Medical laboratory assistants work directly with other health care providers and patients and in the exciting laboratory setting. You collect health information and medical specimens from patients, but you also enter clerical data, process specimens and assist with basic laboratory activities. It’s a job that requires good people and communication skills, a professional yet caring attitude and a commitment to teamwork and excellence, as well as attention to detail.
Medical lab assistants are in demand in many areas. Look for jobs in hospitals, community clinics, medical offices, research and pharmaceutical labs, veterinary clinics, chiropractic and physiotherapy offices and more.
International applicants are not currently considered for admission to this program.
Medical Laboratory Assistant is a nationally accredited 27-week applied certificate program offered at Saskatchewan Polytechnic Saskatoon campus . Some classes are also available through distance education. Labs and clinical experiences are a big part of the program, so expect hands-on training in:
- anatomy and physiology
- basic lab procedures
- histology and cytology
- infection control and safety
- specimen collection and handling
Put Your Learning to Work
You’ll participate in five supervised clinical experiences, for a total of 11 weeks of training. Each will give you practical experience in a specific area: histology and cytology, specimen management, phlebotomy and microbiology. These clinical experiences take place at various sites around the province.
Ladder into a Saskatchewan Polytechnic Diploma
You can transfer several Medical Laboratory Assistant courses into Saskatchewan Polytechnic Health Sciences diploma programs, including Combined Laboratory and X-Ray Technology, Cytotechnology, Medical Laboratory Technology and Medical Radiologic Technology.
Each year, 16 students are accepted to this program. You can use this applied certificate to ladder into Combined Laboratory and X-ray Technology, Medical radiologic Technology, Therapeutic Recreation Worker, and Funeral Service programs at Saskatchewan Polytechnic.
Students will experience a mix of traditional lectures, web-assisted learning, homestudy, practical and clinical labs. For this program, there is a heavy workload with 15 - 20 hours/week of homework. Classes are Monday - Friday with variable hours between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Clinical practicum hours will coincide with health care hours, and may include early morning start times (5 or 6 a.m.), evening, night, and weekend shifts.
Lectures and Practical labs: Saskatoon
Clinical Practicum Experiences
Clinical practicum placement may occur at any approved site in Saskatchewan.
- 11 weeks at various sites around Saskatchewan
- Alternate sites may be required to meet program requirements.
Clinical practicum experiences are assigned by the Medical Diagnostics Committee on Practicum Placements (COPP). Students will have an opportunity to rank their preferred clinical sites. However, due to limited clinical placements in each location there is no guarantee that students will receive a clinical site assignment from their list of preferred sites. Students must be prepared to attend their assigned placement at any of the clinical sites in the province.
Not all clinical facilities are easily accessible by public transportation; students assigned to these sites must have access to personal transportation. Students are responsible for travel, accommodation arrangements and costs, to, during and from their clinical experience. Students will continue with their didactic studies through online learning while on their clinical experience, and stable internet access is required.
Enrolment in the program will require acceptance of a clinical placement anywhere within Saskatchewan. Clinical placements are determined during the program closer to the dates for practicum experiences.