Medical Laboratory Assistant

Program Courses

Orientation and Student Success Skills
This course will provide a comprehensive orientation to Stenberg College and the program you have enrolled in. As with all new things, there will be some challenges to overcome; however, with this course, you will become familiar with your new environment and the resources available for your use. You will gain effective learning and study strategies; become familiar with course and research online resources; enhance reading and writing skills; participate in activities to increase self-awareness, communication, and accountability; and develop teamwork skills.

Keyboarding & Computer Fundamentals
This course is designed to provide students with a detailed introduction to correct typing technique and the computer skills required to work in a fast-paced environment. Throughout the course, students will use a simulated program to improve proficiency with the Internet, Windows environment, and Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). 

Students will also focus on the development and maintenance of accurate keyboarding skills. To maintain and exceed the high typing standards set by the pre-requisites for this program (40wpm) and to expand the variety of employment opportunities upon graduation, students will be tested on their typing skills at key points during the program. Students are encouraged to practice their keyboarding using the Typing Ace online program outside of their regular classroom hours. 

Medical Terminology
This intensive, fast paced course is an introduction to the world of medical terminology and is designed to provide the foundation for all subsequent courses. You'll become familiar with various medical word parts, build fluency in the pronunciation and spelling of these parts and learn to build and break down medical terms to determine meaning. Understanding the language of medicine is essential for all healthcare professionals to be able to function effectively and safely in a health care environment. Students will also gain a general introduction to each of the body systems, developing a foundation in body systems terminology which will be built upon in subsequent program coursework.

Anatomy & Physiology/Pathology Fundamentals
Building upon the foundations developed in Medical Terminology / Intro to A & P, this course will develop students understanding of anatomy and physiology with emphasis on those body systems relevant to medical laboratory assistant practice. Students will also learn about diseases and common tests related to the body systems.

Medical Laboratory Communications 
Participants will explore principles of communication and have the opportunity to engage in skill practice. Students will participate in exercises designed to increase their awareness of self and others. Students will develop effective oral, written and patient care and communication skills. This module discusses the professional behavior and uses specific examples that pertain to the MLA. It also describes the health care organization and the duties of the team members in the various departments. Students will become accustomed with the role of the MLA in providing professional patient/customer service learning how to use outstanding interpersonal skills. This module will teach the cardiovascular system, the components of the blood and the commonly used veins in phlebotomy. Laboratory structure and the commonly performed tests in each department will be discussed. Quality assurance and improvement as applied to the MLA will be briefly discussed along with the ethical, legal and regulatory issues. Students will learn basic laboratory terminology and measurements. 

Medical Laboratory Procedures
In this course students will learn about diagnostic laboratory tests, documentation and delivery methods of specimens, safety supplies, phlebotomy equipment, and venipuncture procedures. This course will highlight all aspects of phlebotomy including:

  • Venipuncture procedures and working with special populations
  • Blood collection equipment
  • Documentation, specimen handling, and transportation
  • Computerization in health care
  • Pre-analytical complications in blood collection
  • Point-of-care testing
  • Urinalysis, body fluids, and other specimens for laboratory evaluation
  • Forensic toxicology, workplace testing, sports medicine, and related areas
  • Specimen handling and processing 

Pre- and Post-Analytical Procedures and Microbiology
This course will address pre and post analytical procedures and processing and referral procedures required for the medical laboratory assistant to function proficiently in the front end of a medical laboratory environment. Topics covered include: labelling, requisitions, phone protocol, quality control management, packaging, inventory control, ordering of supplies as well as healthcare information systems. Students will also become competent in the specific pre-analytical procedures for microbiology lab set-up.

Cardiac Procedures
Students will review the anatomy of the heart and be introduced to the electrical conductive system of the heart. Students will learn procedures that will enable them to use, maintain and analyze electrocardiogram tracings of 12/15 lead electrocardiograms. Emphasis will be put on the theory and practice of correct application, including skin preparation and electrode application and activation. Troubleshooting will also be addressed. Students will also learn about ambulatory ECG monitoring (holter) and be able to identify indications to rule out arrhythmias and identify critical values. Focus will be placed on holter hook-up procedures and care for equipment.

Career Search Strategies
This course is offered in a combined online and classroom delivery format. Students learn to network effectively (online and in person), to search and apply for jobs and to prepare targeted resumes and cover letters. Students are also provided with coaching and individualized instructor feedback on their resume, cover letter, and interview skills. 

Practicum Preparation 
In preparation for their consolidated practice experience, students will refine their skills and focus on professionalism and practice scenarios.

Consolidated Practice Experience
Stenberg College maintains affiliation agreements for the Medical Lab Assistant Program with all of the BC Health Authorities and Private Labs. Students will perform phlebotomy, electrocardiography, and specimen collection skills within a hospital and/or private lab setting. Lower Mainland Practicum seats are limited. Students will be informed at the time of enrollment if they will be placed within the Lower Mainland. Our practice education team will work with students wishing to be placed in BC, outside of the Lower Mainland to secure a placement within the region of their preference. 

Additional Certification(s)

The program also includes essential industry-related training and certification in:

Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System

WHMIS provides information about materials in the workplace that can be hazardous, such as cleaning agents, compressed gases and flammable materials. Becoming WHMIS certified will demonstrate the ability to identify hazardous materials and handle them properly.

Personal & Professional Development Skills Certificate
Responding carefully to the needs of today's employers, a series of Personal and Professional Development Workshops have been integrated throughout the program to develop critical thinking and soft skills. Workshops include Giving and Receiving Feedback, Conflict Resolution, Active Listening, Providing Quality Service and Building Rapport, Leadership, and Employability Skills.

Provincial Violence Prevention Certification
The Provincial Violence Prevention Training Curriculum will teach you to recognize and respond to violent situations and learn about different types of violence and strategies for dealing with the risks in a variety of health care contexts. The Provincial Violence Prevention Curriculum has been developed by a team of experts from Worksafe BC, the Occupational Health & Safety Agency for health care in BC, as well as BC health authorities and healthcare unions. This training and certification is offered in collaboration with Fraser Health Authority.

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Over 92% of our graduates are working in their field of study within 6 months of graduation

2013 - 2014 2012 - 2013 2011 - 2012

Medical Laboratory Assistant
Fraser Health
Interior Health
Medical Encyclopedia, Drug Information, Dictionary
Northern Health
Online Medical Dictionary
Provincial Health Services
Vancouver Coastal Health
Vancouver Island Health

"Thank you for changing my life and career."
Adobie, S.