Course Title: Perform chemical pathology tests

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2009

Course Code: ONPS5206C

Course Title: Perform chemical pathology tests

School: 155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5182 - Diploma of Laboratory Technology (Pathology Testing)

Course Contact: Brian Long

Course Contact Phone: (03) 9925 4283

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Brian Long

Nominal Hours: 130

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

PMLTEST407A - Perform biological procedures.

Course Description

This unit of competency covers the ability to perform tests and procedures associated with
the detection and monitoring of tissue and bodily fluid responses to normal physiological processes and to disease through the identification and quantifying of chemical components. The unit covers tests and procedures that are usually associated with the laboratory discipline of clinical biochemistry. They are performed in a full or partial computerised and automated environment where large numbers of samples must be managed, analysed and their results recorded. The unit principally refers to human pathology but many aspects are relevant to veterinary pathology.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

PMLTEST504B Perform chemical pathology tests


Maintain a safe work area and environment

Performance Criteria:

3.1    Use established safe work practices and personal protective equipment to ensure personal safety and that of other laboratory personnel
3.2    Clean up spills using appropriate techniques to protect personnel, work area and environment
3.3    Identify instrument malfunction that may impact on safe operation
3.4    Ensure the safe disposal of biohazardous materials and other laboratory wastes in accordance with enterprise procedures


Maintain laboratory records

Performance Criteria:

4.1    Make entries on report forms or into computer systems, accurately recording or transcribing required data as required
4.2    Maintain instrument logs as required by accreditation checklists
4.3    Maintain security and confidentiality of all clinical information, laboratory data and records.


Perform tests

Performance Criteria:

2.1    Select authorised tests indicated for the requested investigations
2.2    Conduct individual tests, or batches of tests, according to documented methodologies, applying required quality control procedures
2.3    Manage tasks and organise work to ensure efficient use of time
2.4    Flag test results that are outside accepted quality control limits
2.5    Apply cognitive and technical processes to discriminate between significant data and artefact
2.6    Confirm with supervisor any further testing requirements
2.7    Record all test data, noting any phenomena that may be relevant to the treatment of data or the interpretation of results
2.8    Store unused sample for possible future reference


Process samples and associated request forms

Performance Criteria:

1.1    Ensure sample labels and request forms are correctly completed in accordance with enterprise requirements
1.2    Return samples and request forms that do not comply with requirements to their source with reasons for non-acceptance
1.3    Log acceptable samples, applying required document tracking mechanisms
1.4    Process samples as required by test procedure and request status
1.5    Store sample components under optimal conditions until required for testing

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

•    Lectures, small group discussions, tutorials
•    Practical laboratory activities in simulated workplace (laboratory)
•    Analysis &  interpretation of experimental data
•    Preparing reports (data collection/manipulation/analysis & presentation)
•    Research & reporting of findings by poster & talks
•    On-line learning activities including Internet activities & online quizzes

See teaching schedule (below) for details.

As this is a competency-based course, you must attend a minimum of 80% of practical classes to be deemed competent in the practical component.  Some practical exercises will be written up as formal reports. If they are not satisfactory, you will be given an opportunity to resubmit. If you are absent from a session nominated for a formal report it is your responsibility to negotiate a replacement report with the teacher. You MUST submit & pass the number of required reports  & assignments in order to pass the course.

All laboratory work done in class must be recorded directly in to your log book and will be assessed. The logbook must be submitted and of a satisfactory standard to pass the course.

Teaching Schedule

See Course Outline document in the Chem Path LearningHub "Course Information" Section

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

•    Clinical Chemistry Practical Manual for each term (available from online)

•    A.Gaw, M. Murphy, R. Cowan, D. O'Reilly, M. Stewart, J. Shepard. (2008)  Clinical Biochemistry, An illustrated colour text, 4th edition. Churchill Livingstone (Elsevier), Sydney, ISBN 9780443069321. (The 3rd ed is also ok).



•    J. Upfal, J. O'Callaghan (2001) Your Medical Tests. Every person’s guide to common medical tests and diagnostic images. Black Inc. Melbourne. ISBN 1-86395-075-3.


•    Kaplan, Lawrence A., Pesce, Amadeo J. & Kazmierczak, Steven C. (2003) Clinical chemistry: theory, analysis, correlation, 4th ed. St. Louis, Mo, Mosby

Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

Assessments for this course typically consist of:
• Class activities
• Assignments
• Presentations
• Exam

Assessment Tasks

Refer to the Assessment Guide found in the Chem Path LearningHub "Course Information" Section

Assessment Matrix

Other Information

The full course guide as a printable Word document can also be found in the Chem Path Learning Hub "Course Information" Section.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview