Safety Policies and Procedures

MLT Student Lab Safety Plan

  1. Standard/universal precautions are to be followed when handling blood or body fluids.
  2. All students and staff need to be aware of both exits to the student lab.
  3. If the College loses power, stay at your seat until the emergency lights come on and you receive instructions from your instructor for safe exiting from the lab.
  4. Student bench tops are to be cleaned daily using a bleach solution.
  5. Fluid resistant lab coats are to be worn at all times and gloves, safety glasses and face shields when appropriate. Lab coats are only worn in the lab and must be returned to the hooks near the door before e leaving.
  6. All potentially contaminated trash is to be disposed of in biohazard labeled containers.
  7. All sharps are to be disposed of in appropriated labeled sharps containers.
  8. Report all spills to the instructor for proper instructions for clean up.
  9. Long hair must be tied back.
  10. All students must be aware of the location of fire extinguishers, fire blanket, eye wash stations and safety shower.
  11. Mouth pipetting is strictly forbidden-a pipetting device must be used at all times.
  12. When using a centrifuge, gloves must be worn and the lid must not be opened until the centrifuge comes to a complete stop.
  13. Before leaving for the day, check that biohazard trash from the benches is placed in the large Biohazard trash receptacle and the benches wiped with 10% bleach solutions.

Standard Precautions

Universal precautions were introduced to minimize transmission of bloodborne pathogens to health care workers in 1987.  They involve a single standard that should be applied to all patients at all times.  In 1996, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updated infection control protocols to include standard precautions-a combination of Universal Precautions for prevention of transmission of bloodborne pathogens and body substance isolation precautions.  Standard precautions expanded the principles of Universal precautions to all body fluids to minimize the risk of cross-infection among both patients and health care workers.

Necessity for Standard and Universal Precautions

These precautions are necessary because some patients do not disclose their infectious status, and many are unaware that they are infected (there may be no signs or symptoms as a result of incubation periods or subclinical disease).  In addition, antibodies or other markers or infection may be undetectable during he “Window period” immediately after infection. This is particularly relevant in HIV infections because the levels of circulating virus (viral load) and the maximum infectivity for HIV are highest during the “window period” and with disease progression in AIDS patients.

The following are the highlights or standard precautions for phlebotomists and laboratory scientists:

  1. Use barrier protection routinely to prevent skin and mucous membrane exposures with blood or body fluids.  Wear gloves at all times for blood collection or whenever there is the possibility or an exposure.
  2. Change gloves and wash hands after contact with each patient or when they become visibly contaminated with blood.
  3. Wear a mask, safety glasses or face shield during procedures where splashing is a possibility. Wear a fluid resistant gown if there is a potential of splashing.
  4. Wash hands or other skin surfaces thoroughly and immediately f contaminated with blood or other body fluids.
  5. Needles should not be bent, recapped, cut, broken or otherwise manipulated after use. Engage the safety device and dispose in an approved sharps container with the needle holder.
  6. Do not mouth pipette, use a mechanical devise or bulb at all times, even with water.
  7. Fill collection tubes using their internal vacuum only, do not force blood into tubes with a syringe.
  8. Decontaminate all lab equipment and counter tops daily with a solution of 10% bleach or other approve germicide.

MLT/Phlebotemy Student Uniform Policy

  1. The highest standards of personal hygiene and professional appearance must be met at all times.  All students must bathe daily, use deodorant and refrain from using cologne or perfume. 
  2. The required uniform must be worn on days that you are attending a clinical rotation.  They will be sold by the College Bookstore and are Navy Blue scrubs* with the College Logo and Program name embroidered on the left side of the scrub top.  A white or black long sleeve shirt is also available for any student that has tattoos on their arms, desires to be covered or tends to be cold.                                                       *Clinical assistant students can wear their program’s scrubs for phlebotomy clinicals.
  3. Clean white leather sneakers (no canvas or mesh allowed) or white duty shoes must be worn with the uniform.  Clog type shoes with an open back can be worn. 
  4. Some sites will have fluid resistant lab coats that may be worn over the uniform.  No patterned scrub jackets may be worn.
  5. Extreme hairstyles and hair colors are not allowed.  Hair must be of "natural" color.  Long hair must be tied back or worn up.  No large scarves or ribbons.  Men's hair must be a respectable length or tied back. 
  6. Tattoos must not be visible when wearing your uniform.  Tattoos on arms must be covered with the white long sleeve shirt or a white turtle neck shirt for tattoos on the neck or during cold months. 
  7. Jewelry - must be worn in moderation.  Only a watch and one ring are acceptable.   No body piercing allowed - no tongue, lip, chin, eyelids jewelry is allowed and must be removed on clinical days.  Earrings: only one small post earring per ear is allowed - no hoop or dangling earrings.
  8. Cosmetics - use in moderation.  Fingernails must be kept short and nail overlays, decorations or fake nails are not allowed.  They are a source of fungal and bacterial infections to patients.
  9. Student lab - a full-length fluid resistant lab coat must be worn at all times in the student lab. Students can buy the coats during the first lab.  Gloves and safety glasses must be purchased by the students for the on-campus lab.  Gloves will be provided at your clinical site.  Tank tops, sleeveless shirts, sandals, open-toed shoes or short shorts cannot be worn in the student lab. 

Policy on Minor Children

Children are not permitted in classrooms or in the MLT student laboratory. This is a College-wide rule. Please make arrangements for your children when schools are closed or when they are sick and cannot attend school. The College does have a child care center on Main Campus that students may use and they offer part-time hours.

Infectious Agent and Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure Policy, MLT and Phlebotomy Programs

Exposure to Infectious Agents

The purpose of this policy is to describe the management of incidents of exposure to blood borne pathogens that involve Community College of Philadelphia students participating in clinical practice or on-campus labs.  

Steps in case of needle stick injury or other BBP exposure (mucous membranes with bodily fluids)
  1. Student should clean the affected area.
  2. Students should report it immediately to his/her supervisor and to the clinical coordinator via the Google voice number provided in the syllabus.
  3. The section supervisor should contact the clinical coordinator program director: via cell phone
  4. Student needs to fill out an incident report, supervisor needs to sign it. Attached here.
  5. This report should be scanned and sent to the Program director’s office via email to
  6. IMPORTANT: Please ask the source patient to sign a waiver to be tested for infectious diseases and to draw necessary blood work before leaving the hospital/lab. Please save these extra tubes for testing later in the separate rack with the note “Don’t dispose.”
  7. Student has two options:
    1. Report to the ER at the clinical site and use her/his insurance (faster)
    2. Report to the Occupation Health VYBE is 1500 Spring Garden Street, Suite R-105, Philadelphia, PA to be treated for free. The prescription drugs will not be covered by the college.
  8. The ER doctor or the physician at VYBE should follow the post-exposure policy of the hospital and order necessary test on both the student and the source patient.
  9. They need to expedite the testing on the source patient since Post-Exposure Prophylaxis must be started as soon as possible to be effective—and always within 72 hours of a possible exposure.
  10. If Post-Exposure Prophylaxis drugs are prescribed by the doctor, student will need to use his/her insurance to cover the cost. 


Program’s Closure Policy

30 day Teach out plan in case of college closure.

In case of temporary closure of the program due to the damage to the facilities, didactic portion will be moved to Canvas and laboratories to Northeast Regional center.

During the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the MLT program has successfully be transitioned to a hybrid format whereby lecture information is communicated via Canvas and specific labs are taught in a face to face environment.

In case of the program’s closure, current and prospective students would be given 6 months’ notice prior the closure date. Program closure information will be posted on college website. All current students will be able to finish the program before the closure will take an affect. A college official will be designated to clear students applying for the certification exam. Prospective students will be counseled regarding alternative Majors/Areas of Study.

Policy on immediate closure of the clinical site or discontinuation of a clinical site/agreement with the clinical site.

Upon the effect of any termination of the affiliation agreement between the College and the Clinical sites, students already in clinical training shall be allowed to complete the requirements for satisfactory completion of the clinical course. The Program Director will place the student at a different location to complete clinical requirements in the event of immediate closure or discontinuation of a clinical site/agreement.

COVID-19 addendum to the policy:

In the event of suspension of the clinical practice due to the Pandemic, students already in clinical training shall be allowed to complete the clinical practice as soon as the suspension is lifted before any new students can be placed into the clinical sites. The program will transfer all on-campus educational activities into the online format during the college closure until the permission to return to classes is issued. The program will create or purchase online simulations/activities to replace some of the clinical exercises to test clinical competencies.