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Medical Laboratory Assistant Certificate

Medical Laboratory Assistant Certificate - students looking in microscropes

29 weeks

Main Campus
The Program

The Accredited Medical Laboratory Assistant program is designed to produce health care professionals who have the basic technical and theoretical skills to work in heathcare laboratories.  Their duties consist mainly of sample collection, specimen processing and various clinical laboratory procedures.  Graduates will attain all the specified MLA competencies that are outlined by the Canadian Society of Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS).  They will be eligible to write the CSMLS MLA exam and obtain national certification. 

The program is completed over 29 weeks and includes classroom and laboratory study on campus and a 7 week practicum off campus for clinical laboratory training.  Students are trained to collect, process, and prepare patient specimens, enter data, perform clerical and reception services, perform electrocardiograms and urinalysis, and carry out basic laboratory procedures. During practicum experience, students will address a selection of competencies in simulation labs.

Program outcomes are designed to enable successful transition to the role of the Medical Lab Assistant, assisting students to:

  • Perform safe work practices according to established safety protocols, guidelines, and legislation
  • Verify relevant data and patient information to ensure that appropriate specimens are collected and handled correctly
  • Perform pre-analytical procedures and laboratory testing on a variety of specimens through the use of equipment according to established protocols
  • Apply a variety of communication strategies, teamwork skills, and inter-professional collaboration to effectively and respectfully build positive relationships with patients/clients and other healthcare professionals
  • Practice and promote the principles of quality management systems
  • Practice in a legal, ethical and professional manner, demonstrating conduct that meets expectations of laws and regulations governing the profession
  • Exhibit empathy, respect, and appreciation of diversity, while protecting the patient's right to a reasonable standard of care
  • Apply critical thinking skills to constructively investigate, evaluate, and problem solve to engage in self-reflective practice, self-care, and lifelong learning

Note: There is one annual intake in Fall for the MLA program usually beginning in September.

Program Content

INTP 102 Healthcare Anatomy and Physiology
INTP 104 Healthcare Communication I
MLA 104 Medical Terminology
MLA 105 Infection Control Practices
MLA 117 Medical Lab Testing and Professional Practice
MLA 119 Specimen Collection, Handling and Quality Lab Processes
MLA 121 General Lab Procedures and Urinalysis
MLA 115 Clinical Practicum

Special Fees and Expenses

Practicum Expenses:
The RDC Medical Lab Assistant certificate program includes a 7 week clinical practicum placement during the winter semester. All students are expected to travel to clinical sites throughout the Alberta Health Services Region for their clinical practicum and are responsible for travel and living costs.

Every effort is made to consider student preferences for practicum location. However, due to practicum availability, students may be required to travel to locations outside of their preferences in the province of Alberta in order to complete the practicum requirements.

Contact Us

RDC Inquiries

Mon-Fri 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Main Phone: 403.342.3400
Toll-free: 1.888.732.4630 (in Canada only)
Email: inquire [at] rdc [dot] ab [dot] ca

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