Course Title: Perform chemical pathology tests

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2011

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 - can be contacted by email at

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


1. 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


2. 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


3. 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


4. 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.

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

Group assignments
Powerpoint presentations
Computer assignments
Lab Experiments
Report writing

Teaching Schedule

SEMESTER 1, 2011

Week 1
Date (Fri) 11-Feb

Introduction to Clinical chemistry, objectives, analytical variables, Quality Assurance

Levey Jennings QC Plots

Assessment Task(s) This Week
Assignment – QC

Week 2
Date (Fri) 18-Feb
Building 3 4th Floor
Electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride) & Water Balance

Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy @ Applied Chemistry

Assessment Task(s) This Week

Week 3
Date (Fri) 25-Feb
in Rm 51.8.10

Electrolytes & Water Balance

1. Diffusion of glucose & starch across a dialysis membrane
2 Blood cells in hypertonic, hypotonic & isotonic saline

Assessment Task(s) This Week

Week 4
Date (Fri) 4-Mar

Topic Kidneys, Urine Analysis

1. Blood urea (previously BUN)
2. Creatinine
3. Urine stix (demo)

Assessment Task(s) This Week

Week 5
Date (Fri) 11-Mar

Topic Liver Function I 

BCG Albumin; Limitations to Beer’s Law

Bilirubin Assy; First Determine the Endpoint

Assessment Task(s) This Week
Prac Report

Week 6
Date (Fri) 18-Mar

Lipids I 

Cholesterol and HDL/LDL Ratio 

Assessment Task(s) This Week

Week 7
Date (Fri) 25-Mar

Lipids II 


Assessment Task(s) This Week

Week 8
Date (Fri) 1-Apr

Week 9
Date (Fri) 8-Apr
Theory Test 1

Week 10
Date (Fri) 15-Apr
1.Iron Studies
2.Mutations in Haemoglobin 

Iron Studies; Interpreting Results 
Haemoglobin Electrophoresis

Assessment Task(s) This Week


Week 11
Date (Fri) 29-Apr
Lipids III 

Cholesterol Electrophoresis (New Prac) 

Assessment Task(s) This Week

Week 12
Date (Fri) 7-May

Automation and POCT 

Operating CDx90 and Bloodgas Analyser

Assessment Task(s) This Week
Special Logbook and Checklist

Week 13
Date (Fri) 13-May

Automation and POCT

Operating CDx90 and Bloodgas Analyser

Assessment Task(s) This Week
Special Logbook and Checklist 

Week 14
Date (Fri) 20-May
Liver II: Serum proteins

Protein estimation using Agarose Gel Electrophoresis

Assessment Task(s) This Week

Week 15
Date (Fri) 27-May
Liver III - LFT’s: Liver Function Tests


 Gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT)

Assessment Task(s) This Week
Prac report

Week 16
Date (Fri) 3-Jun

Week 17
Date (Fri) 10-Jun
Theory Test 2
Submit Logbooks

Week 18
Date (Fri) 18-Jun
Alternative assessments if required

** TBC – To be confirmed
Program is subject to change

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

1. Logbook
A logbook is required for this course to record all experimental details. The logbook must be brought to class
each week and signed off by the teacher.
The book needs to be a bound NON-SPIRAL exercise book.
Completion of experimental records in the logbook trains students how to keep good records that can be used
as "proof of discovery". These logbooks form legal documents that can be used to prove discovery for
Intellectual Property & patenting purposes & thus form an important part of the Chemistry pathology Tests course.

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


b) Upfal and 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 Can be purchased direct from the author at a
discount rate, this will be organised early in the year.



A very nice simple text that explains lots of lab techniques. especially electrophoresis and chromatography
techniques and other techniques including enzyme kinetics, spectrophotometry and molecular diagnostics.
Boyer R. (2006) Biochemistry Laboratory Modern Theory and Techniques, Benjamin Cummings - Available
in the library: Call No. 572.078 B791

A useful reference for in depth study:
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

All assessment tasks must be passed to pass the learning unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task - Assignment 1 – QC
Done (wk) Sem 1, week 1
Due- Sem 1, week 1
Value: 10 %

#2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Assessment Task-Assignment 2-Bilirubin and Albumin
Done (wk) Sem 1, week 5
Due-Sem 1, week 7
Value 10%

Assessment Task - Theory Test 1
Sem 1, week 9

Value: 15%

Assessment Task - Theory Test 2
Sem 1, week 17

Value: 15%

Assessment Task - Theory Test 3
sem 2, week 8
Value: 15%

Assessment Task - Assignment 2 - Group powerpoint presentation
sem 2
A week in Sem 2
Value: 20%

Assessment Task - Theory Test 4
sem 2, week 16
Value: 15%

Assessment Task - Logbook
due- sem 2, week 16
competent/not yet competent

Special Logbook: Automation and POCT With Checklist
Competent/Not Yet Competent

Total: 100%

*Students must attend at least 80 % of practical classes to pass the course.
*Students must pass all of the assessment tasks to pass the Learning Unit.

*All prac reports must be satisfactory to pass the subject. If they are not satisfactory, you will be given an
opportunity to resubmit.

***Reports need to be handed in at the Department Office on the 6th Floor. A cover sheet must be

*** Alternatively, reports can be submitted online via the Assignments submission tool in Blackboard
(found in the folder of the week the assignment/report is given). Assignments will not be accepted by email.
*If you are absent for a practical that is to be written up, or for an assignment a medical certificate must be
provided and special consideration applied for. In this case another practical exercise needs to be written up
– as negotiated with the teacher. If you are absent when the prac is to be written up/assignment but do not /
cannot apply for special consideration, another prac/assignment may not be written up. No marks will be
allocated in this case.

Assessment Matrix

Other Information

Results from each practical need to be recorded in your logbook. This is an important aspect of
developing your record keeping skills. Only some pracs also require a practical report to be submitted.
SPIRAL bound books ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE. Use a bound book.

Your logbook must be signed off after completion each week by both the student AND the teacher.
The teacher will also signoff your logbook on the class sheet as a central record.

The central record is the evidence record that is required to show that your logbook has been signed
off by you, the student, and the teacher.

Logbooks are to be submitted at the end of semester 1 and semester 2 (hand in at the theory exam).

(If you miss the class you do not need to get the sheet signed off – the teacher will record this as an absence).

*NYC = not yet competent

When is a prac performance considered "competent’ (ie when can a logbook be signed off)?
Logbooks will only be signed off when the student has followed and completed a method adequately, and is
therefore considered competent for that experiment.

This is evidenced by:


1. Show date of analysis/results at top of page at start of experimental record in logbook,
2. Attach loose pages to logbook securely (use tape or staples),
3. Include raw and analysed results in logbook as appropriate to particular method (see lab manual)
4. Results considered in context of expected results by answering Questions 1-4 in logbook*
5. Clean up lab work area and equipment adequately
6. Student signed off logbook entry once record of results are completed and clean up done

*Questions 1-4
If the experiment is performed and completed, there are two possibilities for obtaining competent performance
of the technique:

A. Results are within the expected range OR
B. Results are not within expected range AND a reasonable troubleshooting and reflection process has

To provide evidence for either A or B (above) answer the following questions in the logbook after each prac:
1. Were your results in the expected range? Yes/No
2. What were the key findings/results?
3. If no, why not – what is the most likely cause of the discrepancy?
4. What would you do differently if you had the opportunity to do the experiment again?

When is a prac performance considered "not yet competent’?
(ie when will a logbook not be signed off?)

A student is considered to be ’not yet competent’ for an experiment if:

*The Student doesn’t attend class long enough to complete the experiment
*The Student doesn’t finish the procedure in a reasonable time
(nominally by the time class finishes – excluding when there are logistic issues that mean few/no one
in the class finishes).
*The student doesn’t contribute to the group effort adequately
*Results are a debacle – several errors/extensive lack of following SOP (method).
*The experiment is not conducted in a safe manner
*The lab area and equipment are not adequately cleaned up

In the case of a not yet competent result, it is noted that there is no opportunity to repeat that particular
experiment due to scheduling of classes. In this case, to achieve competency other experiments during the
course should be done to a ’competent’ level and the student should show a good amount of improvement as
semester goes along.

As evidenced by…

*Observations in class by the teacher (record reason for NYC grade)
*The attitude and work ethic of the student while doing experiments is considered appropriate by the

Grading the logbook

A small number of your weekly Logbook entries will be graded using the following rubric.
These records will be used to allocate you a mark for your logbook.
For higher grades, your work must be competent on the first attempt.
All weekly logbook records should address these criteria as a matter of course.

Indicate whether aspect is competent on first attempt, and if not on first attempt, also tick when
aspect is corrected (ie competency attained)

Aspects of assessment:
1. Title of practical exercise/test shown at top of page
2. Date of test shown at top of page
3. Table(s) of results –with headings – showing wavelength used & other important/defining
information (as appropriate to particular test)
4. All units are shown where appropriate
5. All required calculations are shown and correct
6. Graphs (if applicable) have a meaningful title
7. Graph axes are labelled showing correct data and units
8. Graph axes have correct scales
9. Graph shows reasonable ’line/curve of best fit’ as appropriate
10. All loose pages of data, graphs etc are attached securely to logbook
11. Reflection questions are answered reasonably & fully
12. Logbook entry is signed off by student*
13. Logbook signed off by student and teacher within 2 weeks of test being done
14. Student is proactive in getting logbook signed off by teacher
*Sign your logbook once you and the teacher agree the entry is complete.

Rubrics will be used to assign a final grade for the logbook.
Student: __________________________________
Teacher: __________________________________ Date__________________

Practical Reports
Practical reports are indicated in the Practical Manual. These pracs must have a formal report
submitted as part of your assessment. Each practical report is due two weeks after the prac has
been done. Late reports will incur loss of marks for each day late, up to one week after the due
date. Prac reports will not be accepted after this time.

If you are absent for a practical that is to be written up, a medical certificate must be provided
and special consideration applied for. In this case another practical exercise needs to be
written up – as negotiated with the teacher. If you are absent when the prac is to be written up
but do not / cannot apply for special consideration, another prac may not be written up. No marks
will be allocated in this case.

Class attendance
Students must attend at least 80% of classes to pass the course.
A medical certificate must be provided and special consideration applied for if you are absent.

Assessment Task #6 - Assignment 2 - Group powerpoint presentation is also used to assess another Unit of Competency:
  FNSICGEN501B: Produce research reports and make presentations

Course Overview: Access Course Overview