Clinical Requirements - NIU - Medical Laboratory Sciences

Medical Laboratory Sciences

Medical Laboratory Sciences - Clinical Requirements

It is necessary that you have all blood titer requirements completed by December 1 of the junior year. All other requirements will be due May 1 of the junior year. These deadlines pertain regardless of when you start clinicals. Those students whose documentation is not complete by December 1 and May 1 respectively, are not eligible to begin the clinical experience, and their affiliate coordinators will be so notified. Documentation is retained in the College of Health and Human Sciences office of the Chief Clerk, WZ 227, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115, (815) 753-6041, fax: (815) 753-8153. All documents that are received in the MLS Program office will be forwarded to the Chief Clerk's office.

Additional Fees* for Practicum: 

  • Fee for Castle Branch account: $82.75 (this will include the cost of your drug screen and background check)
  • Quantitative Antibody Titers: ~$100.00 (more if Hepatitis B vaccination is required)
  • Two Step TB test: nominal fee for students at UHS
  • Student Liability Insurance: part of course fees
  • Student General Liability Insurance: $17.00
  • CPR Certification: $15.00 - $45.00 depending on venue
  • Health insurance proof

*Please note that prices may change or vary and are subject to the pricing policies of outside vendors used for these services. Students with University insurance will have titers and some immunizations covered.

Printable version (pdf)

Documentation for the following items should be in the form of a signed immunization card, laboratory report with titer results, and/or a statement from your health care provider that documents the titer results. A letter of completion signed by the College of Health and Human Sciences chief clerk will be sent to the affiliate coordinator.

1. Blood Titers (quantitative) A blood titer is mandatory to document immunity

a. Hepatitis B Titer (Hepatitis B surface antibody-quantitative)
If the titer does not demonstrate immunity, student must receive a hepatitis B booster, followed by a retest in 1-3 months for hepatitis B surface antibody. The second titer levels must be submitted to HHS Chief Clerk. If the student does not respond after the completion of the second vaccine series, no further vaccinations need to be undertaken. Students who do not show immunity after the second series of vaccinations must stop in the MLS Program office and sign a form that documents their knowledge of a non-immune status and their desire to continue in the Program knowing the potential risk of contracting hepatitis B.

b. Rubeola (Measles) Titer (IgG quantitative)
Students whose titer results state negative indeterminate/equivocal are susceptible to measles and must receive an MMR booster. Re-titer one month after receiving the MMR booster and submit their titer results to the HHS Chief Clerk.

c. Rubella titer (IgG quantitative)
Students whose titer results state negative indeterminate/equivocal are susceptible to measles and must receive an MMR booster. Re-titer one month after receiving the MMR booster and submit their titer results to the HHS Chief Clerk.

d. Varicella (Chicken Pox) Titer (IgG quantitative)
A negative or indeterminate titer result must be followed up with two (2) doses of Varicella vaccine and documentation sent to HHS Chief Clerk. A follow-up titer is not needed.

e. Mumps titer (IgG quantitative)
Students whose titer results state negative indeterminate/equivocal are susceptible to measles and must receive an MMR booster. Re-titer one month after receiving the MMR booster and submit their titer results to the HHS Chief Clerk.

2. Tetanus-Diphtheria Booster (Tdap)

a. Must be within the last 10 years.

3. Two-step Tuberculin (TB) Skin Test

a. This test requires that you receive two separate Mantoux skin tests at least one week apart and no longer than 3 weeks apart. The TB skin tests must be read in 48-72 hours. 

b. If you have had a positive TB skin test, you will need to provide documentation from your health care provider that you have a chest X-ray that is negative for active tuberculosis, or if you have had a negative TB chest X-ray, you can provide a TB symptom assessment statement that verifies you are free of tuberculosis.

c. You can also obtain the blood test Quantiferon Gold annually to be in compliance.

4. Current Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Certification

a. American Heart Association Healthcare Provider (BLS) training is good for 2 years and must remain current through the duration of your clinical experience.

b. A class will be offered through the MLS Program. Copies of signed cards are
submitted to the HHS Chief Clerk.

5. Evidence of Health Insurance

a. submit a copy of your insurance card or policy cover sheet that documents your health care coverage.

b. If you are utilizing NIU Student Health Insurance, contact the student health insurance office at 815-753-0122 or sending an e-mail to studentinsurance@niu.edu to obtain proof of insurance. 

6. Professional Liability Insurance

a. The College of Health & Human Sciences holds a blanket professional liability policy that covers students during their clinical experience. The cost of the coverage (about $13.00) is included in fees for AHLS 481.

7. Criminal Background Check (CBC)

a. The background check will be started automatically upon registering for a Castle Branch account. 

b. Criminal background checks must be completed by May 1 prior to beginning the clinical experience and will remain in effect unless: (i) clinical agencies determine it necessary to require criminal background checks more frequently, and (ii)MLS student interrupts his/her program for one semester or longer. In the above cases, it is mandatory for the student to have another criminal background check performed.

c. The Medical Laboratory Sciences Program may not be able to place a student in a clinical setting if there are detrimental findings on the criminal background check. As a result, a student will not be able to complete the requirements of the program.

8. Drug Screening

a. MLS students are required to have a 10 panel drug screen. 

b. Castle Branch will provide choice of locations based on zip code entered upon registration. Students must choose one of the locations supplied by Castle Branch and follow the instructions given by Castle Branch to obtain their drug screen. 

c. The MLS Program may not be able to place students in a clinical setting if there are positive findings on the drug screening. As a result, a student will not be able to complete the requirements of the program.

If you have any questions about this process, please contact Michelle Boyle, Chief Clerk, at (815)753-6041 or email lboyle5@niu.edu