close up of colorful DNA strand and chromosomes
Overview Admissions Program Outcomes Essential Program Requirements

Essential Program Requirements

The National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) requires the Diagnostic Genetic Sciences program to publish this list of essential program functions. This information is intended for you to use to become aware and informed of the skills required in the performance of duties of a Diagnostic Genetic Scientist and to assess your ability to complete such duties. These essential requirements reflect performance abilities and characteristics that are necessary to successfully complete the requirements of the Diagnostic Genetic Sciences Program at the University of Connecticut. These standards are not conditions of admission to the program. Those interested in applying for admission to the program should review these essential requirements to develop a better understanding of the physical abilities and behavioral characteristics necessary to successfully complete the program.

The essential observational, movement, communication, cognitive, and behavioral requirements for Diagnostic Genetic Sciences students are listed below. If there are changes in the essential requirements, these changes will be published, and students will have the opportunity to discuss any changes with the Program Director and instructors in the Diagnostic Genetic Sciences Program.

The University of Connecticut complies with the requirements and spirit of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The Department of Allied Health Sciences at the University of Connecticut will consider requests that an individual with a disability, who is otherwise qualified, be afforded reasonable accommodation in fulfilling the essential requirements of the Diagnostic Genetic Sciences Program. To accommodate individuals with disabilities, the University will endeavor to make reasonable accommodation for students that will not impose an undue burden on the program or fundamentally alter its educational requirements and standards.

If you believe that you will need any accommodations to meet specific requirements, after acceptance into the program, contact the Center for Students with Disabilities at the University of Connecticut to facilitate review of the documentation and recommendations for reasonable accommodations.

NOTICE TO PROSPECTIVE CANDIDATES

A candidate who is extended an admission offer to the DGS Program will be required to review the Essential Requirements and sign an attestation to indicate he/she read and understood the Essential Requirements for the Diagnostic Genetic Sciences and affirm that he/she possesses or can learn each essential requirement.  If the candidate believes any accommodations are needed to meet specific requirements, the request would be made prior to acceptance of the program admission offer.

Section 1. Essential Observational Requirements

The DGS student must be able to:

  • observe laboratory demonstrations in which biological samples (blood, bone marrow, amniotic fluid, solid tissue) are tested.
  • characterize the color, clarity and viscosity of biologicals, reagents and chemicals.
  • employ a binocular microscope to discriminate among fine structural differences of microscopic specimens.
  • comprehend text, numbers and graphs displayed in print and on a video monitor or screen.

Section 2. Essential Movement Requirements

The DGS student must be able to:

  • move freely and safely about a laboratory.
  • reach laboratory bench tops and shelves.
  • travel to one or more clinical laboratories for practical experience.
  • perform moderately taxing work, often requiring prolonged sitting, over several hours.
  • control laboratory equipment (i.e., pipettes, syringes, scalpels, test tubes, culture flasks, etc.) to perform laboratory procedures.
  • adjust laboratory instruments and equipment (i.e., centrifuges, safety cabinets, incubators, etc.) to perform laboratory procedures.
  • use an electronic keyboard to operate laboratory equipment and to record and transmit laboratory information.

Section 3. Essential Communication Requirements

The DGS student must be able to:

  • read and comprehend technical and professional materials (i.e., textbooks, journal articles, handbooks and instruction manuals).
  • follow written and verbal instructions to correctly and independently perform laboratory test procedures.
  • communicate with faculty members, fellow students, staff and other health care professionals verbally and in recorded format (writing, typing, graphics or telecommunications).
  • independently prepare papers and laboratory reports.
  • independently take paper, computer and laboratory practical quizzes and examinations.

Section 4. Essential Cognitive Requirements

The DGS student must be able to:

  • independently possess and demonstrate the following cognitive and problem-solving skills: comprehension, measurement, mathematical calculation, reasoning, integration, analysis, self-expression and compassion.

Section 5. Essential Behavioral Requirements

The DGS Student must be able to:

  • manage the use of time and organize work to complete multiple tasks and responsibilities within realistic constraints.
  • independently exercise appropriate judgment and apply cognitive skills in the classroom, laboratory and health care settings.
  • provide professional and technical services while experiencing the stresses of task-related uncertainty (e.g., ambiguous test ordering, ambiguous test interpretation), emergent demands (“stat” test orders), and distracting environment (e.g., high noise levels, crowding, complex visual stimuli).
  • be flexible and creative and adapt to professional and technical change.
  • recognize potentially hazardous materials, equipment and situations and work safely to minimize risk of injury to oneself and nearby individuals.
  • adapt to working with unpleasant biological substances (e.g., blood, products of conception)
  • foster a team approach by supporting and promoting the activities of fellow students and health care professionals in learning, task completion, problem solving and patient care.
  • admit when an error has been made, when uncertain about analytical results, or when unsure about the appropriate response in professional situations.
  • critically evaluate one’s own performance, accept constructive criticism, and seek ways for improvement (e.g., participate in enriching educational activities).
  • evaluate the performance of fellow students, faculty, clinical instructors, and the program and tactfully offer constructive criticism.