essays and personal correspondence. In addition, the course also focuses upon conducting literature searches and ethical conduct in scientific and technical writing.

MEDT 408 RESEARCH PROJECT (OPTIONAL ELECTIVE, THIS COURSE MAY BE TAKEN MORE THAN ONCE, 1-3 SEMESTER HOURS)

Under faculty mentorship, students identify a suitable research topic, conduct a comprehensive literature search, carry out a project, analyze the data generated and submit a publication quality written project.

MEDT 409 LABORATORY MANAGEMENT / QUALITY CONTROL / REGULATORY ISSUES (3 SEMESTER HOURS)

This course is designed to enhance students’ oral and written communication skills, promote critical thinking, foster team building and endorse professionalism. Utilizing a problem-based learning approach towards instruction, students will develop managerial skills in the following areas: leadership, human resources, problem solving, laboratory information systems, financial analysis, education methodology, training, and regulatory issues. In addition, students will conduct a mock inspection of a laboratory. Modes of instruction include case studies, group exercises, role-play, oral presentation and written assignments.

EXTERNSHIPS/CLINICAL ROTATIONS

MEDT 453 CLINICAL PRACTICE CHEMISTRY (3 SEMESTER HOURS)

This course provides exposure to practical experience in Clinical Chemistry acquired through a 18-day rotation at an affiliated hospital or physician’s office laboratory. Students are introduced to daily operations, workflow, quality control and the laboratory information system as they perform automated diagnostic chemistry procedures. Emphasis is placed on the operation and troubleshooting of chemistry analyzers and equipment as well as enhancement of skills used in manual techniques. Focus is also placed on the assessment of specimen integrity with proper follow-up.
Prerequisite: MEDT 452

MEDT 463 CLINICAL PRACTICE HEMATOLOGY (3 SEMESTER HOURS)

This course provides exposure to practical experience in Hematology and Coagulation acquired through a 18-day rotation at an affiliated hospital or physician’s office laboratory. Students are introduced to daily operations, workflow and the laboratory information system as they perform manual and automated hematology and coagulation procedures. Procedures include manual and automated cell counts, evaluation of abnormal CBC results and formulation of an appropriate course of action, examination of normal and abnormal peripheral smears, recognition of abnormal red cell and white cell morphology, and identification of the most common anemias and leukemias.
Prerequisites: MEDT 331 & 432

MEDT 467 CLINICAL PRACTICE IMMUNOHEMATOLOGY (3 SEMESTER HOURS)

This course provides exposure to practical experience in Blood Banking and Transfusion Medicine acquired through a 18-day rotation at an affiliated hospital laboratory. Students are introduced to daily operations, workflow and the laboratory information system as they perform routine and specialty pre-transfusion testing on patient and simulated samples. Techniques performed include ABO/Rh testing, antibody detection and direct antiglobulin testing as well as antibody identification, direct antiglobulin battery and other reference techniques and methods.
Prerequisite: MEDT 464

MEDT 473 CLINICAL PRACTICE MICROBIOLOGY (3 SEMESTER HOURS)

This course provides exposure to practical experience in Microbiology acquired through a 18-day rotation at an affiliated hospital or reference laboratory. Students are introduced to daily operations, workflow and the laboratory information system as they perform diagnostic techniques for microorganism identification. Tasks and techniques include specimen processing and culturing, identification of pathogenic microorganisms, and susceptibility testing for selecting the most appropriate antibiotic. Other specialized methods may include parasitic, fungal and viral identification.
Prerequisites: MEDT 472 & 471

MEDT 402 COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW COURSE (1 SEMESTER HOUR)

This course will provide a comprehensive review of the major discipline areas within the clinical laboratory or biotechnology science research. Students are required to attend all scheduled review sessions which will facilitate preparation for the exam portion of the course. For students in the medical technology track, four post rotation exams will be administered. For students in the biotechnology science research track, two exams will be given during the externship experience. All students will take a final comprehensive exam at the end of the semester. Final grades will be assigned a letter grade. As with all DMRT courses, successful completion of MEDT 402 is a requirement for graduation.