Course Title: Perform chemical pathology tests

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2020

Course Code: BIOL5249C

Course Title: Perform chemical pathology tests

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

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5388 - Diploma of Laboratory Technology

Course Contact: Kirsten Balding

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4283

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

MSL974021  Perform biological procedures

Course Description

This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge to perform tests and procedures associated with the detection and monitoring of tissue and bodily fluid responses to normal physiological processes and disease through the identification and quantifying of chemical components. It covers tests and procedures that are usually associated with the discipline of clinical biochemistry.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

MSL975037 Perform chemical pathology tests


1. Process samples and associated request forms

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Identify specimens and request forms that do not comply with minimum industry requirements for labelling, identification and test requests 1.2 Record any discrepancies and indicate what action is required 1.3 Log samples, recording details that allow accurate tracking and chain of custody


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 quality control 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


3. Maintain laboratory records

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Record entries on report forms or into a laboratory information management system, accurately calculating, recording or transcribing data as required 3.2 Ensure samples and associated paperwork maintain traceability throughout testing

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

Your primary learning mode will be online and face-to-face and learning activities will include a combination of lectures, classroom activities, analysis of simulated results and practical demonstrations.

Teaching Schedule



Week beginning



Week 1



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

Online practical:

 Levey Jennings QC Plots

Week 2


Theory: Automation and point of care testing (POCT) -Print automation practical manual before coming to class

Practical: Automation and POCT I & II AT3 (A) (B) (D) (H)


Week 3



Early feedback quiz – make sure you do your Chemical pathology quiz before 23.59 Sunday 26th July!


Theory: Iron Studies

Online practical:

1. Iron Levels Spectrophotometry (Drylab Exercise) 

2. Haemoglobin Electrophoresis


Week 4



Theory: Liver I: Serum proteins

Online practical:

Protein estimation using Agarose Gel Electrophoresis


Week 5



Theory: Tumour Markers I – Myeloma

Online practical:

Paraproteins Electrophoresis (Helena Labs)

Week 6


Theory: Toxicology Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (TDM) - Testing for Drugs

Introduction to Chromatography & HPLC

Online practical:

HPLC:  Separating analgesics using HPLC

Week 7




Theory: Liver II - Liver Function Tests (LFT’s)

Online practical:

Gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT)

Finalise :

AT1: week 1 to 7 online PRACTICAL LOG BOOK ENTRIES (A) (B) (D) (H)

Week 8






Mid-semester break

Week 9


On-site practical (part a): Group A


Theory: Lipids I

HDL/LDL Ratio (Dry lab exercise – complete calculations at home)


On-site practical (part b): Group A

Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) ELISA

Theory: ELISA immunoassays


Week 10


On-site practical (part a): Group B


Theory: Lipids I

HDL/LDL Ratio (Dry lab exercise – complete calculations at home)


On-site practical (part b): Group B

Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) ELISA

Theory: ELISA immunoassays


Week 11


On-site practical (part a): Group A

1. Urine testing

2. Urine stix (demonstration)

Theory: Renal


On-site practical (part b): Group A

1.Diffusion of glucose & starch across a dialysis membrane (demonstration)

2. Blood cells in hypertonic, hypotonic & isotonic saline (demonstration)

Theory: Electrolytes & Water Balance


Week 12


On-site practical (part a): Group B

1. Urine testing

2. Urine stix (demonstration)

Theory: Renal


On-site practical (part b): Group B

1.Diffusion of glucose & starch across a dialysis membrane (demonstration)

2. Blood cells in hypertonic, hypotonic & isotonic saline (demonstration)

Theory: Electrolytes & Water Balance


Week 13


On-site practical: Group A

BCG Albumin limitations Beer Lambert

Theory: Liver Functions I


Week 14


On-site practical: Group B

BCG Albumin limitations Beer Lambert

Theory: Liver Functions I


Week 15




On-site practical: Group A

Total Protein First determine the Endpoint

Theory: Liver Functions I


Week 16




On-site practical: Group B

Total Protein First determine the Endpoint

Theory: Liver Functions I


Finalise :

AT1: week 1 to 16 PRACTICAL LOG BOOK ENTRIES (A) (B) (D) (H)

Week 17



Exam week


Monday - Cup day (Bank holiday)

Week 18



Semester break


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources


The following books are used in this course. Note that the required texts are essential for completion of the weekly questions in this course.


Useful reference for in dept study:

Pagana, Kathleen Deska, author, & Pagana, Timothy James. (2018)Mosby's manual of diagnostic and laboratory tests(Sixth ed.). St. Louis, Missouri: Elsevier Mosby. ISBN-10: 0323446639 ISBN-13: 978-0323446631

  1. Practical Manual: PRINT AND BRING A COPY TO CLASS. Digital copy available on Canvas.
  2. Automation and Point of Care Testing Manual. PRINT AND BRING A COPY TO CLASS. Digital copy available on Canvas please print and bring a copy to class – check the schedule for dates.
  3. LABORATORY INFORMATION SYSTEMS (LIS) DATA INPUT- On a weekly basis you will simulate a chemical pathology LIS system using the following document to record and store all patient details and valid test results throughout the semester. This document will form part of your assessment.


  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 in addition to the observation checklist AT1.
    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 course. SPIRAL bound books ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE.


  1. Required Texts
  • 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. Buy this book at the beginning of semester 1. (The 3rd ed is also ok).


  • 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. Chapters 6 to 11 available to download and online from RMIT library.


  1. Recommended Texts

This is 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

Overview of Assessment

Assessment may include


knowledge tests

observation of laboratory skills


Assessment Tasks

  1. Assessment details



Assessment task

Each task must be completed satisfactorily before Competence is achieved for the full subject/unit.

Due Date

S (satisfactory)
NS (not satisfactory)

Methods of Assessment include:


A. Direct Observation/
    Simulation Activities

B. Written/Verbal

C. Third Party

D. Portfolio/

E. Project/


F. Presentation

G. Role Plays

H. Practical Demonstration

I. Other






  1. AT1- logbooks




  1. AT2*- theory

WEEK 17*



  1. AT3 - automation




  1. AT4*- theory




Note: AT2 AND AT4 assessment dates have been swapped because term 3 and term 4 practicals have been flipped in line with a term 4 back to on-site practicals during these pandemic conditions.

Assessment Matrix

Can be found on canvas LMS system

Other Information

Decision making rules

Every task must be completed satisfactorily for competence to be achieved.


Assessment Information


CA = Competency Achieved

NYC = Not yet Competent

DNS = Did Not submit (1 or more assessments)



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 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.


Reasonable adjustment

Reasonable adjustment is an individualised modification made to the training delivery or assessment methods to enable a student with specific needs to access and participate. Reasonable adjustment may include changed assessment conditions, flexibility in assessments, other academic support, provision of adaptive equipment and in class support.

Reasonable adjustment is applied within the start date and end date for the subject/unit being undertaken.

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