Medical Laboratory Assistants are responsible for collecting and receiving blood, tissue, and other samples from patients; logging samples and preparing them for testing; performing routine tests and sample analyses; and setting up, cleaning, sterilizing and maintaining laboratories and equipment.
Learn how to safely collect and receive blood, tissue, and other samples from patients in the Medical Laboratory Assistant diploma program at Robertson College Winnipeg. As well, you will learn how to log samples and prepare them for testing, perform routine tests and sample analyses, and set up, clean, sterilize and maintain laboratories and equipment.
Our program is affiliated with the Department of Human Anatomy & Cell Science and the Department of Microbiology at the University of Manitoba. This allows our students to receive further training in the specialized areas of Histology, Cytology, and Microbiology using the university’s state of the art labs.
The Medical Laboratory Assistant program is committed to:
- Graduating students who are able to pursue a career in the rapidly growing field of Medical Lab Assistants
- Providing a quality Medical Laboratory Assistant program that aligns with the existing Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) competencies
- Preparing graduates to successfully pass the CSMLS Examination
- Preparing graduates to find successful employment in hospitals, clinics, and private labs
- Encouraging graduates to recognize the need for continuing education and professional affiliation
Topics of Study
Laboratory Office Procedures - 24 hours
Reviews basic medical laboratory administration skills, including communication skills needed in a culturally diverse workforce; communication process and its elements; ways to improve listening skills; developing effective verbal and nonverbal communication skills and using workplace collaboration tools such as e-mail and fax machines. Students also learn about patient data, entry test requisitioning, results retrieval and laboratory reports using a computerized system.
Introduction to Medical Technology - 48 hours
Introduces students to medical technology within the healthcare field, including required knowledge and skills; professional associations; the certification process and career opportunities; medical legalities, terminology, specialties and ethics; communicating effectively with patients and colleagues in a multicultural environment and medical asepsis.
Clinical Laboratory Basics - 112 hours
Reviews the basic information needed to work in any medical lab environment. The unit is divided into 3 major topic areas – laboratory safety including WHMIS and TDG; laboratory mathematics and quality control; and laboratory instruments and equipment.
Anatomy and Physiology - 100 hours
Introduces students to the basic concepts of medical terminology, physiology, and pathophysiology of the human body as well as common drug therapeutic classifications and common laboratory procedures.
Clinical Chemistry and Pharmacology - 48 hours
Examines the plasma components in peripheral blood and describes their function and significance. Students learn to describe the proper specimen collection for various chemistry tests; explain the basic principles of glucose and fat metabolism; match various chemistry panels with tests performed and identify the reason why each panel is ordered. This course also covers how to identify and inform physicians when laboratory results show chemistry values out of the expected range.
MLA Techniques I - 124 hours
Examines the following subject areas; guidelines for patient preparation, including collecting, handling and transporting specimens; collection requirements of blood specimens by venipuncture and capillary puncture; serum and plasma separation; collection of non-blood specimens; and collection of urine specimen and analysis. This course also includes practical laboratory sessions.
MLA Techniques II - 124 hours
Provides a thorough study of the following subject areas: the heart and the circulatory system; basic electrocardiography; the respiratory system and related diagnostic tests; pulmonary function testing; the lymphatic system; immunology and associated slide agglutination tests and basic microbiology
theory and procedures. This course includes practical laboratory sessions where students apply a hands-on approach.
MLA Techniques III - 92 hours
Examines the fundamentals of anatomical pathology (cytology and histology). This course also includes practical laboratory sessions where students practice all skills learned to date. The purpose of these labs is to ensure that the MLA skill base remains current.
Computer Fundamentals - 25 hours
Provides a basic understanding of common computer applications and keyboarding skills as well as an introduction to the Windows operating system. Office applications include spreadsheets, presentations, emails, online research and general management of files and folders.
CPR / First Aid - 10 hours
As a part of this program, students attain First Aid/CPR certification.
Employment & Career Management - 25 hours
Provides guidance in preparing for a job interview, including preparation of a resume and cover letter, as well as job-hunting and interview techniques and assessing strengths and weaknesses.
CSMLS Exam Review - 20 hours
A CSMLS exam preparation week helps students prepare to pass the certification examination.
Medical Laboratory Assistant Practicum
Valuable workplace experience is gained during the compulsory 6-week full-time practicum where you will work alongside industry professionals in the medical laboratory field.
Marianela Lopez, PhD brings exceptional depth and experience to her role as Program Coordinator and Instructor at Robertson College. Marianela has extenstive experience in research & development and was the Senior Scientist with Cangene Corporation in Winnipeg, studying bacterial infections for humans. She is also a Post Doctoral Fellow through the University of Saskatchewan on Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization, holds a Masters degree in Genetics and Molecular Biology from Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil and is a Doctor of Philosophy in Cellular Immunology from Washington State University.
Irene has over 10 years of experience working in the Medical Laboratory Field in both clinical and hospital settings. She holds a Master’s of Science Degree in Medical Technology and is proficient in HIV Testing, Drug Testing and Transfusion Medicine. Now, as an instructor with Robertson College since 2010, Irene is able to educate the next generation of Medical Laboratory Assistants.
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