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Medical Laboratory Assistant Certificate

Medical Laboratory Assistant Certificate - students looking in microscropes
  • Fall 29 weeks
  • Winter 42 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 healthcare 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. 

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.

Two Intakes Available - Fall Term (29 weeks in duration) and Winter Term (42 weeks in duration)

The Fall Term intake of the program is completed over 29 weeks. This program includes classroom, online, and laboratory courses and ends with a 7-week practicum off campus for clinical laboratory training. Learning includes daytime learning on main campus with some online learning opportunities integrated within the program as well. 

The Winter Term intake of the program is completed over 42 weeks.  The program includes online and laboratory courses and ends with a 7-week practicum off campus for clinical laboratory training.  Learning (with the exception of the practicum) includes online learning in the evenings during the week and laboratory classes on weekends at the main campus.   

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
Program Content
  • INTP 104 Healthcare Communication I
  • MLA 105 Infection Control Practices
  • MLA 114 Integrated Medical Terminology
  • 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
Delivery Options
  • Fall Accelerated | Daytime main campus with some online learning
  • Winter Extended | Evenings online and weekends on main campus


Special Fees and Expenses

Practicum Expenses:
The RDP 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.

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