Division of CLS Policies

Professional Objectives

After reading the program policies and receiving the appropriate instruction, the CLS or MDS student is expected to:

  1. Conform to the ASCLS Code of Ethics.
  2. Comply with the UNC-CH Honor Code and UNC Campus Code.
  3. Adhere to all policies and guidelines of the Division of CLS and assigned clinical facilities.
  4. Demonstrate enthusiasm and interest in the profession of clinical laboratory science.
  5. Work safely in the laboratory as instructed in annual required safety training, and as outlined in CLS and facility policies.
  6. Conform to the dress code policies of the Division of CLS and of clinical facilities.
  7. Report to lecture, laboratory, and clinical courses on all scheduled days at assigned times.
  8. Notify the appropriate instructor(s) as soon as possible in the case of an unavoidable absence or delay.
  9. Prepare for lecture, laboratory, and clinical courses by reviewing objectives, theory, policies, and procedures.
  10. Demonstrate an understanding of the concepts underlying clinical laboratory tests and policies.
  11. Use instructional guidance and constructive criticism to correct deficiencies and/or improve performance.
  12. Work cooperatively with instructors, students and other laboratory personnel.
  13. Follow written and oral instructions.
  14. Demonstrate the ability to concentrate and avoid distractions while performing laboratory work.
  15. Use time in the laboratory effectively to maximize productivity and learning. Offer to help with the work load of the clinical laboratory when appropriate.
  16. Communicate in a clear and concise manner and record data accurately and legibly.
  17. Recognize, report, and take appropriate corrective action to resolve problems that may arise.
  18. Demonstrate diligence in working through and resolving problems.
  19. Assure that the laboratory work area is clean and well stocked.
  20. After appropriate time and training, perform laboratory work with organization, accuracy, efficiency, precision and confidence.
  21. Complete and submit all assigned work on time.
  22. Maintain the confidentiality of patient information.

ASCLS Professional Code of Ethics

I acknowledge my professional responsibility to:

  • Maintain and promote standards of excellence in performing and advancing the art and science of my profession;
  • Safeguard the dignity and privacy of patients;
  • Hold my colleagues and my profession in high esteem and regard;
  • Contribute to the general well-being of the community; and
  • Actively demonstrate my commitment to these responsibilities throughout my professional life.

UNC Policy on Equal Care

In addition to the above statement on code of ethics, the Division of Clinical Laboratory Science, consistent with UNC School of Medicine, requires that equal care be given to all patients, regardless of their health status.

UNC Honor Code and Students' Responsibilities

The Honor Code and the Campus Code, embodying the ideals of academic honesty, integrity, and responsible citizenship, have for over 100 years governed the performance of all academic work and student conduct at the University. Acceptance by a student of enrollment in the University presupposes a commitment to the principles embodied in these codes and a respect for this most significant University tradition.

Your participation in CLS courses comes with our expectation that your work will be completed in full observance of the Honor Code. Academic dishonesty in any form is unacceptable, because any breach in academic integrity, however small, strikes destructively at the University's life and work.

Students must complete some course assignments independently, and other assignments may be completed by groups of students. The CLS faculty member in each course is responsible for providing students with clear explanations about the nature of individual assignments. When taking examinations, students are expected to work independently. All graded assignments in the clinical rotations are treated as examinations. All sources of aid, including but not limited to laboratory procedures, computer resources, textbooks, and supplemental texts, are considered unauthorized unless otherwise specified for each assignment by the faculty or clinical instructor. Completed examinations are routinely retained by CLS faculty members. Students are allowed to review completed examinations under faculty supervision. Students who do not turn in completed examinations or who make copies of completed examinations are in violation of the honor code.

If you have any questions about your responsibility or our responsibility as faculty members under the Carolina Honor System, please bring them to us, or consult with someone in either the Office of the or the Office of the Dean of Students.

Program Requirements

Requirements for Graduation:

  1. Successful completion of the curriculum and all applicable prerequisites and general college requirements.
  2. Adherence to the Code of Ethics and acceptable professional standards.
  3. Completion of required documentation.
  4. Adherence to rules and regulations.

Each student is responsible for observing the procedures, regulations, and requirements of the University, the School of Medicine, the Department of Allied Health Sciences, and the Division of Clinical Laboratory Science as they are announced here and in other official University and School of Medicine sources. It must be emphasized that the staff of the University and the Division of Clinical Laboratory Science will gladly assist any student with details of their program or other academic problems, but that such assistance does not relieve any student of their individual responsibility for meeting the requirements and observing the regulations of the University, School of Medicine, Department of Allied Health Sciences, and the Division of Clinical Laboratory Science.

Required Documentation

All students in the Division of CLS are required to meet certain documentation requirements, including (but not limited to) immunizations, medical insurance coverage, safety and HIPAA training, criminal background checks, and drug screens. These requirements are necessary to ensure the safety of students, other health care workers, and patients; and are mandated by contractual agreements between the Department of Allied Health Sciences and our clinical affiliates.

Specific requirements are listed on the CLS website. The requirements are subject to change at any time. A clinical site may require additional documentation beyond what is required by the Division of CLS. Students must meet all requirements for every facility to which they may be assigned. Failure to do so will prevent the student from completing the program.

All costs associated with completing these requirements are the responsibility of the student.

Criminal Background Checks

Results of criminal background checks are reported to the clinical education coordinator, and are handled confidentially, on a "need to know" basis.  In accordance with our contracts, positive results will be shared with any clinical site to which the student is assigned so that the affiliate may make a determination about a student's eligibility.  If you have any questions about this, please contact the clinical education coordinator.

MDS Program Time Limits

All courses of study must be completed within 4 years of enrolling in the MDS program.  If a student cannot complete the MDS program as scheduled, the student must submit a request for an extension in writing.  The request should include the student’s plan for program completion.

On-campus and Clinical Rotation Requirements

The MDS program includes required on-campus courses and class meetings.  The cost of travel to Chapel Hill, lodging, and meals for attending week-long sessions will be the student’s responsibility.

All CLS and MDS students are required to participate in clinical rotations.  The means and costs of transportation, as well as any living expenses or costs for relocation are the student's responsibility.

Guarantee of Clinical Experience

Students will be scheduled for clinical rotations at one or more of the program's current clinical sites. If a student's scheduled clinical rotation is cancelled by the clinical site, the CLS clinical education coordinator will attempt to reschedule that rotation at another clinical site. In the unlikely event that the clinical rotation cannot be scheduled at one of the current clinical sites, the coordinator will either re-schedule the rotation for a subsequent semester at an existing clinical site, or establish a new clinical site. An unexpected change in clinical site availability may affect the date that a student can finish the program, but will not affect the student's ability to complete all the required clinical rotations.

Certification Exams

At the completion of the CLS or MDS program, students are well prepared to take entry-level, generalist certification examinations or the specialist certification examination in molecular diagnostic science, respectively. However, successful completion of the curriculum does not guarantee passing performance on certification exams. Students are strongly encouraged to take a national certification examination as soon as possible after graduation. The Division of Clinical Laboratory Science will provide necessary application information for all CLS and MDS students, however certification is an individual, voluntary process. The baccalaureate and master's degrees in CLS from the University of North Carolina and the certificate of program completion from the Division of Clinical Laboratory Science are not contingent on a student's passing any external certification or licensing examination.

Student Employees/ Service Work

Students may be given the opportunity to work in the clinical laboratory in the evenings or on weekends. Working in a clinical laboratory outside of regular academic hours is noncompulsory for students.  These opportunities are optional and students are considered employees of the institution during these hours.

While in clinical rotations, students are NOT considered employees of the institution, even if they work there at other times.  Students are not entitled to any compensation, employee benefits, or worker's compensation while participating in the clinical education experience. MDS students who qualify for Route 2 or 3 may request an exemption from this policy. 

Student Performance of Laboratory Tests

After demonstrating competency, students, with qualified supervision, may be permitted to perform procedures in the clinical laboratory.

Students with Disabilities

The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill facilitates the implementation of reasonable accommodations, including resources and services, for students with disabilities, chronic medical conditions, a temporary disability or pregnancy complications resulting in difficulties with accessing learning opportunities.

All accommodations are coordinated through the Accessibility Resources and Service Office. Please visit their website http://accessibility.unc.edu, call 919-962-8300, or email accessibility@unc.edu.

Please contact ARS as early in the semester as possible.

Students in the CLS and MDS programs must be able to perform essential functions in order to complete the requirements of the programs, either with or without a reasonable accommodation.  (Click to review essential functions for CLS and MDS.)

Students Infected with HBV, HCV, and/or HIV

Malpractice Liability Insurance

Students in the Department of Allied Health Sciences, enrolled in the School of Medicine, are covered under the University's self-insurance plan for malpractice insurance. Under this plan, there will be no cost to the students. This coverage is for incidents resulting only from University-related activities. There is no coverage for outside activities, either paid or volunteer.

Academic Advising

The Director of the Division of Clinical Laboratory Science serves as the academic advisor for students in the CLS and MDS programs. Students should contact the Division Director for questions related to registration, academic progress, and graduation. Students may also contact any faculty member in the Division of Clinical Laboratory Science for academic or career advice. Faculty members will maintain the confidentiality of student information and will treat all students impartially.

Grading and Evaluation

Professional attitudes and actions, as described in the professional objectives, are as important as traditional academic standards for students preparing to deliver a high standard of health care and service. A student may be judged unacceptable for continuation in the CLS or MDS program when he/she is deficient in professional behavior. Further information on disciplinary, academic, and behavioral dismissals are discussed in the Clinical Laboratory Science dismissal policies.

Students in the Division of CLS are evaluated frequently and are encouraged to discuss any academic concerns with CLS faculty members. Any student not making satisfactory progress at the mid-point of any course will receive notification.  The student will have ample opportunity to discuss with the instructor(s) and/ or program director ways to improve or correct any deficiencies.

The following grading scale is used for CLS courses:




93 to 100


90 to 92.95


87 to 89.95


83 to 86.95


80 to 82.95


77 to 79.95


73 to 76.95


70 to 72.95


67 to 69.95


60 to 66.95


< 59.95

The following grading scale is used for MDS courses:




94 to 100


80 to 93


70 to 79


< 69

Additional grade designations used in both CLS and MDS courses include:






Absent from Final Exam

IN - Used when the student took the final examination but did not complete some other course requirement, and the student could pass the course if the assignment was completed. The "IN" is computed as an "F" in an undergraduate student's GPA, and is changed automatically to a "F*" if the grade is not cleared by eight weeks into the next regular semester. For graduate students, an "IN" will revert to an"F*" (administratively assigned grade) if the grade is not cleared within one year from the original examination. Note: In some clinical rotations, grades may not be available at the end of the semester because of the rotation schedule. A student may receive a temporary grade of incomplete for the clinical course. The CLS faculty member directing the clinical course will change the temporary grade as soon as the final grade is available.
AB - Must be given to a student who did not take a final exam regardless of the reason, but might have passed the course had they done so. The "AB" is computed as an "F" grade in an undergraduate student's GPA and is changed automatically to an "F*" if the grade is not cleared by the end of the next regular semester. For graduate students, an "AB" will revert to an "F*" (administratively assigned grade) if the grade is not cleared within one year from the original examination.
It is very important to inform your instructor immediately if you choose to drop a course or withdraw from the program!!! If you are not participating in the course discussions and work (and do not inform us of your intentions to drop or withdraw) you could receive an F* on your transcript.

In order to continue in the CLS program, a student must earn a C-, or better, in all courses. In order to continue in the MDS program, a student must earn a P, or better, in all courses.  Students who do not meet these standards will be considered for academic dismissal.

Dismissal Policies

Disciplinary Dismissals

Disciplinary Dismissals are based on violations of the Code of Student Conduct:

  • Honor Code: It shall be the responsibility of every student at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to obey and to support the enforcement of the Honor Code, which prohibits lying, cheating, or stealing when these actions involve academic processes or University, student or academic personnel acting in an official capacity.
  • Campus Code: It shall be the further responsibility of every student to abide by the Campus Code; namely, to conduct oneself so as not to impair significantly the welfare or the educational opportunities of others in the University community.

Suspected violations of either the Honor Code or the Campus Code will be reported to the Student Attorney General. If a student is found guilty of a violation of the Honor Code or Campus Code within the Student Judicial System, the Division of Clinical Laboratory Science faculty will meet to consider the student's standing in the program. In some cases, the violation may necessitate dismissal from the CLS or MDS program in addition to the sanctions imposed by the Student Judicial System. The student will be informed of the date of the CLS faculty meeting and may appear before the CLS faculty. After the student has presented his or her case, the faculty will meet in a closed session to decide whether or not the violation warrants dismissal from the CLS or MDS program. Minutes of the hearing with the student, but not of the faculty's deliberations, will be kept. The student will be informed of the CLS faculty members' decision by email and/or in writing. If the student wishes to appeal the dismissal decision, he or she must initiate the appeal process within 20 calendar days of the date of receipt of the dismissal decision.

Academic Dismissals/ Remediation

The CLS faculty reviews the academic record of all students at the end of each semester.  Any student who has not met academic standards is considered for dismissal.

The academic standard for continuation in the CLS program is a grade of C- (70%) or better in all courses.  For MDS students, the academic standard is a grade of P (80%) or better in all courses.  Any student who has earned a grade of F, or more than one grade of D, D+, or L, at any time during the program will be dismissed.  If a student has earned one grade of D, D+, or L, and has satisfactory grades in all other courses in the curriculum, the faculty will consider whether the student will be dismissed or will have the option of remedial work.

The opportunity to undertake remedial work is a privilege and is not automatically granted. The following factors will be considered in determining whether or not a remedial option is possible:

  1. The student's performance in all other courses.
  2. The availability of the appropriate CLS faculty member to supervise and conduct the remedial work.
  3. The availability of resources for laboratory courses.
  4. The amount of time needed for the student to achieve competence.
  5. The course sequence. For example, it may not be possible to correct a deficiency in a pre-requisite course before the next course in the sequence.

After considering these factors and the student's overall record, the faculty will decide whether a student who has earned one grade of D, D+, or L will be offered remediation or will be dismissed from the program.

Students will be informed of the faculty's decisions regarding dismissal or remediation by email and/or in writing. If the student chooses to undertake remedial work, he or she must notify the CLS program director within 10 days of the receipt of the letter describing the remediation. The original course grade will not change as a result of this remedial work.

If remediation is deemed impossible, if the student chooses not to undertake remedial work, or if the remediation is not successfully completed within the specified period of time, the student will be dismissed from the CLS or MDS program.

If a student wishes to appeal a dismissal decision, he or she must initiate the appeal process within 20 calendar days of the date of receipt of the dismissal decision.

Professional Behavior Dismissals

Professional behavior, as described in the professional objectives, is extremely important for students preparing to enter a health care profession. CLS faculty members will document professional behavior problems on a Professional Performance Report form. Examples of problems that may be documented include: repeated absences, failure to prepare for laboratory courses or rotations, breach of patient confidentiality, failure to conform to the dress code, failure to follow safety regulations, failure to cooperate with clinical instructors, etc. Students will be notified that a Professional Performance Report form has been placed in their file and they will have the opportunity to write comments on the form.

If a student demonstrates serious professional behavior problems, the CLS faculty will proceed according to the Department of Allied Health Sciences Professional Behavior Policy.

Appeal of a course grade or dismissal decision

Appeals must follow the policy and procedure of the Department of Allied Health Sciences, located at http://www.med.unc.edu/ahs/student-services/appeals%20policy-updated%2012-13-2011.pdf .  While an appeal is in process, the course grade or faculty decision stands.  This may result in delay of completion of the program.

Attendance Policies

Students are expected to be present and on time for all scheduled classes and on-campus laboratory sessions. In case of expected absence (e.g., surgery), students must notify the Clinical Laboratory Science faculty in advance. In case of unexpected absence or tardiness, students must notify the appropriate faculty member(s) as soon as possible. Students in clinical rotations must notify the clinical education coordinator and call the clinical facility. For extended illnesses, documentation from a physician may be required.

A student's track record of attendance and the way he or she handles unexpected absences says a great deal about his or her level of professionalism. The CLS professional objectives include: "Report to classes, laboratories, and clinical courses on all scheduled days at assigned times." Students who fail to meet this objective risk dismissal from the program for deficiencies in professional behavior.

Absences/ Remediation:

A student who is absent from any course remains responsible for all work missed. “Make-up” work or other means of mastering course objectives will be governed by individual course policies. (Most labs cannot be repeated.) Final Examinations: Students will be excused from final examinations only upon approval from the appropriate clinical instructor and/ or the division director. In order to complete clinical laboratory objectives, absences and tardiness that occur during clinical rotations may require remedial action. The need for remedial action will be left to the discretion of the education coordinator in the corresponding laboratory. Time options for remedial work include: unscheduled days and/ or weeks, second shift, weekends, breaks, vacation, schedule alterations and other alternatives at the education coordinator's discretion. Failure to make up missed time will result in an incomplete for that rotation and possible deferment of the student's degree.

Severe Weather Policy

On-campus Classes: If the University is closed, our classes are cancelled.  If the University is not closed, but a CLS faculty member cancels a class due to severe weather, he or she will notify students via Sakai and/ or email.

Clinical Rotations: In the event of snow, ice or other severe weather, if you are able to travel, contact the clinical facility to determine the education coordinator's preference for attendance that day.  (If you are unable to travel, notify the facility and Mrs. Stewart as for any other absence.)  An absence due to weather is like any other absence in regards to your responsibility for work missed/ mastering course objectives.

Safety in the Profession of Clinical Laboratory Science

You are preparing to enter a profession that has many rewards and opportunities for personal growth. As in many health care professions, however, there are risks in clinical laboratory science and it is important to be aware of those risks. In dealing with patients and patients' samples, there is a risk of exposure to infectious agents and, in performing some laboratory testing, there is a risk of exposure to toxic chemicals and other hazards. Because of the risks involved in this profession, the Division of Clinical Laboratory Science provides each student with extensive safety instruction, which must be completed annually. We also make sure that the clinical laboratory settings provide appropriate safety equipment and procedures so that unnecessary risk is avoided. We will provide instructions for appropriate care in the event of an accident in the laboratory.

Your safety is always your responsibility. You must take the initiative to learn and follow the safety procedures you are taught. If you have any questions about safety procedures or the availability of the appropriate protective equipment, notify your instructor, clinical supervisor, or course director immediately.

Radiation Safety

Some molecular laboratories use radionucleotides, specifically, P-32 . This is a beta emitter, which is not as penetrating as gamma rays or x-rays. When it is used, plexiglass shields are employed to protect the technologist. Since radionucleotide use is very limited in these labs, we will not be issuing you a film badge to monitor exposure. For that reason you should not participate in any procedural steps involving the direct handling of radionucleotides. For more information, go to the UNC Environmental Health and Safety website at www.ehs.unc.edu and click on "radiation safety" and then "manuals".

Tuberculosis and Fit-Tested Masks

In your clinical rotations, you will not be going into rooms where there are cases of known TB because you have not been fitted with the special masks. If the teaching tech you are with is wearing a special fit tested mask for a procedure, then you should not participate.

Student Laboratory Rules

  1. All students must complete and document safety training prior to working in the student lab. Students are expected to follow all guidelines in the safety training materials on fire, electrical, chemical, and biological safety.
  2. Students are responsible for locating and being familiar with the operation of the safety equipment in the student lab. Remember, when necessary, the eye wash and safety shower should be used for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Students must wear closed-toed, non-perforated shoes in the laboratory. Dresses and skirts must be at least knee-length and pants must be at least mid-calf. Shorts and miniskirts are not permitted in the laboratory. Long hair must be tied back, and hats should not be worn. Care must be exercised to keep hair, clothing, jewelry, etc. away from laboratory equipment.
  4. Any breaks of the skin on the hands or wrists should be bandaged before putting on gloves.
  5. Standard (Universal) precautions require you to consider every specimen to be potentially infectious. For this reason, proper personal protective equipment (PPE) must be worn at all times in the laboratory:
    • Lab Coats must be worn and closed (i.e., buttoned) when performing laboratory work. If you have a significant spill on your lab coat, discard it immediately and don a clean coat.  In the case all your coats are soiled, please inform the lab instructor.
    • Gloves are required when handling specimens, cleaning laboratory equipment and work area and cleaning up spills. If you find yourself sensitive to gloves, please inform the instructors and alternate gloves and/ or liners will be provided for you. Gloves must be replaced whenever torn or soiled with blood or body fluids. Hands must be washed immediately after removing gloves. When removing gloves, grasp the cuff of the glove and pull the glove off inside out. Avoid touching skin with the glove's outer surface. Never wash and reuse disposable gloves.
    • Face shields, goggles, and other PPE are available and must be used when appropriate, e.g., when there is a reasonable anticipation of aerosol formation or a splash occurring. Prescription eyewear such as glasses and contact lenses are not protective. Reusable PPE such as face shields and goggles should be cleaned/ disinfected after every use. When donning or removing face shields or goggles, be aware of potential contamination! Use a clean paper towel and handle by the headband. When not in use, place on a paper towel on your bench away from your immediate work area. (Students will be instructed on proper use, handling, and decontamination of all reusable PPE.)
  6. Lab coats, gloves, and other PPE should not be worn outside the laboratory. Remove PPE and wash hands with 4% chlorhexidine gluconate soap before leaving for any reason.
  7. Do not remove specimens, reagents, or equipment from the laboratory. This includes writing utensils, calculators and rulers used in the lab.
  8. Avoid touching face with gloves and do not put ANYTHING in mouth. No mouth pipetting! No eating, drinking, smoking, gum chewing, manipulating contact lenses, or application of cosmetics is permitted in the laboratory.
  9. Any spills should be cleaned up according to instructions given during safety training. Instructors are available for guidance in cleaning up spills. Do not clean up broken glass with unprotected hands. Use puncture resistant gloves and tongs, forceps, or brush/dustpan. Any spills of blood or body fluids should be disinfected with 10% bleach solution. Check the expiration of the 10% bleach solution. It is stable for 30 days after preparation.
  10. Dispose of all lab materials as instructed. All contaminated disposable items must be placed into designated biohazard containers. Contaminated sharps must be placed into designated puncture-proof containers.
  11. Contaminated needles or other sharps must not be sheared, bent, recapped, or removed from syringes or other devices.
  12. Do not open the lid of a centrifuge when it is in motion. Ensure that the centrifuge is properly balanced, and that tubes are free from visible defects prior to use. Do not centrifuge uncovered specimens. Cover with stoppers, parafilm or caps. The exceptions are urine and specimens requiring frequent manipulation during a series of centrifugations (e.g., Ab/Ag testing).
  13. If a spill occurs in a centrifuge, turn it off and unplug it. If the spill possibly contains organisms infectious by aerosol route, allow 30-60 minutes to permit settling of aerosols if possible. Wear a faceshield and gloves when opening the centrifuge, and clean up the spill according to instructions given during safety training. Instructors are available for guidance.
  14. Any injury sustained in the laboratory must be reported to the instructor immediately.
  15. At the end of each laboratory session, while still wearing gloves and lab coat, turn off and disinfect equipment according to instructions. Any non-disposable supplies which may have been contaminated (test tube racks, glassware, etc.) must also be disinfected. Disinfect the cleared work area. Remove PPE and wash hands with 4% chlorhexidine gluconate soap after disinfecting the bench.
  16. No personal items are allowed in the lab.  Please store all personal items in your assigned locker before lab, and bring only your lab manual and any assigned texts to class.
  17. All work performed in the laboratory is governed by the honor code. Work must be done independently unless otherwise instructed. All results generated must be immediately recorded in INK on the laboratory worksheet. Any mistake should be corrected by drawing a single line through the error, writing in the correct answer, and initialing the change.
  18. Use of the laboratory is limited to designated lab hours when proper supervision is available. Visitors are not allowed in the student laboratory.

Dress Code

In the student laboratory, all students must adhere to the Student Laboratory Rules, which include guidelines for dress. These guidelines are designed for the students' safety and professional development. Any student who does not follow these guidelines may be asked to leave and return in the appropriate dress.

Guidelines for professional attire in the clinical laboratory require consideration for patients, visitors, and coworkers as well as personal safety. Therefore, when in clinical rotations, or when visiting the hospital laboratory as part of a laboratory activity, students are expected to promote a professional image by following these guidelines:

  1. Clothes should be clean and neat. Casual or athletic wear such as leggings, sweat suits or warm-up pants should not be worn. Scrub suits are acceptable. Extremes in dress style should be avoided. Dresses and skirts must be at least knee-length and pants must be at least mid-calf.
  2. Closed toe shoes only. No spiked heels or high platform heels.
  3. A clean laboratory coat and a name tag must be worn when performing laboratory work. Additional PPE should be worn as appropriate for each task.
  4. Keep jewelry, perfume or shaving lotion, or scents found in other products to a minimum.
  5. When there is any direct patient contact (i.e., when performing phlebotomy) in any area, inpatient or outpatient, students are prohibited from wearing artificial nails, including artificial tips or attachments, gel nails, silicone nails, silk wraps, acrylic nails, and nail jewelry.
  6. No headphones or hats.
  7. Long hair should be tied back.

In addition to these basic guidelines, students are expected to follow any additional provisions of the facility's dress code. For example, the UNC Healthcare professional business attire policy states that jeans or any type of clothing (skirt, shirt, vest) made from denim of any color may NOT be worn. Collarless shirts with any logos or writing on them also may not be worn.

Any student who does not follow these guidelines may be asked to leave and return in the appropriate dress.

Lab Coats

First Year CLS Students: Students will be given information regarding the type of lab coat(s) to purchase. It is important to purchase the specified coats to meet the safety requirements of working in a laboratory. Students will need to purchase one fabric coat prior to the start of classes.  Students will also need to purchase a few disposable lab coats for clinical use (more information will be provided once students are on campus). Coats in use must remain in the laboratory.  Fabric coats will be laundered by UNC Auxiliary Services.  Disposable coats must be discarded after use.

Second Year CLS Students: UNC Hospitals will provide lab coats for senior CLS students in McLendon Laboratory rotations. Personnel will show you where to find clean coats at the beginning of your rotation, and the hamper for laundry at the end of your rotation. (Please arrive a few minutes early on your first day so you have time to find a coat.) Infection control guidelines for the hospital state that lab coats are not to be taken out of the laboratory area.

In other clinical laboratories, a lab coat may or may not be provided (refer to rotation information).  In laboratories where coats are not provided, or if a suitable coat is not available for whatever reason, students will wear disposable lab coats. Used coats should be discarded at the end of the rotation; do not take them out of the laboratory area. You should carry an extra clean coat with you to each rotation, in case yours is soiled and must be discarded.

MDS Students: For on-campus laboratory sessions (CLSC 610L and CLSC 720L), students should purchase disposable lab coats.  For clinical rotations, depending on rotation site, a coat may be provided, or students may need to purchase and use disposable coats. In either case, used lab coats must not be taken out of the laboratory area at any time. Students will be informed about whether coats will be provided once clinical assignments are made.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact Dr. Beck or Mrs. Stewart.

Incident Policy

In the event of a laboratory accident involving a CLS or MDS student, the following steps must be followed:

  1. The student must immediately notify his/her laboratory instructor and/or education coordinator of the accident.  The instructor will assist the student with first aid for the injury, and in determining whether any medical attention beyond first aid is required.
  2. The student must complete a Division of Clinical Laboratory Science incident report, with the help of the laboratory instructor. (This form is available on the CLS website or in the CLS office.)
  3. If additional medical attention is necessary, the student must go to Campus Health Services or the appropriate emergency care site for the facility, and alert the medical personnel there of the emergency status of the injury. (See below for emergency care sites.) If the accident involves a potential blood-borne pathogen exposure, the student or laboratory instructor must call 919-966-6573. Campus Health Services will coordinate all follow-up care, source patient testing, and post-exposure prophylaxis regardless of where the student is in rotation.
  4. The education coordinator or laboratory instructor must notify the Division of Clinical Laboratory Science safety coordinator (919-843-4355) of the nature of the incident and the steps taken to provide emergency care (i.e., whether the student has been sent to Campus Health).
  5. Medical personnel will provide treatment of the injury and appropriate follow-up. It is the responsibility of the treating provider to determine what medical treatment is appropriate.
  6. The incident report must be returned to the Clinical Laboratory Science safety coordinator, to be placed in the student's file.

UNC Campus Health Services' Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure Protocol may be obtained at https://campushealth.unc.edu/urgent-needs/health-science-students-blood-borne-pathogen-exposure.

Emergency Care

Students who need first aid or emergency medical care for an illness or incident that occurs while performing rotation-related responsibilities may obtain care, at their own expense, at the following sites:

  • UNC Hospitals: UNC Campus Health Service (CHS)
  • VA Medical Center: UNC CHS or Duke University
  • Duke University Medical Center: UNC CHS or Duke University
  • Quest Diagnostics: Call 2500 for the Nurse or go to Quest Employee Health for assessment and Treatment. For infectious disease exposures: Infectious Disease Physicians Incorporated.
  • Laboratory Corporation of America: UNC Campus Health Service (CHS)

These sites should also be used to obtain emergency treatment in case of an HIV exposure. Note that, according to the Centers for Disease Control, post-exposure prophylaxis "should be initiated promptly, preferably within 1-2 hours post-exposure". (see http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/rr/rr5409.pdf)

Laboratory Visitation

For safety reasons, visitors are not permitted in the student or clinical laboratories.

Release for Recommendations

In order for Clinical Laboratory Science faculty to write letters of recommendation, you need to complete the "Consent for Release of Information from Education Records" form. Students' permission is voluntary and may be revoked at any time in writing. However, without this permission form we can make no statements concerning your performance. You may designate all Clinical Laboratory Science faculty or specific faculty members as authorized individuals. This form will be placed in your Clinical Laboratory Science file.

Telephone Communications

Cell phones must be turned off during lecture courses. Do not leave class in order to make or answer a phone call. Cell phones must not be brought into the student laboratory or any clinical laboratories. Students should store phones along with other personal belongings in lockers provided.
The CLS student services number (919-966-3011) may be used as emergency contact information. Emergency messages will be relayed. Clinical laboratory contact numbers (see rotation information page) may also be used for emergencies.


All students must document annually that you have read, understand, and agree to these policies.

Students are expected to be present and on time for all scheduled classes and on-campus laboratory sessions.  In case of expected absence (e.g., surgery), students must notify the Clinical Laboratory Science faculty in advance.  In case of unexpected absence or tardiness, students must notify the appropriate faculty member(s) as soon as possible.  Students in clinical rotations must notify Mrs. Stewart and call the clinical facility.  For extended illnesses, documentation from a physician may be required.


The student is responsible for all work missed. “Make-up” work or other means of mastering course objectives will be governed by individual course policies. (Most labs cannot be repeated.)


Final Examinations: Students will be excused from final examinations only upon approval from the appropriate clinical instructor and/ or the division director.