3211 Medical laboratory technologists

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Lead statement

Medical laboratory technologists conduct medical laboratory tests, experiments and analyses to assist in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease. They are employed in medical laboratories in hospitals, blood banks, community and private clinics, research facilities and post-secondary educational institutions. Medical laboratory technologists who are supervisors are included in this unit group.

Example Titles

  • clinical immunology technologist
  • cytogenetics technologist – medical laboratory
  • histology technologist
  • immunohematology technologist
  • medical laboratory supervisor
  • medical laboratory technologist
  • medical technologist – medical laboratory

Main duties

  • Medical laboratory technologists perform some or all of the following duties:
    • Set up, operate and maintain laboratory equipment
    • Conduct chemical analyses of blood, urine, and cerebrospinal and other body fluids
    • Study blood cells and other tissues to determine their relation to various physiological and pathological conditions
    • Prepare tissue sections for microscopic examinations using techniques to demonstrate special cellular tissue elements or other characteristics
    • Perform blood group, type and compatibility tests for transfusion purposes
    • Establish procedures for the analysis of specimens and for medical laboratory experiments
    • Conduct quality control assessment of testing techniques
    • May supervise and train other medical laboratory technical staff, students and helpers
    • May assist pathologists during autopsies.
    • Medical laboratory technologists may specialize in areas such as clinical chemistry, clinical microbiology, hematology, histotechnology, immunohematology, cytotechnology and cytogenetics.

Employment requirements

  • A two- or three-year college program in medical laboratory technology is required and A period of supervised practical training may be required.
  • Registration with a regulatory body is required in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
  • Certification by the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science is usually required by employers.

Exclusions

  • Life science technologists in non-medical laboratories (in 22212221 Biological technologists and technicians)
  • Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists' assistants (32123212)
  • Physical science technologists in non-medical laboratories (in 22112211 Chemical technologists and technicians)