Certification by the MLPAO is regarded as the preferred examination by many Ontario employers.
Medical Laboratory Assistants/Technicians serve in urban and rural settings in the public and private sectors. Hospitals, physicians' offices, diagnostic labs, clinics, pharmaceutical research testing clinics, fertility clinics, specimen collection sites and blood centres all require the services of MLA/Ts. They take samples and perform many pre-analytical functions. Data entry of patient information into a computer system is also a common activity. In a large laboratory, some may work in a specialized discipline.
To become a Medical Laboratory Assistant, 8-10 months post-secondary education at a recognized institution is required. Graduates qualify to write the MLPAO Medical Laboratory Assistant/Technician (MLA/T) Certification exam. Training programs will be strongly focused on blood sample collection and the processing of pre-analytical specimens.
Medical Laboratory Technologists are regulated health professionals who serve in hospital, private, public health, and blood transfusion labs in both urban and rural centres. While some postings require a command of numerous disciplines, other MLTs take on the role of specialists in their field. Long-term career growth may result in appointments in education, management, or specialties such as molecular genetics. MLTs also work in industry research and development, and sales and service.
For a career as a Medical Laboratory Technologist, you will study full-time in an accredited, post-secondary Medical Laboratory Science program for 3 years. The curriculum will be science-focused and will include chemistry, math and biology courses.