What is a Clinical Microbiologist?
Clinical Microbiologists are valued laboratory professionals who engage in testing patient samples to aid in diagnoses of various illnesses. By law, clinical lab professionals in Hawaiʻi must be nationally certified and State licensed (except for those in labs under Federal regulations). In addition to a bachelor’s degree in Microbiology* (or related major), qualification requires knowledge and skills related to diagnostic applications in bacteriology, virology, parasitology and mycology. Further, student must obtain clinical experience from an accredited laboratory at the level acceptable by the certification agency.
The Clinical Microbiology Route, administered by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM) School of Life Sciences and Department of Medical Technology, provides the necessary education and training for Microbiology majors (or similar) who aim to become Clinical Microbiologists. In addition to on-campus courses, clinical experience is provided through the MEDT 581 Clinical Microbiology Preceptorship.
* Note that this Route is primarily designed for Microbiology majors, but any related majors (e.g., Biology, MCB, Biochemistry) can apply, as long as they satisfy prerequisites listed below.
The Department of Medical Technology is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS). Successful completion of this program allows the Medical Technology Program Director to verify the experience on the Clinical Microbiology Training Document for the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). However, number of positions in the Clinical Microbiology route are very limited due to resources and preceptor availability at the clinical labs. Thus, only a few students who are serious about becoming Clinical Microbiologists will be selected to participate in the program each year. Students will be selected by the Admissions Committee comprised of microbiologists of the UHM School of Life Sciences and Medical Technology Department (representatives from Affiliate labs). MEDT 581 is offered through the UHM Outreach College.
To enter the Clinical Microbiology Route, student must:
– Be a UHM Microbiology major (or related major) in good standing.
– Contact and consult with Dr. Sladjana Prišić
Clinical Microbiology Route requirements:
Complete BA or BS in Microbiology (or similar), including the following courses (C grade or better):
Courses that count towards Microbiology majors requirements:
|MICR 351/L||Biology of Microorganisms + Lab|
|MICR 461/L||Immunology + Lab|
|MICR 463/L||Microbiology of Pathogens + Lab|
NOTE: for MICR 463/L only revised course will be acceptable, starting spring 2019
Courses that count towards general electives (not major requirements):
|MEDT 251||Intro to Med Tech||may be waived if employed at a clinical lab as a lab assistant with experience in specimen procurement and processing|
|MEDT 431||Clinical Parasitology||consent required for major over-ride|
|TRMD 431||Principles of Medical Parasitology||consent required|
Following completion of BA or BS in Microbiology (or similar):
|MEDT 581||Clinical Microbiology Preceptorship||Cr/NC, 5 credits|
Students applying for MEDT 581 must:
- Be a UHM Microbiology major (or similar) in good standing in the final semester before graduation.
- Have discussed the Pre-Clinical Laboratory Microbiologist Route with Dr. Sladjana Prišić.
- Submit an application for MEDT 581, download below, by email to the program Director, Dr. Violet Nxedhlana by March 1st.
- Be selected by the Admissions Committee to participate in MEDT 581. Clinical rotation sites are limited. Not more than 5 students will be selected each year.
- Register for MEDT 581 via UHM Outreach College (Fall Extension, 5 post-graduate credits).
Download the MEDT 581 Application
Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) for MEDT 581; see the Pre-Clinical Laboratory Microbiologist Route Objectives and Checklist for specific SLO for MEDT 581. Rotation schedule is determined by the Affiliate lab student is assigned to.
General SLOs are:
- Comply with safety rules and other policies of the Affiliate lab, such as the SOP, hospital and lab policies, patient confidentiality (HIPAA), and others.
- Demonstrate competency (entry level) as a Clinical Microbiologist in handling and processing specimens, conducting routine diagnostic lab procedures, performing appropriate follow-up and confirmatory tests, monitoring appropriate quality controls measures, and reporting results within established turn-around-time (TAT).
- Demonstrate professionalism (entry level) as a Clinical Microbiologist dealing with patients and their samples, handling confidential information, and conducting as a member of the healthcare team.`
All lab procedures at the affiliate sites must be performed under direct supervision of qualified professionals. No test results are released to medical staff in any form (e.g., verbal, written report, via information system) without verification by authorized personnel.
Credit for MEDT 581 is earned when student receives satisfactory assessment from the clinical preceptor (minimum 70% score). Assessment is conducted through direct supervision and observation, and may include test (unknowns) samples.
National Certification and State Licensure
After successful completion of Clinical Microbiology Route, the UHM Medical Technology Program Director will certify the training on the ASCP “Clinical Microbiology Training Document.” Student submits this document to ASCP in order to qualify for the M(ASCP) examination.
After earning the ASCP certification, student applies for a Clinical Laboratory Microbiologist license from the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health.
Note: student is responsible for keeping the certification and licensure current while employed in a clinical lab (i.e., ASCP Certification Maintenance and State license renewal).
American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
Hawaiʻi State Department of Health, Clinical Laboratory Specialist:
– Application Instructions PDF
– Requirements PDF
For further information about the Clinical Microbiology Route or MEDT 581
Contact your academic/career advisor
UHM JABSOM Department of Medical Technology
Violet Nxedhlana, PhD, MT (ASCP)
Dept: Medical Technology at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM)
1960 East-West Rd,
Biomedical Sciences C-206,
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-8632
Fax: (808) 956-5457