Medical Laboratory Assisting

Certificate

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With a focus on hands-on learning and real-world experience, NAIT's Medical Laboratory Assisting program is the perfect fit for anyone looking to start a fulfilling career in healthcare.

As a student in our program, you'll gain valuable experience in specimen collection and analysis, basic lab procedures, performance of electrocardiograms (ECGs), phlebotomy, urinalysis, data entry, and clerical/reception services. Plus, you'll have the opportunity to complete a 7-week clinical laboratory practicum with a clinical partner in Edmonton, Wainwright, Westlock, Camrose or surrounding community. After graduation, you will be career ready and prepared to take on the role of the “face of the lab” in public and private healthcare facilities, interacting with technologists, physicians and the public.

As healthcare facilities continue to expand and evolve, the need for skilled medical lab assistants has only grown. With our Medical Laboratory Assisting program, you can develop the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in this in-demand field.

Upcoming Intakes

Select your preferred intake to see relevant program information. Program details, including tuition and course information, may vary by intake.

Selection Start Date Delivery Mode Time Campus Length Domestic Status International Status
Sep. 03, 2024 (Fall) Hybrid Weekdays - Daytime Main 22 Weeks (Full-time) Open N/A
  Jan. 08, 2025 (Winter) Hybrid Weekdays - Daytime Main 22 Weeks (Full-time) Open N/A
Jan. 08, 2025 (Winter) Hybrid Evenings & Weekends Main 37 Weeks (Part-time) Open N/A
 
             
 

Swipe table to view more information for each intake.

Delivery Mode

  • In-person - All your class activity will be delivered in person, on campus.
  • Online - All your class activity will be delivered online.
  • Hybrid - Your classes will be a mixture of in person and online learning. You must be able to come to campus and participate remotely online.
  • Your choice - Your program offers a variety of class delivery options (in person, online, or a mixture of both) and you can select which type of classes to take. If you wish, you can complete your entire program either in-person or online.
  • HyFlex - All your classes are delivered for simultaneous participation in person and online. You can choose daily to attend your classes in person or join remotely online.

Time

  • Your choice - You can select class times and days that fit your schedule. There are a variety of class options for you to choose from including daytime, evening, weekdays or weekends.
  • No set time - No set class days or times, content is access on-demand. You can complete your studies on your own schedule within the scheduled class dates; may have set due dates and deadlines.
  • Evenings & Weekends - Classes are scheduled after 5 p.m. on weekdays or anytime on weekends.
  • Weekdays - Daytime - Classes are scheduled on weekdays, before 5 p.m.
  • Weekdays - Evening - Classes are scheduled on weekdays, after 5 p.m.
  • Weekends - Classes are scheduled on Saturdays and Sundays.

Campus

Any in-person components of your courses will be delivered at this campus location.

View Campus Map

Length

  • Full-Time - This is the standard length to complete the program, with a full course load per term.
  • Part-Time - Students follow a structured schedule of classes so they can progress in their studies part-time while balancing everyday life.

Domestic Status

The program availability status for domestic applications is updated as applications are reviewed and assessed. Program availability is subject to change without notice.

  • Open - Program intake is accepting applications.
  • Waitlisting - Program intake is accepting applications, but qualified applicants will be placed on a waitlist.
  • Closed - Program intake is not accepting applications.
  • Upcoming - Applications will open soon for this intake. View the upcoming terms for open dates.
  • N/A - Not available for this intake.

International Status

The program availability status for international applications is updated as applications are reviewed and assessed. Program availability is subject to change without notice.

  • Open - Program intake is accepting applications.
  • Waitlisting - Program intake is accepting applications, but qualified applicants will be placed on a waitlist.
  • Closed - Program intake is not accepting applications.
  • Upcoming - Applications will open soon for this intake. View the upcoming terms for open dates.
  • N/A - Not available for this intake.

Credit programs that accept international applicants also meet the eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit program. Each student is responsible for maintaining their eligibility throughout their studies.

Hands-on, industry-relevant training

As part of the health-care team, Medical Laboratory Assistants are trained in the collection of specimens from the patient, the initial processing and preparation of specimens for analysis, data entry, performance of phlebotomy and ECGs, urinalysis, specified basic laboratory procedures, and the laboratory information system (LIS).

In the program, students learn how to provide quality patient care by being introduced to

  • How to work safety in a level II containment laboratory
  • The process of collection of specimens for analysis
  • How to procure quality laboratory specimens for analysis
  • How to think critically, to communicate, and to collaborate professionally
  • The professional responsibility of an MLA, including scope of practice, ethics, accountability, and professional development

Open Studies Pathway

You now have an additional pathway to the School of Health and Life Sciences at NAIT. Complete one or more select Open Studies courses to be guaranteed a program entrance interview.

Semester 1

Semester 1 of the Medical Laboratory Assisting program begins every September and January, and consists of 15 weeks of classroom instruction with related practical laboratory sessions on NAIT Main Campus.

Semester 2

Semester 2 consists of 7 weeks of Work Integrated Learning (WIL) at an affiliated training site in Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Wetaskiwin, Wainwright, Westlock, Camrose and surrounding areas throughout Alberta. WIL provides practical experience in a variety of clinical settings. Emphasis is placed on practical application of concepts studied at NAIT and on development of organizational and professionalism skills.

International Applicants

Some NAIT programs are unavailable to international students because they do not meet eligibility for a study permit or Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). 

  • Study Permit: This program is a credit certificate and meets the criteria for a study permit and a co-op work permit. 
  • Co-Op Permit: International students enrolled in this program must complete a Clinical Placement. As such, you must apply for a co-op work permit and receive approval before the start of your work placement.
  • Post-Graduation Work Permit: This program is too short to meet the requirements for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). Completion of this program will not make you eligible for a PGWP.

International applicants seeking permissions to take this program can contact a NAIT Academic Advisor – International to discuss options.

What you need to know about Structured Part-Time Pathways

Structured Part-time Learning allows you pursue your post-secondary studies while balancing your everyday life.
*Only certain programs are offered on a structured part-time basis. 

Set course schedule 

This program’s part-time learning follows a structured and set schedule. While intensive, this structured schedule means that your program will pre-determine and set your course schedule to ensure you can progress in the program in a part-time format.  

Typically, you’ll take 2 to 3 courses per term. You can review the Courses and Advanced Credit tab to see the part-time structure for this program.

Financial aid and funding 

There are different financial aid applications for full-time and part-time studies; the amount of student aid fund you can receive is affected by your course load. Review your student aid options or learn more by contacting financialaid@nait.ca

Impact on Scholarships and Bursaries 

Most scholarships, bursaries and awards offered by NAIT have course load requirements that will make students in structured part-time learning programs ineligible. To qualify for bursaries, you must have at least a 60% course load in a given term, while an 80% course load is required for scholarships. 

International students are ineligible 

International students with a study permit who take part-time learning cannot work during their studies and do not qualify for a post-graduation work permit after finishing their program.  

Instead of part-time learning, we recommend that international students choose a full-time intake of this program or one of NAIT’s many other program options. This way, you can study at NAIT while ensuring your eligibility to work and qualify for a post-graduation work permit.

If you’re interested in this program option, be sure to select the "Structured Part-time Learning" when you apply online.

Career Outcomes

As a graduate of the program, you are eligible to challenge the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science exam to obtain national certification as a medical laboratory assistant in Canada.

Please refer to the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) website to learn more about their requirements for licensing/mandatory registration and declaration of conduct, which may include disclosure of information related to criminal convictions and professional misconduct or incompetence as well as any personal factors that could impact the ability to practice safely.

Build your resume before you even graduate

Explore work experience opportunities that help grads get hired even sooner.

View Work Integrated Learning

Work Experience Placements

Courses and Advanced Credit

Current and recently admitted students can find information and updates about their program on their My Program page in the MyNAIT Portal. To monitor your course progress and the courses still needed to graduate, visit your Academic Progress Report.

Advanced Credit

You may apply for advanced credit once you have been accepted into the program. Advanced credit can be Transfer Credit (for completed post-secondary courses) or PLAR (Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition).

Transfer Credit

In addition to the common guidelines outlined on the Transfer and Credit Options section, your program has other advanced credit requirements that are applied to each request including:

  • You must have completed the course or program no more than 2 year(s) ago unless a formalized articulation agreement is in place
  • You must have a minimum mark of C- in the course(s) or program

Read more about advanced credit or contact us about applying for credit for this program.

Scholarships & Awards

Want to learn more about this program?

Thank you for your interest! We want to get you in contact with the right person to answer your questions. If you are a current or recently admitted student you can find program and course information as well as contact details for your program on the My Program page on the MyNAIT Portal.








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