Home Programs & Courses Medical Laboratory Assistant

Medical Laboratory Assistant

Open for Spring 2022 (Rural Health Zone)

Length: 21 Weeks Credential: Certificate Delivery: Full Time Blended

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Next information session

There are no events scheduled for this program. Please visit the link below to see all upcoming and on-demand information sessions.

Upcoming Information Sessions

This program will be delivered in a blended format (OA, OS, OR and OF/CLAS) for the Fall 2021 semester.
Some courses will be delivered online while others occur on-campus.
Learn more about our course delivery options

Overview

Learn how to safely collect, process and prepare patient specimens and perform electrocardiograms and urinalysis to be ready for a career as a medical laboratory assistant in hospitals, high-volume laboratories, research labs, community collection sites, private insurance and home care companies.

Learners will acquire their theoretical foundations through online education, and be provided hands-on simulated laboratory experience on-campus at SAIT. Students will complete the program by applying and refining their learning during a six week, SAIT-arranged practicum in a clinical setting. Practicum sites include fully operational laboratories and patient service centres.

Is this right fit for me?

In order to be successful in this program, applicants must have basic computer literacy. An acceptable computer skill level would include the ability to use word processing and communication software. Educational interaction in this program depends on these basic computer skills and medical laboratory assistants work with laboratory and hospital information systems. It is the student's responsibility to ensure the adequacy of these skills prior to program admission.

Students who experience success in this program have the following characteristics:

  • the ability to follow instructions, pay close attention to detail and take precise readings
  • the ability to work quickly and accurately
  • good finger and manual dexterity to handle specimens and small laboratory equipment
  • normal colour vision
  • good communication and problem-solving skills
  • good organizational skills
  • the interpersonal skills and effective communication skills in English required to work well with co-workers and the public
  • In order to secure employment, graduates must be able to type at a minimum speed of 30 words per minute (WPM)

Medical laboratory assistants enjoy working with people, like direct contact with patients and do not mind shift work.

Accreditation

The Medical Laboratory Assistant program delivered by SAIT is accredited by Accreditation Canada and is designed so that graduates achieve clinical competence as defined by the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS). As an accredited institute, graduates of the Medical Laboratory Assistant program at SAIT are eligible to challenge the CSMLS certification exam.

Credential

After successfully completing this program, graduates will receive a SAIT Medical Laboratory Assistant certificate.

Graduates are eligible for registration and membership with the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science.

Read more

Please note:This stream of the Medical Laboratory Assistant (MLA) program addresses a need for Alberta Precision Laboratories’ services in rural Alberta. As such, all practicum placements will occur within rural Alberta and only applicants with a home address (living) in those rural regions will be eligible for admission to the program. Calgary and Edmonton addresses are not eligible to apply. Students will be responsible for all fees born of their practicum placements, including the cost of travel, relocation and dwelling.

Find my Alberta health zone

Career opportunities

Graduates can pursue job opportunities in:

  • community collection sites
  • hospital rapid-response laboratories
  • high-volume medical laboratories
  • private insurance companies
  • home care companies

Related careers include:

  • pathologist assistant

Tuition and fees per year*

Cost per course

1.5 credit course: $294.66
3.0 credit course: $589.32

*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change

Full costs
Tuition and financial aid

Requirements

You will be offered admission to this program through direct entry if you meet the admission requirements and achieve at least 50% on the scoring rubric for the School of Health and Public Safety’s Entrance Testing Process. Admission is offered on a first-qualified, first offered basis, until the program is full.

Admission requirements

When can you apply?

  • Applications for spring 2022 open June 14, 2020 until Jan. 30, 2022.
Term Year start date
Spring 2021 May 9, 2022

How to apply

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A medical laboratory assistant is an integral member of the laboratory workforce, a field that is not only growing to meet the needs of an increasing and ageing population but also changing to support medical advances.

Admission requirements

Please note: This stream of the Medical Laboratory Assistant (MLA) program addresses a need for Alberta Precision Laboratories’ services in rural Alberta. As such, all practicum placements will occur within rural Alberta and only applicants with a home address (living) in those rural regions will be eligible for admission to the program. Calgary and Edmonton addresses are not eligible to apply. Students will be responsible for all fees born of their practicum placements, including the cost of travel, relocation and dwelling.

Admission selection

  • Spring 2022 start: applications open June 14, 2021 and are accepted until Jan. 31, 2022.

Admission requirements

Completion of the following courses or equivalents: 

        Entrance testing process

Admission is offered on a first-qualified, first-offered basis until the program is full.

SAIT accepts high school course equivalents for admission. If you don't meet the requirements, consider  Academic Upgrading.

SAIT evaluates international documents for admissions. After you've applied, consider our international document assessment service if your education is from outside of Canada. 

Direct entry: five-step process

Step 1: Read the program information to see the qualities needed for student success.

Step 2: Review the information related to the necessary components of the School of Health and Public Safety Entrance Testing Process

Step 3:  Complete the School of Health and Public Safety Entrance Testing Process non-academic admission requirement. Ensure that you meet all of the academic admission requirements listed above.

Step 4: Apply to the Medical Laboratory Assistant program and submit your transcripts and/or anticipated final grades

Step 5: Log in to mySAIT.ca to check your admission status. Find out how to monitor your application status.

Failure to meet anticipated final grades will result in offers being rescinded.

Communication during admission

Email is the primary source of communication during the admission process. Ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. We recommend you add clinical.supportservices@sait.ca and the sait.ca domain to your safe senders' list or you risk missing critical email messages.

Practicum requirements

The School of Health and Public Safety has many practica partners located in Alberta and across Canada. Practicum placements in Calgary are limited and students may be required to relocate outside of Calgary for practicum.

Successful candidates will be informed of the allocation of their practicum placement by the program. There is no guarantee that students will be placed at their desired practicum location. Special considerations of personal circumstances will not be given in regards to assigning practicum placements. Students will be responsible for fees associated with practica such as entrance requirements, relocation and travel costs. 

In compliance with the practica agreements with our clinical partners, successful candidates will be requested to provide proof of the following requirements:

  • Updated immunization records
  • Security clearance - Police Information Check including Vulnerable Sector Check
  • N95 respiratory mask fitting
  • Health and wellness status

Learn more

Courses

Program outline

Looking for course descriptions and requisites? Visit the course catalogue

The AHS South Health Zone stream is seven months in length and completed during the Winter through Fall semesters.

Semester 1 - April to May

Course code Course name Credit
INFC-215 Infection Prevention and Control 1.5
PROF-201 Professional Practice I 3.0
Semester 1 total 4.5

Semester 2 - May to August

Course code Course name Credit
MEDL 200 Clinical Laboratory Foundations  3.0
MEDL 201 Patent Services 3.0
MEDL 203 Clinical Laboratory Testing 3.0
Semester 2 total 9

Semester 3 - August

Course code Course name Credit
MEDL 202 Clinical Integration 1.5
Semester 1 total 1.5

Semester 4 - August to October

Course code Course name Credit
PRAC 271 Clinical Placement 3.0
PROF 202 Professional Practice II 1.5
Semester 2 total 4.5
Program Total 19.5

Progression

Students must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better in each semester and pass the necessary prerequisite courses to progress through the program. To qualify for graduation, students must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.

Transfer options

Once completed, this SAIT credential may be eligible for transfer credit at another post-secondary institution. Visit Transfer Options to learn more about the transfer agreements currently available to SAIT graduates and incoming students.

Have questions? Write to us at transfer.options@sait.ca.

Costs

2020/21 Domestic cost per course

Course Credits Course cost
1.5 $267.93
3.0 $535.86

SAIT Fees

The following fees are based on a two-semester full course load structure. Fees for part-time programs will be assessed based on the number of courses taken within a semester.

Campus athletic and recreation Fee: $171.20
Universal transit pass (UPass): N/A
Student support fee: $100
Student technology fee: $100

SAIT Students' Association (SAITSA) fee: $287.77

Books and supplies*

  • Students are responsible for any additional expenses related to their practicum including relocation costs to practicum sites outside Calgary.
  • Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) national exam fee is approximately $250.
  • CSMLS national association dues for students are approximately $85.
  • There is a fee associated with obtaining a Police Information Check including Vulnerable Sector Check, payable to the Police or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
  • Books and supplies are approximately $700.
  • Students must have a personal computer and access to the Internet. Most classes are taught at SAIT, but some require online access. All courses require additional self‐study.
  • Students must have their immunizations reviewed by the SAIT Health Clinic. There is a $75 charge to review vaccine and medical history. Any vaccines to be administered will result in additional charges.

Find out about tuition and financial aid.

* Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change.

2021/22 Domestic cost per course

Course Credits Course cost
1.5 $294.66
3.0 $589.32

SAIT Fees

The following fees are based on a two-semester full course load structure. Fees for part-time programs will be assessed based on the number of courses taken within a semester.

Campus athletic and recreation Fee: $183.20
Universal transit pass (UPass): N/A
Student support fee: $150
Student technology fee: $150

SAIT Students' Association (SAITSA) fee: $287.77

Books and supplies*

  • Students are responsible for any additional expenses related to their practicum including relocation costs to practicum sites outside Calgary.
  • Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) national exam fee is approximately $250.
  • CSMLS national association dues for students are approximately $85.
  • There is a fee associated with obtaining a Police Information Check including Vulnerable Sector Check, payable to the Police or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
  • Books and supplies are approximately $700.
  • Students must have a personal computer and access to the Internet. Most classes are taught at SAIT, but some require online access. All courses require additional self‐study.
  • Students must have their immunizations reviewed by the SAIT Health Clinic. There is a $75 charge to review vaccine and medical history. Any vaccines to be administered will result in additional charges.
  • There is a fee, approximately $50-$100, associated with an Electronic Student Permit Checking submission which is required for clinical practicum placements, payable to Synergy Gateway through the Verified software platform.

Find out about tuition and financial aid.

* Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change.

Next steps for incoming students

Have you been accepted to this program? Here's what you'll need for your first day of classes.

✅ Plan ahead ❗️

You are required to complete several health, confidentiality and consent forms before starting your program. All completed and signed paperwork is needed on orientation day. 

Ensure you complete all three steps below ahead of orientation.

Get started on pre-orientation requirements

Orientation

Program orientation details will be available closer to the program start date — watch your inbox.

Delivery

This program will be delivered in a blended format for the Spring 2021 term due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated health and safety guidelines. The majority of courses will take place online, with certain labs and hands-on learning scheduled on campus.

Computers and laptops

This is a bring your own device program with a standard hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page

Required personal protective equipment (PPE)

The industry-approved PPE you'll need will be discussed during your first few days of classes. 

Your required uniform can be purchased prior to orientation from any place that sells medical uniforms. Your uniform should consist of,

  • a scrub top and bottom
  • safety glasses 
  • comfortable closed-toe and heel shoes. They should also be water impervious and slip-resistant. 

Other requirements

  • N95 respiratory mask fit-testing
  • Police Information Clearance with Vulnerable Sector Check
  • Immunization record 
  • Health and Wellness Status

Preparation courses

To support your success, SAIT offers some short courses before classes start, including PREP 100: The SAIT Experience, ETHI 110: SAIT Ethical Practices and SAFE 165: Safety at SAIT.

Required textbooks

The Spring 2021  booklist will be available about two weeks before classes start.

Can’t find your program or course? The bookstore didn't receive a textbook list. Contact your program directly to determine if they’re still refining course details or if you're in luck, no textbook purchase required this term.

Contact 

Phone: 403.284.8481
Email: hps.info@sait.ca

Important dates and deadlines

Find important dates applicable to all students, including your transcript and tuition payment deadlines on our Important Dates page.

Important Dates

Have questions about this program?

Contact us at

School of Health and Public Safety
403.284.8500
hps.info@sait.ca

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