Vanderbilt Program of Medical Laboratory Science

Course Descriptions and Textbook Information

Course Descriptions and Textbook Information

ORIENTATION: An introductory course to the theory and basic skills that contribute to the student’s ability to perform effectively and efficiently within the laboratory environment.  Sessions are diverse and include topics on lab math, quality assurance, quality control, and laboratory safety. Orientation continues with the clinical practicum. (Pass/Fail)

Required textbook:

Linne & Ringrud's Clinical Laboratory Science: The Basics and Routine Techniques, 7th ed. by Mary L. Turgeon.  (c) 2015. ISBN 978-0323225458.  Approximate cost is $93.59.   

BLOOD BANK (Immunohematology): study of blood group antigens and antibodies and their significance in transfusion therapy. The course includes donor selection, laboratory procedures for processing and selecting blood products, identification of blood group antigens and antibodies, blood storage procedures, quality control, transfusion practices and related complications, and component therapy. (5 semester hours) 

Required textbook:

Modern Blood Banking and Transfusion Practice, 6th ed. by DM Harmening.  (c) 2005. FA Davis.  ISBN-13: 978-0803626829.  Approximate cost is $72.94.   


CLINICAL CHEMISTRY: study of the biochemical constituents of body fluids, their physiological functions and alterations in disease states. Emphasis is placed on the analytical methods of the laboratory. This includes the study of the principles, operation and maintenance of laboratory instrumentation, the use of computer technology, quality control and quality assurance tools. Primary areas of instruction include routine clinical chemistry testing, endocrinology, nutrition testing and toxicology. (7 semester hours)

Required textbook: 

Tietz Fundamentals of Clinical Chemistry, 6th Edition By Carl A. Burtis. (c) 2008. ISBN-13: 978-0-7216-3865-2. Approximate cost is $109.00


HEMATOLOGY: course involves the study of maturation, morphology and function of blood cells and their role in disease processes. Emphasis is placed on both manual and automated laboratory procedures, blood cell identification, and the relationship of cells with specific diseases such as anemia, leukemia, lymphomas and reactive processes. (6 semester hours) 

Required textbook:  Clinical Hematology and Fundamentals of Hemostasis, 5th Edition By Denise M. Harmening. ©2009.  ISBN-13: 978-0803617322. Approximate cost is $134.00


HEMOSTASIS AND THROMBOSIS: study of the interaction of blood vessels, platelets, coagulation factors, and fibrinolytic system. Emphasis is placed on the laboratory procedures used in the diagnosis and management of various bleeding and thrombotic disorders. (1 semester hour)

Required textbook:  Same as Hematology course.


IMMUNOPATHOLOGY: study of the immunological response in infections and autoimmune diseases, the characterization of lymphocyte populations in neoplasms, and abnormal immunologic responses. (3 semester hours)

No required textbook.


MICROBIOLOGY (including Bacteriology, Mycology and Virology): the study of bacteria, fungi, and viruses causing disease in man. The course includes the laboratory identification of bacteria, fungi and viruses using conventional methods as well as rapid systems, antimicrobial susceptibility testing and evaluation of clinical specimens for evidence of infection. (8 semester hours)

Required textbooks:    

1. Bailey & Scott's Diagnostic Microbiology, 13th ed. by Patricia Tille.  Elsevier. (c) 2014.  ISBN-13: 978-0323083300.  Approximate cost is $116.10. 

 2. Medical Mycology: A Self-Instructional Text by ME Kern, KS Blevins. (c) 1997.  FA Davis.  ISBN-13: 978-0-8036-0036-2.  Approximate cost $46.95.


MOLECULAR DIAGNOSTICS: the study of human and infectious agents' DNA, RNA, and chromosomes as they relate to disease. Emphasis is placed on basic molecular theory, laboratory procedures including PCR, sequencing, capillary electrophoresis, gel electrophoresis, FISH, Southern blotting and other methods and the correlation of test results to disease states. (1 semester hour)

No required textbook.


PARASITOLOGY: the study of life cycles and diagnostic stages of clinically significant parasites. Laboratory procedures for detecting and differentiating parasites are emphasized. (1 semester hour)

No required textbook.


PHLEBOTOMY:  the study of specimen collection, focusing mainly on blood collection from veins.  Following classroom instruction as part of clinical orientation, students will participate in a three week phlebotomy rotation. A full week of phlebotomy training is at out-patient drawing stations. Following this week, students do two weeks of early morning draws with experienced phlebotomists before reporting to their lab rotation. The Phlebotomy rotation will also include several afternoons in the Specimen Receiving area. (Pass/Fail)

No required textbook.


SEMINAR: a variety of topics are covered in this course, including management and supervisory skills, laboratory operations, educational methodologies, research skills, regulatory issues, quality assurance tools, special topics and reviews of technical material. (2 semester hours)

No required textbook.


URINALYSIS & BODY FLUIDS: the study of physical, chemical and microscopic properties of body fluids other than blood or serum. Emphasis is placed on laboratory procedures, morphological findings and the correlation of test results to disease states. (2 semester hours)

Required textbook: Urinalysis and Body Fluids, 6th ed. by SK Strasinger, MS DiLorenzo. (c) 2014. FA Davis.  ISBN-13: 978-0-8036-3920.  Approximate cost $64.95. 

This page was last updated March 9, 2016 and is maintained by