Medical Laboratory Assistant Program

Western Community College > Programs > Health Care > Medical Laboratory Assistant Program

Medical Lab Assistant Program Overview

Medical Lab Assistants work with other health care providers and are responsible for a variety of tasks including collection of blood and other samples for testing, data entry and other preanalytical procedures. This program prepares the graduates to perform all tasks necessary to work as a Medical Laboratory Assistant.

Only graduates of BCSLS Approved MLA programs get preferential hiring by health authorities and Lifelabs in BC. Make sure that the MLA program you choose is BCSLS Approved. Medical Laboratory Assistant Program at Western Community College is approved by British Columbia Society of Laboratory Science (BCSLS). Upon completing BCSLS-approved programs, graduates are eligible to seek BCSLS certification.

Contact our admissions team today or request information on upcoming program start dates.

Medical Lab Assistant Program prepares students for a rewarding career to play an essential role in hospitals, private and public health laboratories, clinics and research laboratories.

Job Opportunities

After completion of this program, the graduates will be able to work as a Medical Lab Assistant in various settings including:

  • Hospital Laboratory
  • Reference Laboratory
  • Private Diagnostic Testing Laboratory
  • Quality Control Laboratory


Earn up to $30.00* per hour as a Medical Lab Assistant

All wages taken from the Canada Job Bank

Program Admission Requirements

  1. Grade 12 or Equivalent and Mature Student Status (age 19 years or more)
  2. Students will need to submit a proof of English Language Competency for reading comprehension, writing, listening and oral skills by any one of the following options:

    Domestic Students:

    • Grade 12 English
    • English Language Proficiency Assessment Test conducted by the College

    International Students:

    • IELTS 5.5 Bands or More
    • CLB Score of 6 or more
    • PTE Academic 50 or more
    • Any other English language assessment test with equivalent score
    • English Language Proficiency Assessment Test conducted by the College
  1. Keyboarding skills of 40 wpm
  2. Up-to date immunization records
  3. Clear Criminal Record Check

Prior to practicum placement: N95 Mask FIT testing

Program Duration

  • 640 hours; 8 months; 32 weeks
  • 520 hours of didactic learning (400 hours of theory and 120 hours of laboratory practice) and 120 hours of clinical practicum

Learning Objectives*

Upon completion of this program the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Demonstrate effective communication and interpersonal skills
  2. Maintain a professional image as part of the healthcare system
  3. Demonstrate good keyboarding and computer skills
  4. Understand the practice and principles of confidentiality and ethics
  5. Outline legislation that applies to the procurement of patient information
  6. Ensure Chain of Custody documentation is completed
  7. Practice safe work procedures to ensure the safety of patients and other coworkers in the Medical Laboratory and other healthcare environments
  8. Demonstrate fundamental knowledge of the functions of the major body systems and organs
  9. Define and use Medical Terminology in the proper context as it applies to the Medical Laboratory
  10. Collect blood for laboratory testing using venipuncture and capillary puncture techniques according to established protocols
  11. Maintain specimen integrity throughout preanalytical, analytical, and postanalytical processes
  12. Illustrate the determination and administration of a glucose load for a Glucose Tolerance Test
  13. Perform a technically accurate electrocardiogram (ECG)
  14. Demonstrate proper specimen preparation and handling for samples used for hematology, chemistry, POCT, microbiology, urinalysis, transfusion medicine, cytology, and histology
  15. Instruct patients on the collection of specimens including urine samples and microbiology specimens
  16. Prepare reagents according to procedure, ensuring proper safety precautions, equipment use, and calculations
  17. Clean glassware with correct detergents, disinfectants, and equipment
  18. Load and use a centrifuge with proper balancing of the specimens
  19. Aliquot specimens using proper pipette technique
  20. Utilize laboratory equipment and supplies with safe and proper handling, performing required maintenance and calibrations

Completion Requirements*

Students need to pass all the courses with at least 60% marks and get a “Pass” from the supervisor in their skills course and practicum.

Required Course Materials

  • Essentials of Anatomy & Physiology, 8th Edition
  • Linne & Ringsrud’s Clinical Laboratory Science, 8th Edition
  • Mosby’s Canadian Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 2nd Edition (Chapters 1-3, 11, Appendixes)
  • The ECG Made Easy, 9th Edition
  • Laboratory Quality Management System: Handbook
  • CSMLS Laboratory Safety Guidelines 8th Edition (2017)
  • CSMLS Code of Conduct
  • Course Handouts as provided by the Instructor

Course Outline

Course # Title of Course/Work Experience Component # of Hours
MLA 01 Computer Fundamentals 40
MLA 02 Medical Terminology 40
MLA 03 Anatomy and Physiology 60
MLA 04 Medical Lab Communication/Professional Practice 50
MLA 05 Laboratory Fundamentals 60
MLA 06 Infection Control and Safety 40
MLA 07 Phlebotomy Fundamentals 80
MLA 08 Specimen Collection and Handling 80
MLA 09 Cardiac Procedures 50
MLA 10 Career Planning and Preparation 20
MLA 11 Clinical Experience 120
  Total Hours 640

Course Breakdown

Course # Title of Course/Work Experience Component In-Class Hours Laboratory Hours # of Hours
MLA 01 Computer Fundamentals 40* 0 40
MLA 02 Medical Terminology 40 0 40
MLA 03 Anatomy and Physiology 60 0 60
MLA 04 Medical Lab Communication/ Professional Practice 50 0 50
MLA 05 Laboratory Fundamentals 40 20 60
MLA 06 Infection Control and Safety 40** 0 40
MLA 07 Phlebotomy Fundamentals 30 50 80
MLA 08 Specimen Collection and Handling 50 30 80
MLA 09 Cardiac Procedures 30 20 50
MLA 10 Career Planning and Preparation 20 0 20
MLA 11 Clinical Experience 120 hours of practicum 120
  Total Hours 520 Didactic 120 Practicum 640

Fee Structure

1 Registration Fee $250 Domestic Students
2 Tuition Fee $13,000
3 Books $600
4 Course Material $500
Total $14,350
1 Tuition Fee $18,000 International Students
2 Registration Fee $250
3 Book Fee $600
4 Other Material $500
Total $19350

Please contact our admissions advisor for fee structure.

This program has been approved by the registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.

Financial Assistance

Western Community College offers a variety of financial aid opportunities to ease students’ stress and allow them to focus on their studies. If you need extra support, we have flexible funding to accommodate all our students, no matter their financial situation.

  • BC Student Loan
  • In-house Financing
  • Student Line of Credit
  • Scholarships

Our dedicated Financial Aid Officers will help you every step of the way.

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Why Study at Western Community College

  • Installment-based, low tuition fee.
  • 100% Practicum Placement
  • Weekday, weekend, and evening classes optionally available
  • Part-time or full-time class schedule
  • Free CLB preparation classes * Conditions Apply
  • Graduate employment rate: 97%

Admissions Contact Information

Mon – Sunday 9:00A.M. – 5:00P.M.

Surrey, BC

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