Master of Laboratory Medicine

As part of the Master of Laboratory Medicine program, you will undertake a laboratory placement. The following information outlines examples of the types of tasks you will be expected to carry out during laboratory placement, in the teaching laboratory and other on-campus learning activities.

These examples are provided for your information only and are not entry requirements.

There are a range of adjustments to your study conditions available to enable and support you to undertake these tasks. Please contact the Equitable Learning Services to discuss any adjustments you may require. 

Verbal expression and comprehension (understanding)

What do I need to be able to do?

Understand and respond to verbal communication.
This will assist you when participating in tutorial discussions and practicing your professional communication during practical classes.

Verbally communicate clear instructions and explanations in a time responsive way.
In the laboratory environment, verbal communication is the primary source of communication between you and key users of the laboratory. Clear communication assists with completing laboratory tasks safely.

What adjustments to my study conditions can I access?

A range of adjustments can be organised through the Equitable Learning Services (ELS). Contact the ELS to discuss what adjustments may be helpful to you.

Additional time allowances for comprehension and expression may be available to you for teaching laboratory and on-campus learning activities.

Laboratory placement activities may require time responsive communication. This should be discussed with your placement coordinator prior to commencement.

Social communication

Social Communication refers to the capacity to understand and use appropriate non-verbal communication such as: eye contact, gestures, facial expression, speaking volume, tone of voice, proximity and verbal turn-taking. 

What do I need to be able to do?

Recognise, interpret, use and respond to non-verbal communication appropriately during on-campus and laboratory placement activities to build relationships, display understanding and complete laboratory tasks.

In the laboratory environment, tasks which require your use of social communication abilities include:

  • identifying  and using gestures, verbal turn-taking and proximity when sharing workload and equipment with fellow students and users of the laboratory
  • responding to laboratory users with open body language, eye contact and facial expressions to demonstrate understanding.

What adjustments to my study conditions can I access?

A range of adjustments can be organised through the Equitable Learning Services (ELS). Contact the ELS to discuss what adjustments may be helpful to you.  

Consideration will be given to the use of non-verbal communication appropriate to your disability or condition for example, if you have a vision or hearing impairment, you may rely more on using either auditory or visual means of social communication.

Reading

What do I need to be able to do?

Read and understand a range of written material in differing forms from a variety of sources such as: on screen material, academic reference material and /or handwritten notes.

In the laboratory environment, essential information is communicated in written form.  Tasks which require the use of reading include: 

  • Reading  and understanding instructions in safety data sheets and protocols
  • Reading and comprehending laboratory records, reports and scientific literature

The ability to read, understand and interpret written information is fundamental to working in a laboratory environment in a safe manner.

What adjustments to my study conditions can I access?

A range of adjustments can be organised through the Equitable Learning Services (ELS). Contact the ELS to discuss what adjustments may be helpful to you.

You may use specialised software to support your literacy for teaching laboratory and on-campus learning activities. The appropriateness and practicality of using such software during laboratory placements may vary between placements and should be discussed with the placement coordinator prior to commencement.

Writing (Written Language)

N.B. This refers not to the physical act of writing but rather to the written content.

What do I need to be able to do?

Produce coherent written communication appropriate to on-campus and laboratory settings. 

In the laboratory environment, tasks which require clear, concise, accurate and time-efficient writing include: 

  • Recording laboratory results in a log book
  • Writing laboratory reports

Laboratory record keeping and reporting is an integral part of laboratory placement and is vital to the provision of valid laboratory testing.

What adjustments to my study conditions can I access?

A range of adjustments can be organised through the Equitable Learning Services (ELS). Contact the ELS to discuss what adjustments may be helpful to you.

You may use specialised software to support your literacy for teaching laboratory and on-campus learning activities. The appropriateness and practicality of using such software during laboratory placements may vary between placements and should be discussed with the placement coordinator prior to commencement.

Number Skills (Numeracy)

Numeracy is the ability to understand and work with numbers. Basic numeracy skills consist of comprehending fundamental mathematics like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

What do I need to be able to do?

Interpret and correctly apply numerical data, measurements and formulae in a time-efficient manner when completing on-campus activities, teaching laboratory and laboratory placement tasks 

In the laboratory environment, tasks which require your use of number skills include:

  • performing accurate calculations for solution making
  • conducting bacterial counts in the microbiology laboratory to determine the extent of contamination in a sample and precisely recording these results in an accurate and time efficient way

NB: The ramifications for laboratory safety of miscalculations are significant

What adjustments to my study conditions can I access?

A range of adjustments can be organised through the Equitable Learning Services (ELS). Contact the ELS to discuss what adjustments may be helpful to you.

You may use specialised software to support your literacy for teaching laboratory and on-campus learning activities. The appropriateness and practicality of using such software during laboratory placements may vary between placements and should be discussed with the placement coordinator prior to commencement.

What do I need to be able to do?

Correctly use and apply knowledge of theory and research during on-campus learning and laboratory activities.

In the laboratory environment, tasks which require these cognitive skills include:

  • conceptualising and using knowledge of academic material, i.e., making a solution of specified concentration within a specific time frame
  • planning and organising multiple, sequential, tasks so they can be completed safely and in a timely way

What adjustments to my study conditions can I access?

A range of adjustments can be organised through the Equitable Learning Services (ELS). Contact the ELS to discuss what adjustments may be helpful to you.

You may use assistive technology and strategies such as rest breaks to support your memory, planning and organisation for teaching laboratory and on-campus learning activities. The appropriateness and practicality of using such software during laboratory placements may vary between placements and should be discussed with the placement coordinator prior to commencement.

Mental wellness is a state of well-being in which an individual can realise their own abilities or potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life and can work productively and fruitfully.

Behavioural stability refers to an individual’s ability to moderate their own behaviour.

Stable mental health promotes optimal and safe engagement in on-campus learning and education settings during professional experience placement. Many people who live with mental health conditions complete their studies successfully. The following services are available to support students living with mental health conditions at RMIT: 

Equitable Learning Services

Counselling Services

What do I need to be able to do?

The on-campus learning environment can be challenging and will require you to engage with peers and teaching staff, reflect on your work and respond appropriately to constructive feedback.

Laboratory environments can present complex and unpredictable situations which require the following: 

  • managing multiple tasks and complex demands with focus and composure
  • remaining alert, focussed and engaged when responding to situations which may be challenging i.e., managing unexpected laboratory results
  • managing personal emotions and behaviour effectively when dealing with professional co-workers and key users of the laboratory

What adjustments to my study conditions can I access?

A range of adjustments such can be organised through the Equitable Learning Services (ELS). Contact the ELS to discuss what adjustments may be helpful to you. 

Flexible arrangements for your professional experience placement will be considered. The appropriateness and practicality of these arrangements may vary between placements and agencies and should be discussed with your placement coordinator prior to commencement of the placement. 

You may be supported to take time off from your studies if you become unwell or have difficulties with behavioural stability.

Vision

Visual acuity refers to the extent to which a person can see or interpret visual information. This may also include colour vision.

What do I need to be able to do?

In the laboratory environment, tasks which require vision include: 

  • Observing changes during sample testing using a microscope
  • Using equipment such as balances, spectrophotometers, micropipettes
  • Accurately identifying non electronic written information i.e., chemical and sample labels

What adjustments to my study conditions can I access?

Adjustments can be organised through the Equitable Learning Services (ELS). Contact the ELS to discuss what adjustments may be helpful to you.

The use of assistive technology to enhance vision will be considered. It is recommended that you discuss this with the ELS and placement coordinator prior to commencing laboratory placement. 

Glasses and other visual aids can be used during teaching laboratory and while on laboratory placement.

If you have been deemed legally blind or have a medical condition that may impact your vision, it is recommended that you discuss your condition with Equitable Learning Service. 

Any adjustments considered should not compromise your safety or the safety of others.

What do I need to be able to do?

During laboratory placement and in the teaching laboratory activities will involve:  lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, standing, twisting, bending and balancing.

In the laboratory environment, tasks which require gross motor skills include:

  • manual handling i.e. safely moving, positioning and setting up laboratory equipment
  • safely manipulating  and operating laboratory equipment 

Safe manual handling minimises the risk of injury to yourself and others.

What adjustments to my study conditions can I access?

Adjustments can be organised through the Equitable Learning Services (ELS). Contact the ELS to discuss what adjustments may be helpful to you.

Adjustments will be considered in relation to your individual circumstances and physical capacities. Any adjustments considered should not compromise safety.

i.e. The ability to undertake precise coordinated movements of the hands.

What do I need to be able to do?

During on-campus and laboratory learning activities tasks will involve: pushing, pressing, turning and squeezing

In the laboratory environment, tasks which require fine motor abilities include:

  • using small measuring equipment such as pipettes
  • manipulating small dials on equipment such as microscopes
  • conducting microbiological techniques such as preparing cultures and applying small volume samples  on to gels

What adjustments to my study conditions can I access?

Adjustments can be organised through the Equitable Learning Services (ELS). Contact the ELS to discuss what adjustments may be helpful to you.

Adjustments will be considered in relation to your individual circumstances and physical capacities. Consideration may be given to the laboratory placement type and location – some laboratory placement settings may better be able to accommodate students with specific identified needs.

 Any adjustments considered should not compromise your safety or the safety of others.

This refers to the ability to undertake a task/s over a pre-determined period of time. This could include physical performance such as standing for a period of time, or cognitive (mental) performance such as concentrating for a particular length of time.

What do I need to be able to do?

In the laboratory placement setting, tasks which require physical and mental endurance include:

  • performing repetitive tasks with a level of concentration and focus until the tasks are completed appropriately and accurately
  • maintaining consistent physical performance throughout an eight hour shift
  • maintaining a high level of concentration while undertaking precise laboratory procedures throughout a shift

What adjustments to my study conditions can I access?

Adjustments can be organised through the Equitable Learning Services (ELS). Contact the ELS to discuss what adjustments may be helpful to you.

Adjustments will be considered in relation to your circumstances and physical capacities. You may use strategies such as rest breaks to support your performance for on-campus learning contexts. It is recommended that you discuss the use of these strategies during placement with ELS and Placement Coordinator prior to commencing your placement.

Any adjustments should not compromise your safety or the safety of others.

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.