DIVISION OF VOCATIONAL,
TECHNICAL, AND ADULT EDUCATION
CARL W. PROEHL, Assistant Superintendent
TECHNICAL and HEALTH
THOMAS W. STRICKLAND, DIRECTOR
BULLETIN 77 L-2
L- : .611
1i;, ~ r
The Florida State Department of Education presents this guide-
line for training certified laboratory assistants as one part of
its continuing effort to provide guidance in the development of
effective educational programs in the health occupations. Require-
ments for the technical portions of any program for supportive
level medical laboratory personnel are equivalent to the standards
established by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists and
the American Society of Medical Technologists which are recognized
by the Council on Medical Education of the American Medical Association.
Approval by the appropriate medical professional group provides
the graduates with the option for admission to examination for
certification and licensure coincident with full access into the
practice of laboratory medicine on the technical level. The flexi-
bility inherent in the specialty standards allows the local community,
in cooperation with the Technical and Health Occupations Education
Section, to design a total program which best meets the particular need
of that area. In addition, opportunities for graduates to obtain
additional study in accredited colleges and universities are enhanced
by recognizing medical training standards recommended by the pro-
fessional group and required by the Florida State Department of
At its regular meeting on November 2, 1967, the Advisory Committee
to the State Department of Education considered in detail programs for
training students in approved programs. It also considered the rela-
tionship of programs of this type to the education of laboratory
technical personnel in junior colleges. The following recommenda-
tions were presented by the committee.
1. The certified laboratory assistants program, approved
by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists and
American Society of Medical Technologists has been an
excellent program and has been a great help in developing
properly qualified laboratory assistants wherever the pro-
gram has been properly developed.
2. The programs for training medical technologists to be
certified by the ASCP and designated as M.T. (ASCP) is
an outstanding program developed for the purpose of train-
ing supervisory personnel for medical laboratories. This
program is not within the limits of activity of this
3. Graduates of medical laboratory assistant programs in
junior colleges or vocational schools should be eligible
to take the examination as offered by the Board of Certified
Laboratory Assistants unless and until some other program
of examination and certification is established by the
4. Program development should be within the framework ap-
proved by the American Medical Association Council on
Medical Education and Hospitals.
5. Development of all programs must be kept on an "open-end"
basis in order to see that programs are properly responsive
to the requirements of changing times.
Organization and Administration
1. CLA educational programs may be established in junior colleges
and vocational schools, provided faculty and hospitals suit-
able for directed experience are available. Participating
hospitals and laboratories must be accredited or be otherwise
acceptable to the FSDE, THOE section. Formal agreement should
be executed with the clinical affiliations.
2. The primary responsibility for administration and planning is
assumed by the school personnel. These responsibilities in-
clude organization and administration, periodic review, con-
tinued development and general effectiveness of the educational
program. An advisory committee composed of representatives of
the participating hospitals, county medical association,
hospital association, appropriate medical professional group,
and other appropriate institutions is essential to total
planning. It is recommended that this committee be appointed
by the county superintendent or junior college president for
one or two year terms. The organization and operation of the
program, including curriculum, shall be consistent with the
requirements of the State Plan for Vocational Education and
the policies of the State Board for Vocational Education,
based on standards recommended by the Technical and Health
Occupations Education Section, Division of Vocational, Technical,
and Adult Education, Department of Education, State of Florida.
3. School Bulletin information should be reviewed annually and
kept up to date. It should include information regarding the
organization of the program and a listing of required courses,
entrance requirements, tuition and fees, and general information
concerning hospitals and facilities used for directed clinical
4. Selection of students should be made by the admissions personnel
in cooperation with those directly responsible for the educa-
tional program in accordance with the practice generally fol-
lowed in the school for technical programs requiring applicants
to be high school graduates. All applicants should be required
to submit adequate evidence of satisfactory physical and psycho-
logical health commensurate with adequate performance in the
program. Admissions data should be on file at all times in
the college or vocational center.
5. A record of class performance and accomplishment of each student
should be kept in accordance with the college or vocational
center requirements. Because the final "grade" will be based
on a combination of evaluations, it is strongly recommended
that the program director and instructional staff determine
weighting and construct evaluative instruments which will
reflect the best methods available to teachers for fair evalua-
tion of students. A detailed analysis of the performance in
the teaching laboratory and clinical practice experience of
each student should be on file.
6. Copies of the course outlines including behavioral objectives,
sample instruments for evaluation, directed practice schedules
and teaching plans for all phases of the technical classroom
and clinical learning experience should be on file and available
to instructors in both the departmental office and affiliated
clinical facilities. Description for academic courses included
in the total program as "supportive to the technical program"
should be included.
7. It is the responsibility of the school administration to provide
an approvable program in order to guarantee the graduates the
option for admission to certification examination and licensure.
Services and Facilities;
8. Student health services should be available.
9. Counseling service should be available for student guidance.
10. Library facilities should be readily accessible and should
contain an adequate supply of books, periodicals, and other
reference materials related to the educational program.
Each reference book should be available in a ratio of one
copy to every 3 or 4 students.
11. Classroom space, storage, equipment and supplies appropriate
to the objectives of the program and in sufficient quantities
for demonstration and full student participation should be
provided by the college or vocational center. Appropriate
teaching aids should be available and readily accessible to
the teaching laboratory and classrooms.
12. Office space for the program director or teaching supervisor
should be provided by the college or vocational center.
13. The clinical practice may be provided in several affiliated
clinical facilities. These affiliations should be in institu-
tions which have sufficient qualified, experienced professional
personnel, adequate equipment and practice material to provide
the type and amount of experience for which the student is
assigned. Each facility should be under the direction of a
qualified medical technologist whose qualifications are ac-
ceptable to the Technical and Health Occupations Education
Section staff as outlined by the appropriate medical professional
group and required by the Florida State Department of Education.
The qualified medical technologist appointed as director of
the program by the school will coordinate all teaching functions
in the school and affiliated facilities. All programs are
entirely separate and distinct from concurrent training of
other laboratory personnel.
14. The instructional staff should be qualified through academic
preparation and experience to teach the subjects) assigned.
15. The program director or teaching supervisor should have at
least a baccalaureate degree, registration with the American
Society of Clinical Pathologists, three years experience in
the practice of laboratory medicine and be licensed as a medical
technologist, medical technologist supervisor, or medical
laboratory director in the State of Florida in order to meet
medical specialty requirements. In addition, minimum standards
governing persons who serve in an instructional capacity in
the State of Florida must be met. The exact requirements are
determined by the Division of Teacher Certification. In most
instances this requirement will necessitate completing a pro-
scribed program in education courses. The required education
courses will be defined in relation to the program setting:
junior college or vocational school. All instructional staff
in the school employed to teach in the technical portion of
the program for certified laboratory assistants must meet
these standards with the exception of the experience require-
ment 2 years are acceptable.
16. A pathologist who is a Diplomate of the American Board of
Pathology or has equivalent qualification acceptable to the
medical professional group and the Florida State Department
of Education shall be appointed as the medical director and
shall serve as consultant in designing the curriculum and
shall assure the adequacy of the directed clinical learning
phase of the program.
17. In each directed practice area, there shall be qualified per-
sonnel with adequate experience in the specialized areas of
the practice of laboratory medicine to which the students
are assigned under the general direction of the director or
the teaching supervisor of the program. The placement of stu-
dents in clinical areas shall not exceed a ratio of two students
to each member of the teaching staff. The student-instructional
staff ratio during the formal, teaching laboratory classes
should be in the same proportion as similar educational pro-
grams sponsored by the educational institution.
18. Admission requirements: candidates for admission should have
completed the requirements for high school graduation or should
have passed a college entrance examination for admission to a
19. Technical program content: The curriculum shall be designed
to assure students a strong foundation for the practice of
the skills unique to the supportive role in.the medical labora-
tory, working relationships as a member of the medical care
team, and of the ethical and legal principles governing the
practice of laboratory medicine.
The director or teaching supervisor shall assume responsibility
for cooperating with other school faculty and clinical instructors
to design the program for the preparation for certified labora-
tory assistants. Incorporated in the program should be planned
laboratory experiences and directed practice with academic prepara-
tion selected to complement the laboratory practice.
The technical portion of the program shall include not less
than the equivalent of six months full-time clinical practice
integrated with requisite classes to establish a full-time educa-
tional program one calendar year in length. A program in a
junior college leading to an Associate Degree will also include
elements in general education and basic science as defined by
The technical program shall include the following areas:
a. General technical background
Professional adjustments, relations and organizations
Medical ethics and conduct
Basic anatomy and Physiology
Handling identification and care of laboratory equipment
Aseptic technique and methods of sterilization
Basic laboratory mathematics
Preparation of basic laboratory solutions and media
Basic elements of quality control
Handling of histologic and cytologic specimens
Instruction in blood collecting techniques
Introduction in basic hematology, serology, blood
banking, urinalysis, BMR and Electrocardiography
b. Pathogenic bacteriology, parasitology
c. Serology and blood banking
d. Clinical chemistry
g. BMR-EKG (optional)
The sequence and exact allocation of time for each..subject
area is at the discretion of the director. Suggestions may
be found in Medical Laboratory Assistant A Suggested Guide for
a Training Program, Office of Education, OE-87017.
Admission to Approved List
20. Application for admission to the approved list of training
programs for certified laboratory assistants should be made
to the Board of Certified Assistants, 445 Ndrth Lake Shore
Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611.
21. Approval may be withdrawn whenever a school does not maintain
an educational program in accordance with the standards of the
Florida State Department of Education and the medical specialty
22. Approved schools should notify the medical specialty board
through the Technical and Health Occupations Education Section
whenever personnel or major curriculum changes occur in rela-
tion to the administration of the program.
23. General information on the certified laboratory assistant
is contained in the Health Careers Guidebook available through
the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing
Office, Washington, D.C., 20402. This publication is rec-
ommended by the Florida State Department of Education.
24. Suggestions for program design, hourly arrangements, and other
materials may be obtained from the Technical and Health Occupa-
25. Information on careers in the field of laboratory medicine may
be addressed to the National Committee for Careers in Medical
Technology, 1501 New Hampshire Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.
26. Unless stated otherwise, the Florida State Department of Educa-
tion requirements in the specialty area for approved programs
are reflected in materials available from the Board of Certified
Laboratory Assistants, 445 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago,
Administrative Responsibility for educational programs for
certified laboratory assistants.
Members of the Advisory Committee for Certified Laboratory
Assistant programs to the State of Florida, Department of
John Miale, M. D.
Millard White, M. D.
Lois C. Pierce, M. T. (ASCP)
Hope Whitaker, M. T. (ASCP)
Jerome Benson, M. D.
Sanford Mullen, M. D.
L. E. McHenry, M. D.
Doris Dede, M. T.
Leslie Lee, M. T. (ASCP)
Anna Bell Ham, M. T. (ASCP)