Course Title: Perform haematological tests

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2017

Course Code: BIOL5223C

Course Title: Perform haematological tests

School: 174T School of VE Engineering, Health & Science

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5362 - Diploma of Laboratory Technology (Pathology Testing)

Course Contact: Amber Mitton

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 8053

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

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

Pr-requisite: MSL973007 Perform microscopic examination

Course Description

This unit of competency covers the ability to determine levels, function, activity and interactions of cellular and plasma components of blood using tests and procedures identified with the discipline of laboratory haematology. 

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

MSL975002 Perform haematological tests


1 Process samples and associated request details

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Sort specimens according to tests requested, urgent status and volume

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 and request forms, applying required document tracking mechanisms

1.4 Process samples as required by requested tests

1.5 Store samples and sample components appropriately until ready for testing


2 Perform tests

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Select authorised tests that are indicated for the requested investigations

2.2 Conduct individual tests according to documented methodologies, applying required quality control procedures

2.3 Record all results, noting any phenomena that may be relevant to the interpretation of results

2.4 Seek advice of section head or other responsible colleague when result interpretation is outside parameters of authorised approval

2.5 Store unused sample or sample components, for possible future reference, under conditions suitable to maintain viability


3 Maintain a safe environment

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Use established safe work practices and personal protective equipment (PPE) 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 from contamination

3.3 Minimise the generation of wastes

3.4 Ensure the safe disposal of biohazardous materials and other laboratory wastes in accordance with workplace procedures


4 Maintain laboratory records

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Make entries on report forms or into computer systems, accurately calculating, recording or transcribing required data as required

4.2 Update instrument maintenance 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

On successful completion of this course, students should be able to;

1 Process haematology samples and associated request details

2 Perform diagnostic haematology tests

3 Maintain a safe laboratory working environment

4 Keep accurate laboratory records


Learning activities include:

  • simulated laboratory conditions
  • processing test request forms and samples
  • testing blood samples 
  • recording and reporting test results
  • examining and interpreting blood films
  • working collaboratively in groups to produce information resources

Teaching Schedule

Theory topic – Practical laboratory work

Semester 1


1 Introduction to HaematologyProtocols, lab workflow, telephoning
2 Sample collection / specimen types – Introduction to blood
3 Platelets, automated analysers, FBC – Analyser & QC; microscope review – normal blood film
4 Blood films and the full blood examination (FBE) Analyser; Making blood films, staining   
5 Red cell parameters – Analyser – interpreting red cell parameters
6 Labour Day Public Holiday – NO CLASS  
7 White cells – Analyser & manual white cell count, WC differential
8 Infection & inflammation White cell differential; manual platelet counts; ESR
9 Reporting blood films Examining films systematically

10 Mid-semester exams and break

11 Haemostasis, plasma components Manual coagulation tests   
12 Coagulation tests – Manual coagulation tests \+ automated & QC on STAGO
13 Defects & deficiencies – STAGO – factor deficiencies
14 Plasmolysis – STAGO + Latex D-Dimer test; Case studies (DIC, DVT)
15 Prothrombotic conditions & testing – Case studies & Revision

Semester 2


1 introduction to Morphology
2 Anaemia – Hb, Iron deficiency, Megaloblastic anaemia
3 Hb defects – Sickle cell disease, β Thalassaemia (major & minor),
   α Thalassaemia, Other haemoglobinopathies: HbE, HbC
4 Haemolysis I – metabolic pathway defects
5 Haemolysis II – inherited red cell membrane defects
6 Haemolysis III – acquired haemolysis  
7 Malaria
Mid-semester exams  
9   Infection  
10 Malignancy I - Acute leukaemia
11 Malignancy II - Chronic leukaemia
12 Thrombocytopenia & thrombocytosis
13 Aplasia, myelodysplasia, myelofibrosis
14 Revision - Mystery slides and practice identification
15 Morphology assessment
16 End-semester exams

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

There is no prescribed textbook for this course. Reading materials will be offered through the RMIT

e-learning platform (myRMIT) and the library (log in first).

The following text available online through the RMIT library website is particularly useful:

Bain, Barbara J. (2015) Blood Cells – a Practical Guide. 5th edition.


Any other information will be communicated via myRMIT or emails or in class. 

Overview of Assessment

written tests

practical skills tests

laboratory documentation assessment

laboratory logbook

research assignment


Assessment Tasks

This course is a combination of graded tasks and ungraded competencies. All assessment items must be completed to a satisfactory standard to pass this course.


Group Wiki page and peer review   20%
Written test; applied knowledge      25%

Ungraded competency: (Satisfactory / Not Yet Satisfactory)
Spread and label a blood film                S / NYS

Run analyser FBC and report results       S / NYS

Maintain patient records for 4 weeks      S / NYS

Perform a manual differential                S / NYS
Calculate absolute cell count from %      S / NYS
Set up and report ESR test / D-Dimer     S / NYS

Document coagulation results                S / NYS



Haematology Fact Sheet                  15%
Complete online review Qs               10%

Final written test                            30%

Ungraded competency: (Satisfactory / Not Yet Satisfactory)
Morphology record book                  S / NYS

Blood film identification test             S / NYS

Assessment Matrix


This course is graded in accordance with competency-based assessment, which also uses graded assessment

CHD: Competent with High Distinction (80 – 100%)

CDI: Competent with Distinction (70 – 79%)

CC: Competent with Credit (60-69%)

CAG: Competency Achieved (50 – 59%)

NYC: Not Yet Competent -Graded (0 – 49%)

DNS: Did Not Submit for assessment

Other Information

• To pass the course you need to pass, on average, each type of assessment (exams, pracs, and assignments etc.) For example, if there are two exams you need to have an average of 50% to pass and you also need to have passed the other assessment types. You can’t make up marks from one type of assessment to another (e.g. pass the exams but fail the prac component).

• Late work that is submitted without an application for an extension (see below) will not be corrected.

• APPLICATION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME FOR SUBMISSION OF ASSESSABLE WORK - A student may apply for an extension of up to 7 days from the original due date. They must lodge the application form (available online at least 24 hours before the due date. The application is lodged with the School Admin Office on Level 6, Bdg 51. Students requiring longer extensions must apply for SPECIAL CONSIDERATION.

• For missed assessments such as exams- you (& your doctor if you are sick) must fill out a special consideration form. This form must be lodged online with supporting evidence prior to, or within, 48 hours of the scheduled time of examination


  • A minimum of 80% attendance at practical classes is required to pass this course. If you are sick you should submit a medical certificate to 6th floor office addressed to the Program Coordinator. If you miss a practical class that is a prac report write up you need to provide a medical certificate (or other evidence) and arrange an alternative report with your teacher


Plagiarism is the presentation of the work, idea or creation of another person as though it is your own. It is a form of cheating and is a very serious academic offence that may lead to expulsion from the University. Plagiarised material can be drawn from, and presented in, written, graphic and visual form, including electronic data and oral presentation. Plagiarism occurs when the origin of the material used is not appropriately cited. It also occurs through enabling plagiarism, which is the act of assisting or allowing another person to plagiarise or to copy your own work. Please make sure you consider this carefully in completing all your work and assessments in this course and if you are unsure about whether you might have plagiarised, seek help from your teacher. 


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