Clinical Chemistry (321-C and 321-D)

Course Description 

The didactic course (321-D, 7 semester hours) is a prerequisite for the clinical course (321-C, 4 semester hours). Clinical Chemistry seeks to understand the physiologic and biochemical processes present in normal and abnormal states and to provide useful information for the diagnosis or treatment of disease through analyses performed on various types of specimens.  The dual nature of clinical chemistry requires that its practitioners be skilled in both phases.  Included in this course is the study of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, enzymes, non-protein nitrogen products, bile pigments, therapeutic drugs, toxicology, blood gases, acid base balance, electrolytes, hormones, analytical procedures and instrumentation, automation, and laboratory mathematics.

Course Goal

The goal of this course is to provide students with a working knowledge of the theories and applications of Clinical Chemistry.

General Objectives

At the end of this course, the student will:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the physiologic and biochemical processing occurring in the body as well as the technical skills to perform the various tests. 
  • Be thoroughly familiar with each technique, with general methods of clinical chemistry, and with the purity of chemicals, solvents, and reagent water.
  • Correctly perform various types of laboratory calculations. 
  • Explain the principles of methods and the selection and use of appropriate analytical equipment. 
  • Explain the purpose of each reagent used in an analysis and each essential component of an instrument. 
  • Adopt and demonstrate safe work practices. 
  • Describe the effects of variables on results. 
  • Discuss the functions of reference values and changes seen in health and disease.  
  • Evaluate and interpret laboratory data to ensure accuracy and reliability. 
  • Detect and verify abnormal results and confirm the presence of disease states. 
  • Work independently but as an essential part of the health care team.    

Evaluation Methods

Evaluation methods include sectional tests/examinations, final exam, laboratory worksheets, and an affective evaluation.  Test/exam questions are taken from information given during lecture and laboratory instruction, required reading, and the associated objectives.  The tests are generally multiple choice with some matching, fill-in-the-blank, short answer, and brief essay questions.  Students missing test days will be given an alternate test on a day at the convenience of the instructor.  A 100-point rating scale is used to evaluate the student's performance on the affective evaluation.  Each student receives a behavioral evaluation from the instructor at the conclusion of the course that counts as a test grade.


Grades are based on the points acquired by the student divided by the total points available in each section.  The final grade is calculated in % form which will be converted to a letter grade as follows:

A = 94-100%
B = 86-93%
C = 80-85%
F = <80%

Required Textbook

Burtis, C.A., Ashwood, E.R., Bruns, D. Tietz Fundamentals of Clinical chemistry. Philadelphia:  Saunders, 6th Edition, 2008. ISBN: 0721686346 


Other chemistry texts are available the school's library.

Quick Reference

Program in Medical Laboratory Science
Program Director: Beth Gaither, MT(ASCP)SM MBA

Tel: 336-716-4727


Department of Pathology 
WF Baptist Medical Center
Medical Center Boulevard
Winston-Salem, NC 27157
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.