Phlebotomy Certification practice test

February 24, 2017

MLT Study GuideMLT Exam - Medical Laboratory Technician Exam:

The MLT exam is a certification examination created by American Medical Technologies (AMT) and administered by Pearson VUE that is used to determine if an individual has the knowledge necessary to be a competent entry-level medical laboratory technician. This exam is required in order to receive a medical laboratory technician certification, which is usually all that is required in order for an individual to work as a laboratory technician. However, some states may require an individual to become licensed or registered with the local licensing authority, which may have other requirements in addition to or instead of the MLT exam.

The exam consists of 200 - 210 multiple-choice questions that are related to six main areas, which includes:

  • Chemistry (19%)
  • Hematology (23%)
  • Immunology and Immunohematology (14%)
  • Microbiology focusing on Bacteriology and Parisitology (13%)
  • General Laboratory Knowledge and Procedures (15%)
  • Urinalysis (17%)

The exam-taker will have three hours to complete the exam with no scheduled breaks during that period. The exam is scored based on a scale of 0 - 100 with 70 considered as the minimum score necessary to pass the exam. This score is not an exact percentage score as each question is assigned a weight based on the difficulty of the question and the final score is determined using these weights. To register for the exam, you must have an associate's degree from an accredited medical technology program or have attended school for 2 years with at least 60 semester hours at an accredited university and at least 25 of those hours must have been devoted to medical technology related courses. Instead of fitting one of the above requirements, you may also be eligible if you are a graduate of an accredited medical laboratory program or have completed a 50-week military training program for laboratory procedure as long as you have received credit for that program with an accredited university. If you meet these requirements, you can register for the exam by mailing a completed application to AMT. After you register, you will receive a confirmation letter with instructions on how to schedule a testing date with Pearson VUE. The exam is administered in both a written and computerized format and the registration fee for the exam is $125.

Practice Questions

1. OSHA allows ungloved phlebotomy only if:

a. The experienced phlebotomist working in a volunteer blood donor center agrees.
b. The phlebotomist's skin is intact and the patient is cooperative.
c. Both a and b
d. The patient is an infant.

2. The hospital department that studies alcohol, drugs, poisons, and heavy metals is:

a. Serology/Immunology
b. Toxicology
c. Cytology
d. Endocrinology

3. A hemoglobin electrophoresis result of adult hemoglobin (HbA) or HbA2 means the patient has:

a. Sickle cell anemia
b. Fetal hemoglobin
c. Normal hemoglobin
d. Hemolytic anemia

4. US law overrides the patient's right to confidentiality if:

a. The patient has a sexually transmitted disease or tuberculosis (TB)
b. The caregiver is likely to be infected
c. Authorities suspect child abuse or neglect under CAPTA
d. All of the above

5. The recall rate is also known as the:

a. Sensitivity
b. Specificity
c. Aliquot
d. Circadian rhythm

Answer Key

1. C: Both a and b. The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets the standards for proper hand washing, wearing gloves, bagging specimens in biohazard bags, and disposing of needles and lancets in a sharps safe container. Visit regularly to find updates. OSHA requires phlebotomists to glove before every venipuncture as part of standard (universal) precautions for bloodborne pathogens. Only in a volunteer blood donation center does OSHA allow for ungloved venipunctures, providing the phlebotomist is experienced and not a trainee. The phlebotomist must agree not to glove. The employer must provide gloves if the phlebotomist wants them. If the phlebotomist is allergic to latex or powdered gloves, the employer must provide hypoallergenic or unpowdered gloves, liners, or barrier cream. The phlebotomist must glove if her skin is broken or burnt, or has a rash. If the patient is combative or likely to have a reaction, then the phlebotomist must glove. Employers must reevaluate the no-glove policy periodically to see if it continues to be a low-risk option. Whenever contact with blood is likely, such as during infant heel pricks, gloves are required.

2. B: Toxicology. Serology/Immunology studies antibodies in the liquid part of blood. Cytology studies cells for cancer, such as Pap smears. Endocrinology studies hormones, such as diabetes and acromegaly.

3. C: Normal hemoglobin. Hemoglobin electrophoresis differentiates hemoglobin into normal HbA and normal HbA2, or abnormal HbS in sickle cell patients, or HbC in hemolytic anemia patients, or HbF in a fetus or newborn.

4. D: All of the above. Doctors, nurses, social workers, chiropractors, law officers, daycare staff, clergy, teachers, and psychologists were declared mandatory reporters in 1996. This means they must report certain occurrences or suspicions orally to the proper authorities within 24 hours and follow up with a written report within 48 hours. For example, a doctor must report STD or TB to Public Health to prevent an epidemic. Caregivers have the right to know the patient's diagnosis if it puts them at risk for infection or assault. Suspicion of child abuse, exploitation, or neglect is reported to Child Protective Services under the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). Each state has an abuse hotline. Many states require anyone who has reasonable cause to report child or elder abuse or face civil liability. You must know the law of the state in which you practice.

5. A: Sensitivity. Sensitivity (recall rate) measures how many times a test produces true-positive results, which indicates patients probably have a disease, compared with the gold standard test for that particular illness. Sensitivity allows early detection of disease and prevents epidemics. Divide the number of patients who definitely have the disease and test positive by the total patients tested who have the disease (including those who tested false-negative), and multiply by 100 to obtain the percentage sensitivity. Specificity measures how many times a test produces true-negative results, meaning patients probably do not have a disease, compared with the gold standard test for that particular illness. Specificity is important for cancer chemotherapy and other toxic treatments. Aliquot is dividing a solution into equal parts. Aliquot allows very expensive reagents or drugs, and blood samples that are below scale, to be used efficiently. Circadian rhythm is a normal daily flow that affects hormones, which are normally higher in the morning than in the afternoon.

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