Laboratory Assistant – Field of study catalogue MU
“Multidisciplinary laboratory technicians for integrated medical laboratories”
This Bachelor’s study programme aims to train graduates for highly specialized work in medical (clinical and research) laboratories, primarily in the following areas: clinical biochemistry, clinical haematology, immunohaematology and blood transfusion service, clinical immunology, clinical microbiology, clinical genetics, and histopathological examination methods. The programme is designed to increase the theoretical knowledge and initial practical skills of laboratory technicians through multidisciplinary education that allows them to adapt to the demands and developments in individual fields, especially with regard to the ongoing consolidation of individual areas of laboratory medicine. Graduates are qualified and competent to work as non-physician healthcare workers in the Czech Republic with the option of finding a position in another state of the EU. The study programme serves as a university alternative to a higher vocational school for those who are considering a career in medical laboratories.
After successfully completing his/her studies the graduate is able to:
- Hold a position that requires working with analytical and computer equipment and other lab instruments in all types of medical laboratories in clinical biochemistry, clinical haematology, immunohaematology and transfusion service, microbiology, etc.
- Be familiar with pre-analytical, analytical, and post-analytical procedures in the individual fields of laboratory work, including the knowledge of critical points and the principles of good laboratory practice (GLP).
- Understand the clinical laboratory accreditation process with regard to national standards and the requirements of ISO 9001:2000, 17025:1999, and 15189:2013 standards.
- Ensure correct identification and verification of samples of biological material, preparation of analytical samples, and their processing and archiving.
- Use analytical equipment and laboratory instruments in accordance with standard operational procedures, including correct manipulation, storing, and inspection of reaction sets.
- Perform specialized laboratory tests, participate in the establishment of new analytical methods and procedures including internal quality control programs and inter-laboratory comparisons.
- Take part in the processing of data both for economic purposes and also as part of the gathering and evaluation of research data.
Graduates can find employment as highly qualified professionals in the laboratories of health-care facilities or research institutions. The sound theoretical knowledge and practical skills obtained during their studies and in standard medical laboratories mean that they can find work in all types of state and private medical laboratories; research and education institutions; food, water, and product safety authorities; and health institutions.
The framework of required courses is given in the study plan and is designed to meet the goals and objectives of the Laboratory Assistant study programme, correspond with the occupational profile of graduates, and help graduates find a job.
The first year’s courses represent the theoretical basis for the more profession- and practice-oriented clinical laboratory courses (Medical Chemistry, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Histology, Physiology, Anatomy, and Biophysics), except for the Instrument Technology course (2nd semester), where students learn about laboratory, instrument and analytical technology and its application in medical laboratory practice. All students learn how to use laboratory instruments during practical training.
The second year’s primary focus is to present theoretical and practical information about the seven main fields of clinical laboratory activity (clinical biochemistry, haematology, microbiology, immunology, immunohematology and transfusion medicine, medical genetics, and pathology).
During the fifth semester, students receive practical training in the above mentioned fields of laboratory activity and work on their Bachelor’s theses (course Bachelor’s Thesis I.)
Students have the opportunity to choose from five selective subjects during the third through sixth semester. Students usually choose Liquorology (cerebral spinal fluid analysis), one of the courses on data processing, and a newly introduced course on applied instrumentation and analytic techniques in laboratory practice.
This study programme aims to provide high-quality practical training in standard clinical laboratory settings, allowing the students to gain practical skills while using modern analytic equipment and other instruments and following standard logistics, operational, and organizational laboratory procedures. The curriculum includes the main features of pre-analytical, analytical, and post-analytical processes and allows students to learn about the significance and practical application of teamwork.
Practical training takes place at facilities specialized in the seven main areas of clinical lab activity during the 5th semester in two 4-day blocks (Monday to Thursday, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.). The laboratories are located at: University Hospital Brno – Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Department of Clinical Haematology, Department of Medical Genetics, Department of Transfusion Medicine and Blood Bank, Institute of Pathology and Anatomy; and St. Anne’s University Hospital – Department of Microbiology, Department of Immunology.
The topics of practical training are described in course outlines for each of the fields of laboratory work. The course, completion, and evaluation of the training is recorded in a simple logbook.
The final examination consists of two parts:
a) Defence of the Bachelor’s thesis.
b) Oral examination in three fields of study:
* Comprehensive theoretical knowledge in the fields of clinical biochemistry, haematology, immunohaematology and transfusion service, immunology, microbiology, genetics, and pathology.
* Laboratory testing techniques in the fields of clinical biochemistry, haematology, immunohaematology and transfusion service, immunology, microbiology, genetics, and pathology.
* Laboratory instruments and analytical equipment
The three topics, each comprising all seven fields of laboratory activity, assess the student’s level of knowledge and skills gained in the required and selective subjects including practical training. By passing the final state examination, graduates earn a Bachelor’s degree and professional qualification that allows them to work as laboratory technicians in a range of facilities, in accordance with the objectives of this practically oriented study programme.
After fulfilling the admission requirements, graduates of the Laboratory Technician Bachelor’s study programme can enrol in the Bioanalyst – Specialist in Laboratory Methods Master’s degree programme offered by the Faculty of Science at Masaryk University and accredited by the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic.