Clinical Laboratory Science Training Program


Admission Requirements

Selection Criteria

Technical Competencies

Essential Functions

Physical Requirements

Rules and Regulations


Application Process

Instructions for Applicants

Program Overview


Faculty / Staff

Benefits and Expenses

Contact Information


Program Information Packet

Application Form

Letter of Recommendation Form


Applications submitted will be held and reviewed starting February 1, 2015. Applicants will be considered for the Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 classes.

For more information, call, write, or e-mail:

Amy Luong
CLS Education Coordinator
Cottage Hospital School of Clinical Laboratory Science
454 South Patterson Avenue
Santa Barbara, CA 93111
(805) 879-8103


Admission Requirements

Applicants must have a BA or BS degree in biological science or its equivalent with a minimum overall and science GPA of 2.7, and satisfy the requirements for a California Clinical Laboratory Scientist Trainee license. Students with foreign degrees must have a transcript evaluation from an acceptable evaluation agency and complete 30 semester hours from a U.S. college or university and be conversant in English.


Requirements for the California Clinical Laboratory Scientist Trainee license include the following:

  • 18 semester or equivalent quarter-hours of biological science.
    Required courses: medical microbiology, hematology, and immunology.
    Recommended courses: parasitology, virology, mycology, anatomy, molecular biology and physiology.
  • 16 semester or equivalent quarter-hours in chemistry.
    Required courses: analytical chemistry (quantitative analysis) and biochemistry.
    Recommended course: clinical chemistry
  • 3 semester or equivalent quarter hours in physics, including instruction in principles of light and electricity.
    Recommended courses: electronics, instrumentation, and computer courses
  • 3 semester or equivalent quarter-hours in mathematics.
    Recommended courses: statistics

Selection Criteria

Students will be selected based on a comprehensive evaluation of the following documentation:

  • Grade Point Average (overall and science)
  • Coursework completed and grades achieved for those courses
  • Whether the student's GPA improved in the last 2 years of college / university
  • Required courses completed within the past 3 years
  • Living in the Santa Barbara area or attending local college / university
  • Work experience within the past 2 years (related to clinical laboratory, laboratory, or non-laboratory)
  • Letters of recommendation from two instructors and an employer
  • Evaluation of applicant's handwritten letter of intent
  • Personal interview

Points are awarded based on an evaluation of each criterion, and an overall score is calculated. The final selection of candidates is based on both the overall score and input from teaching supervisors present at the personal interview. Selected students must pass a pre-training health screen (physical exam, PPD, and urine drug screen) prior to beginning the program.   


Technical Competencies

  1. Performs phlebotomy on adult patients from all units (oncology, medical, surgical, critical care, emergency) in the hospital, including outpatients. Maintains specimen integrity and processes specimens taking into consideration the type of specimen and the tests ordered.
  2. Performs analytical testing and interprets data generated on blood, body fluids and other specimens utilizing automated, semi-automated, and manual procedures.
  3. Integrates data generated by the various clinical laboratory departments and relates them to make decisions regarding possible discrepancies. Evaluates specimen integrity, analyzer performance, and patient diagnosis in order to resolve discrepancies and insure accurate test results.
  4. Confirms abnormal test results, evaluates possible erroneous results, verifies quality control results, applies quality assurance protocols, and successfully troubleshoots problems related to the generation of accurate laboratory data.
  5. Applies the Westgard rules to quality control data and initiates appropriate procedures to troubleshoot problems in order to maintain test accuracy and precision.
  6. Performs routine preventive maintenance (daily, weekly, monthly) on all analyzers. Successfully troubleshoots analyzer problems and initiates the appropriate repairs. Identifies when a problem requires placing a service call for technical help.
  7. Evaluates and selects new tests, analyzers, or methods in terms of their usefulness and clinical application within the context of a laboratory’s personnel, equipment, space, and budgetary resources when given a case study or possible scenario. Objectively evaluates published research studies.
  8. Demonstrates professional conduct through positive interactions with patients, laboratory personnel, other healthcare professionals, and the public. Demonstrates good verbal and written communication skills and adheres to all laboratory and hospital policies, including all safety policies. Toward the end of a rotation, works as a functioning member of the team.
  9. Attends continuing education events sponsored by the laboratory and applies new information as part of professional conduct and professional development.
  10. Applies educational methodologies to present case studies to the department and participate in the training of other healthcare professionals regarding laboratory services.
  11. Applies the principles of management (financial and human resource) when given case studies or possible scenarios. Participates with the ongoing preparation for accreditation inspections.
  12. Demonstrates functional ability to utilize laboratory computer systems for analysis and information management.
  13. Demonstrates an understanding of various healthcare delivery systems as they affect laboratory services by giving a presentation to the department after field trips to various local laboratories.
  14. Demonstrates an understanding of the performance improvement process by participatingon a performance improvement team project.
  15. Demonstrates knowledge of critical pathways and clinical decision-making.

Essential Functions

  1. Demonstrates professionalism, communication, and compassion with regard for< human dignity.
  2. Maintains the highest standards of conduct in hospitality, excellence, < appearance, attitude, respect, and teamwork
  3. Uses best judgment in all interactions with customers, which includes patients, families, coworkers, medical staff, community members, and all other persons.
  4. Demonstrates responsibility in maintaining confidentiality of hospital information and data within the scope of the position.
  5. Cooperates fully in all risk management activities and investigations.
  6. Performs phlebotomy on patients 13 years of age and older. Interns will receive an introduction only to newborn and pediatric phlebotomy.
  7. Performs all routine laboratory procedures, and at least, observes complex laboratory procedures that are done infrequently.
  8. Prepares reagents and performs preventative maintenance on all assigned instrumentation.
  9. Evaluates quality control data and validity of test results obtained.
  10. Evaluates patient test results for validity and appropriateness of test orders.
  11. Performs basic troubleshooting on all assigned instrumentation.
  12. Maintains all laboratory records as required.
  13. Attends all scheduled didactic lectures and writes all appropriate exams with< at least minimal passing scores.
  14. Attends all clinical rotations as scheduled with appropriate “make-up” time if deemed necessary by School authorities.
  15. Prepares for all scheduled didactic lectures and practical experiences by reviewing appropriate objectives and completing adequate reading on assigned topics prior to the daily assignment.
  16. Performs other assigned tasks, as required for completeness of training, and functions as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist I level after completion of training in a given department rotation.

Physical Requirements

  1. Ability to work shifts starting as early as 0500.
  2. Sufficient manual dexterity and eye-hand coordination to perform the following: pipetting, aliquoting, making dilutions, loading automated analyzers, performing manual analytical testing, processing specimens, setting microbiology specimens, processing blood products, and drawing blood.
  3. Sufficient visual acuity to read microagglutination procedures and utilize a variety of measuring devices (ex. Sed rates, hemacytometers, syringes, volumetric and serological pipettes).
  4. Functional ability, including visual acuity, to utilize a microscope for microscopic examination of prepared slides.
  5. Functional ability to discriminate colors.
  6. Functional ability to read and follow instructions.
  7. Functional ability to utilize and interpret data to problem-solve and troubleshoot.
  8. Functional ability to utilize a variety of computer systems, including PCs.

Rules and Regulations

Students are expected to adhere to all Hospital, Laboratory, and School policies and all State and Federal regulations. Policies, procedures, and regulations will be reviewed with students during their orientation to the program.


Causes for Dismissal

Failure to meet the academic requirements of the program will be cause for dismissal. The following are reasons for automatic dismissal from the program:

  1. Falsifying laboratory results
  2. Cheating on any administered examination
  3. Violation of any Hospital, Laboratory or School policies, including safety policies
  4. Performance not consistent with good patient care or the public interest 

Contact Information

For more information, please call, write, or e-mail:

Amy Luong

CLS Education Coordinator
Cottage Hospital School of Clinical Laboratories

Pacific Diagnostic Laboratories

454 S. Patterson Ave

Santa Barbara, CA 93111

(805) 879-8103