Updating the immunology curriculum in clinical laboratory science.Clin Lab Sci 2000; 13(2):80-4CL
To determine essential content areas of immunology/serology courses at the clinical laboratory technician (CLT) and clinical laboratory scientist (CLS) levels.
A questionnaire was designed which listed all major topics in immunology and serology. Participants were asked to place a check beside each topic covered. For an additional list of serological and immunological laboratory testing, participants were asked to indicate if each test was performed in either the didactic or clinical setting, or not performed at all.
A national survey of 593 NAACLS approved CLT and CLS programs was conducted by mail under the auspices of ASCLS.
Responses were obtained from 158 programs. Respondents from all across the United States included 60 CLT programs, 48 hospital-based CLS programs, 45 university-based CLS programs, and 5 university-based combined CLT and CLS programs.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
The survey was designed to enumerate major topics included in immunology and serology courses by a majority of participants at two distinct educational levels, CLT and CLS. Laboratory testing routinely performed in student laboratories as well as in the clinical setting was also determined for these two levels of practitioners.
Certain key topics were common to most immunology and serology courses. There were some notable differences in the depth of courses at the CLT and CLS levels. Laboratory testing associated with these courses also differed at the two levels. Testing requiring more detailed interpretation, such as antinuclear antibody patterns (ANAs), was mainly performed by CLS students only.
There are certain key topics as well as specific laboratory tests that should be included in immunology/serology courses at each of the two different educational levels to best prepare students for the workplace. Educators can use this information as a guide to plan a curriculum for such courses.