An Introduction to the Medical Laboratory, Part 1 (Online CE Course)

(based on 2 customer ratings)

Authors: Julia Clendenin, Paul Fekete, M.D. FCAP
Reviewer: Joshua J. Cannon, MS, MLS(ASCP)CMSHCM

This course is the first part of an elementary introduction to the operation of a clinical medical laboratory. It assumes that the learner has little or no background in medical practice or clinical laboratory science. It is ideal for those who desire an introduction to the operation and function of the laboratory and the qualifications and mindset of those professionals who staff it. The course compares and contrasts the operation and function of the anatomical pathology laboratory and the clinical laboratory. The learner is taught about the different clinical laboratory personnel their role in the laboratory as well as the typical departments of the clinical laboratory and their functions.

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Objectives

  • Compare and contrast the operation and function of the anatomical pathology laboratory and the clinical laboratory.
  • Discuss clinical laboratory personnel and their various roles in the laboratory.
  • Describe the various departments of the clinical laboratory and their functions.
  • Compare and contrast the various sites for laboratory testing.

Customer Ratings

(based on 2 customer ratings)

Course Outline

Click on the links below to preview selected pages from this course.
  • Introduction to the Medical Laboratory
      • The Medical Laboratory Consists of the Anatomical Pathology Laboratory and the Clinical Laboratory
  • Overview of the Anatomical Pathology Laboratory
      • Introduction to the Anatomical Pathology Laboratory
      • Introduction to the Anatomical Pathology Laboratory, continued
  • Overview of the Clinical Laboratory
      • Introduction to the Clinical Laboratory
      • Introduction to the Clinical Laboratory, continued
      • True or False: In the clinical laboratory, blood, body fluids, and other specimens are processed and tested. It is staffed by medical laboratory scien...
  • Who Staffs the Clinical Laboratory
      • Staff of the Clinical Laboratory
      • Which of the following laboratory roles requires a 2-year associate degree?
  • Clinical Laboratory Departments
    • Data Management
      • Data Management
    • Specimen Collection and Processing
    • Hematology
      • Hematology
      • Coagulation
      • True or False: Within the specimen collection and processing department, a phlebotomist will use a lavender top tube to collect blood for a complete b...
    • Chemistry
      • Chemistry
      • Urinalysis
      • Which of the following specimens are commonly tested in the chemistry department?
    • Immunology and Serology
      • Immunology and Serology
    • Transfusion Services
    • Microbiology
      • Microbiology
      • Bacteriology
    • Molecular Diagnostics
      • Molecular Diagnostics
      • Tests for hepatitis B and influenza are performed in which department?
      • The hematology department performs which tests?
      • Which department is responsible for performing compatibility tests for patients who may need blood transfusions?
  • Other Testing Sites
      • Point-of-Care Testing (POCT)
      • Physician Office Laboratories (POL)
      • Reference Laboratories
      • True or False: Reference laboratories offer a narrower array of laboratory tests than smaller and mid-sized hospitals laboratories.
  • References
      • References

Additional Information

Level of Instruction: Basic
Intended Audience:  This course is an elementary introduction to the operation of a clinical medical laboratory. It assumes that the learner has little or no background in medical practice or clinical laboratory science. It is ideal for those who desire an introduction to the operation and function of the laboratory and the qualifications and mindset of those professionals who staff it. This course would be ideal for those contemplating a career in any clinical laboratory field,  sales representatives who will be visiting clients in the laboratory and need an introduction to provide context for their future sales contacts, and anyone else interested in the field and desires an introduction.
Author Information
Julia Clendenin is a content and graphics developer for MediaLab, Inc. She graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Biochemistry and a B.S. in Literature, Media, and Communication.
Paul Fekete, M.D. is the former CEO of MediaLab. He formerly served as Assistant Professor of Pathology at Emory University and was Director of Laboratories for Gwinnett Health System near Atlanta, GA. Dr. Fekete has extensive teaching experience and is the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters. He additionally has extensive experience in instructional design. 
Reviewer Information:
Joshua J. Cannon, MS, MLS(ASCP)CMSHCM received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Medical Laboratory Science from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA. He holds Medical Laboratory Scientist and Specialist in Hematology certifications through the ASCP Board of Certification. He was a professor at Thomas Jefferson University for seven years before transitioning into his current role as Content Developer at MediaLab. His areas of expertise and professional passions include clinical hematology and interprofessional education.

MLS reviewing the work order.


A group of clinical laboratory professionals.


Open case with supplies.


An automated urinalysis analyzer.


Pathologist inspecting tissue samples with a microscope.