School of Medical Technology

School of Medical Technology

The Eisenhower Medical Center School of Medical Technology


The Eisenhower Medical Center School of Medical Technology was established in 1981. The Medical Technology(MT) / Clinical Laboratory Scientist(CLS) Program is approved by the California Department of Public Health as a postgraduate training facility and is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).

Program Mission

Our mission is to provide students with exemplary training and the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to become licensed Clinical Laboratory Scientists and/or Medical Technologists of the highest caliber. This is achieved by providing a highly structured mechanism of learning processes to aid the development of students’ skills, knowledge and techniques of clinical laboratory sciences as described in the Program Goals and Competencies.

Administrative Staff

  • Medical Director:  Barbara Comess, MD, FCAP
  • Program Director:  Joan Steiner-Adler, EdD, CLS/MT(ASCP)
  • Clinical Training Coordinator:  Barbara Renner, CLS/MT(ASCP)
  • Office Manager/Secretary:  Judith Cribbs, MT(ASCP)

Contact Us and Mail Applications to:

  • School of Medical Technology
    Eisenhower Medical Center
    39000 Bob Hope Drive
    Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
    E-mail our staff
    Phone: 760-773-4525

The Program

The School of Medical Technology program provides the educational environment necessary to produce professional entry-level medical technologists through our didactic lectures and hands-on experience. Students experience all aspects of the daily operation of Eisenhower's state-of-the-art clinical laboratory.

The laboratory is licensed by the State of California and is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and the College of American Pathologists. Five pathologists who are board certified in clinical and anatomical pathology direct the laboratory and administrative functions are carried out by the laboratory director and leadership team. Over one million procedures are performed annually. Services are provided to the emergency department, critically ill in-patient population and a busy outpatient services department.

Students spend 12 months learning the specialties of each area of the clinical laboratory. Interpersonal skills are fostered through interactions with patients, physicians, clients and colleagues. The Education Facilitators, or appropriate designees, supervise instruction and training. The importance of quality control and quality assurance is strongly emphasized. Safety in the laboratory is a priority, both for students and all laboratory personnel.

  • Program Goals and Competencies

    The ultimate goal of the program is to graduate professional entry-level clinical laboratory scientists/medical technologists of the highest caliber who will be able to:

    1. Perform routine laboratory procedures and more complex analyses that require a high level of cognitive understanding with skill and efficiency, producing accurate and precise results within a specified period of time.
    2. Exhibit attitudes of honesty and integrity in the performance of all laboratory procedures, with an understanding of the ultimate consequences gained from a knowledge of medical ethics.
    3. Describe and relate the theoretical and practical aspects of each test performed in the laboratory.
    4. Relate normal, abnormal and critical values with their significance by demonstrating correct follow-up actions.
    5. Relate laboratory results to clinical diagnosis and treatment of patients by being able to describe the etiology, clinical symptoms and laboratory results of each diagnosis.
    6. Demonstrate understanding of the principles and practices necessary to establish and evaluate quality control procedures.
    7. Operate and maintain laboratory instruments and test equipment with the utmost care and conscientiousness.
    8. Demonstrate safety precautions, derived from the institutional and laboratory safety policies, for each and every individual involved, including patients.
    9. Exhibit independent judgment and responsibility in evaluating test results and trouble-shooting instrument malfunction and methodologies by recognizing and acting on problems.
    10. Demonstrate one's unique potential and talents in the field of laboratory science.
    11.  Demonstrate an attitude of professionalism to patients, visitors, hospital employees and health professionals, always respecting patients' rights and safety.
    12. After completing 12 months of training, successfully utilize the knowledge and education provided during the clinical year to become a licensed Clinical Laboratory Scientist or Medical Technologist.
  • Benefits

    There are no application or entrance fees. Students currently receive a monthly stipend of $1300. This amount may vary each year. Class size is currently two to four students, which allows for one-on-one instruction.

    Seven holidays and five personal days per year are standard benefits. Sick leave is offered, but excessive time off must be made up prior to graduation. Emergency health care is available and professional liability insurance is provided by Eisenhower Medical Center. Personal health insurance is not provided by the medical center, so each student should obtain health insurance for the duration of the CLS training program.

    Required textbooks are provided by the School of Medical Technology. Students will have access to additional resources located in the School office, the Clinical Laboratory and the Eisenhower Medical Library.

  • Rules and Regulations

    Students are expected to adhere to all hospital and school policies and all state and federal regulations. Policies, procedures and regulations will be reviewed with the students during the orientation process.

  • Evaluation/Causes for Dismissal

    Each student must adhere to the medical technologists' Code of Ethics. After completion of each laboratory subject area, the facilitator evaluates each student based on the objectives presented at the beginning of the section rotation. Students may be placed on probation for the following reasons:

    1. Consistently poor performance on examinations or during clinical rotations
    2. Attitudes that are incompatible with medical technology and which may affect other laboratory personnel and/or the quality of health care to patients.
    3. Unprofessional conduct
    4. Chronic or excessive tardiness or absenteeism as determined by the Program Director and the Laboratory Services Director

    Each student must fulfill the program criteria required by the School or be subject to dismissal.

  • Appeal Procedure

    The purpose of this procedure is to ensure that every student has the opportunity to express complaints or grievances and/or appeal a decision involving a disciplinary action.

    Time limits given in the appeals procedure are intended to ensure prompt and thorough action on the appeal. However, any of the time limits specified in the procedure may be extended by mutual agreement of the parties involved.

    1. A student having a problem should discuss it with the program director and may be asked to submit a written statement.
    2. If dissatisfied, the student may then present the problem to the laboratory services director and program director, who shall offer their solution to the problem within in five working days.
    3. Is still unresolved, an Education Review Committee consisting of four persons appointed by the medical director and program director, plus the laboratory services director, will hear the student's complaint. The student may select another student of their choice to be present at any time during the appeal process. The recommendation of the committee shall be submitted to the medical director and/or program director within three working days following the investigation.
    4. The decision of the Committee will be reviewed by the Program Director and conveyed to the student in writing within one week following receipt of the Committee's recommendation. This decision will be final.

The Curriculum

  • Orientation

    Approximately one week prior to the start of the CLS program, the Human Resources department will provide the Eisenhower Medical Center orientation program and the Employee Health department will conduct the personal health assessment. The student's first day will be spent reviewing the School of Medical Technology policies, safety policies, program schedules and expectations. After completing orientations, the students will begin their clinical rotations.

  • Immunohematology (6 week rotation)

    The student is trained in all facets of pre-transfusion testing, including ABO and Rh testing, antibody detection, compatibility testing and the procedures used in the identification of unexpected antibodies. Samples are provided to the student as unknowns for identification purposes. Transfusion reactions, ABO discrepancies and release of blood in emergency situations are also covered. Both a written exam and practical exam are administered during the last week of the student's rotation.

  • Chemistry (10 week rotation)

    The Special Chemistry rotation includes reproductive endocrinology, toxicology, tumor marker testing, hepatitis and HIV, and other miscellaneous infectious disease testing. Students will work with a variety of automated and semi-automated procedures during the first two weeks and will perform sample testing under supervision. Unknowns to test and weekly quizzes are given.

    The goal of the third and fourth week of Special Chemistry is to enhance the students' skills. Training enhancement opportunities are the student's choice and may be writing an Analytical Procedure or performing a Method Evaluation or Quality Control project. In addition, each student will select and write a Research Project of his/her choice. The project may be a research paper, a poster session, or a detailed patient case study. Students present their research project to the staff at the end of the clinical year.

  • Special Chemistry (4 weeks)

    The Special Chemistry rotation includes serological procedures, hepatitis and HIV testing, protein/urine electrophoresis/nephelometry, immunoelectrophoresis, tumor marker testing and other miscellaneous infectious disease testing. Students will have the opportunity to work with a variety of automated, semi-automated and manual procedures during the first two weeks of rotation. The goal of the third week of Special Chemistry is to enhance the students' skills. Students may choose to write a Procedure or do a Method Evaluation or Quality Control project of his/her choice. Unknowns to test and weekly quizzes are given. In the fourth week of Special Chemistry rotation, the student selects and writes a Research Project of his/her choice. This project may be a research paper, a poster session, or a detailed patient case study. The medical library is available for conducting research. Each student presents his/her research project to the staff at the end of the clinical year.

    In the fourth week of Special Chemistry rotation, the student selects and prepares a Research Project of his/her choice. This project may be a research paper, a poster session, or a detailed patient case study. The medical library is available for conducting research. Each student presents his/her research project to the staff at the end of the clinical year.

  • Urinalysis (4 weeks)

    Students learn about physical, chemical, and microscopic evaluation of urine samples. The first week is spent learning the procedures of the macroscopic portion of urinalysis and in the second week, microscopic analysis is introduced. Additionally, students are instructed in special procedures that are done as part of the automated urinalysis workstation in the Chemistry section.

  • Hematology/Coagulation (8 week rotation)

    The Hematology rotation consists of the study of blood and particularly its cellular components. The students begin their rotation by becoming familiar with the operation and theory of the automated instrumentation. Emphasis is placed on identification of white blood cells and evaluating red blood cell morphology by performing manual differentials. Proper identification is essential for the accurate diagnosis of leukemias, anemias and infectious processes. The department has an extensive file of abnormal slides and computer based learning resources. Coagulation instruments and coagulation testing are also studied. Students observe bone marrow biopsies performed by the attending pathologists and receive training in proper slide preparation. The pathologists review abnormal morphology with the student as they view the slides together under a double-model microscope.

  • Immunology (6 week rotation)

    The main areas of study during the Immunology clinical rotation are Serology, Electrophoresis, Immunology and Flow Cytometry. For each concentrated area of clinical rotation, a study guide with questions and objectives, utilizing textbooks and articles, is given to each student to complete. Rotation exams, clinical objectives, case studies and unknown specimens are assigned to facilitate and assess the learning process.

    The student learns to perform manual tests such as cold agglutinins, RPR test, cryptococcal antigen agglutination test, and ANA and ENA tests for detecting antinuclear antibodies. Also, the student learns how to run patient samples, evaluate QC, and calibrate automated instruments using the Helena Electrophoresis System and Siemens BN Prospec Nephelometer. Problem solving, interpretation and critical thinking skills are developed during the Immunology rotation as students learn test methods and disease states associated with each test.

  • Microbiology (12 week rotation)

    The clinical rotation in microbiology consists of theory and application in the studies of Clinical Bacteriology, Mycology, Parasitology, Mycobacteriology and Virology. The students learn to use a wide variety of techniques to identify pathogenic microorganisms, including culture and isolation, direct exam, serology and use of automated equipment. The student also learns various staining procedures and is trained in the proper set up and interpretation of bacterial susceptibility studies. Students take weekly exams (practical and/or written) and a final exam. Upon completion of lecture series and clinical rotation, Case Studies are given as a final review.

  • Phlebotomy and Central Processing

    Students spend approximately 100 hours learning the theory and techniques of phlebotomy during the clinical chemistry rotation. Instruction will emphasize the importance of proper specimen collection and processing as the first step in quality testing and ultimately, quality patient care.

  • Special Topics/Enhancements (1 week) 

    An additional week during the year is spent receiving management and instructional strategies workshops, attending professional organization seminars and spending time at enhancement sites such as a blood donor center, the respiratory laboratory, emergency department laboratory and others. 

  • Miscellaneous/Review (1 week)

    One week at the end of the year is utilized for review and a comprehensive examination.  If needed, students may also use this time for completion of any course objectives.

  • Certificate of Completion

    After successfully completing all the program objectives and passing all clinical rotation and lecture examinations, a certificate of completion is granted. The granting of this certificate is not contingent upon the student passing any type of external certification or licensing exam.

    Upon completion of the program, graduates are eligible to sit for the Board of Certification (BOC) exam given by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).

Admission CriterIa

Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree and be eligible for a valid California Clinical Laboratory Scientist Trainee license. If degree or course-work is in excess of 7 years, the applicant may be required to successfully update courses prior to the start of the program.

  • Minimum Course Requirements:

    • Biological Science: Eighteen semester or equivalent quarter hours acceptable toward a major in biological science or medical technology, including a course in microbiology that includes bacteriology and courses in immunology, hematology and medical microbiology.
    • Chemistry: Sixteen semester or equivalent quarter hours acceptable toward a major in chemistry or medical technology, including biochemistry and analytical chemistry (quantitative analysis).
    • Mathematics: One college level course. Calculus or statistics is recommended.
    • Physics: Three semester or equivalent quarter hours of physics, which must include instruction in principles of light and electricity.
    • Graduates of a non-U.S. college or university must:
      Possess a degree equivalent to a bachelor's degree in the U.S. and have at least 30 semester units in the upper division science courses at a U.S. college or university. They must also provide a complete transcript evaluation, including grades, by an approved agency such as the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO). Contact their website at

    Additional Requirements:

    • Ability to communicate effectively in English.
    • U.S. citizenship or permanent residency status in the U.S.
    • A grade point average of at least 2.5 in the sciences courses.
    • Ability to perform the Essential Functions which are various physical and behavioral capabilities that are necessary for achievement of competency. See download at the top of this page.
    • A pre-training health assessment and background check are required by Eisenhower Medical Center prior to beginning the program.
  • Admission Selection Criteria

    Applicants are prescreened using a point system based on grade point average, laboratory experience, education and letters of recommendation in order to determine the most qualified applicants. The highest scoring applicants are invited for an interview with the program director and facilitators. At the completion of all interviews, the overall points earned during the interview rank the applicants. The final selection of candidates is based on both the overall score and the interview score. Applicants with the highest scores are offered internships. Individuals selected for internship will be notified in writing with a written response of acceptance requested.

    The Eisenhower Medical Center School of Medical Technology does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, color, age, disability, gender, medical condition, sexual orientation, veteran status, marital status, gender identity, political affiliation or otherwise defined by federal and state law.

Application Procedure

The training program begins in September each year with an application deadline of February 1. All application materials must be received by the deadline for the application to be considered complete.  Please mail applications to the following address:

School of Medical Technology
Eisenhower Medical Center
39000 Bob Hope Drive
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270

Applicants are encouraged to start the program application process approximately one year before the program begins. Required application materials to be submitted to the school are as follows:

  • Completed application form (see download above)  
  • Three letters of recommendation, two from college instructors (see download above)
  • All college/university transcripts
  • Personal statement of interest in Clinical Laboratory Science

All candidates accepted into training are required to have a Clinical Laboratory Scientist Trainee License from the California Department of Public Health. Initiate the application for the trainee license EARLY in the process of applying for the CLS Training Program.