Occupational Video – Medical Laboratory Assistant


— Music — Are you interested in a career related to health care? Do you have a basic
understanding of biology and medical terms? And do you have the
practical skills needed to operate and maintain
lab equipment? If so, you might be just the
right specimen for a healthy career as a medical laboratory assistant. Medical laboratory assistants work under the direction
of medical professionals. They help perform
various tasks, like collecting and testing
body fluids and tissue samples from patients, preparing slides for study under a microscope, and using computers to
record test information. They may also make
chemical solutions and clean and sterilize
lab equipment. We took a sample
of this career by talking to a medical
laboratory assistant working in Alberta. — Music — My name is Kaitlyn and I’m a medical
laboratory assistant. — Music — A medical lab assistant can have a variety of jobs, some of which would include the testing of patient samples to generate test results. That can be taking
place in a hospital, in a laboratory, or in clinics. As a medical
laboratory assistant, you could work for
veterinary labs, you could work for
government labs, or you could work for more industrial manufacturing labs. At Canadian Blood Services, we collect blood donations, process them, and then send them to hospitals for patient treatment. Other lines of work
you could do could be testing that are sent from other laboratories. You could be in the
collection process, directly collecting
the blood samples or other kind of bodily fluids. There’s clerical work involved. There’s many roles for
medical lab assistants. Medical lab assistants generally work under medical lab technicians, or x-ray technicians, or even pathologists. It’s a fairly busy job, usually. We work weekends. We work evenings. There are some organizations that even run for 24 hours. The shifts are usually
eight hours. We try to do as much as we can in the morning because we are under
certain time frames. This week we’re at 7.15%… And around 9 o’clock, the whole team meets
for a morning huddle where we discuss safety, quality, and any
other information that we may need to know from the weeks prior. The next step after that
would be sometime in March where we’re actually
putting up the new posters and the new logos and
everything like that… After that, we kind of go into our own tasks. A lot of the work is individual. A lot of the work also involves a lot of communication
with the rest of your team. I just need these 3 units… We do have personal
protective equipment that we wear; we would wear a lab coat and gloves. There’s a lot of standing, we are usually on our feet. Certain jobs do have a
little bit of sitting time, but it’s a very fast-paced
environment typically, so you do walk around, move around a lot. To be a good
medical lab assistant, you do need to be able to work step by step with a team or individually. You do need to have a basic understanding
of anatomy and medical terminology, as well as basic lab
safety procedures. You also need a good
understanding of math and basic computer skills. You need to have a
very good sense of time management. A lot of products need to be stored at certain temperatures by certain times from when they’re collected. You also have to be very organized as a
medical lab assistant because we work
with so many different products, and they
all have to be organized accordingly. (beeping sound) To enjoy working as a
medical lab assistant, you should like working step-by-step, with a team or individually, and you should
just take pride in helping patients. Yeah, June is going
to be busy… I took a medical lab
assistant course, which gives you a certificate after about 10 months. You could get certified through the Canadian Society
of Medical Lab Sciences; however, it is not necessary and a lot of jobs will
train you on site. If someone was interested in pursuing an occupation as a
medical lab assistant, I would tell them to get started as
soon as possible because it is very fulfilling, and the career aspects of it are just amazing; the benefits, the very fair pay, I think it’s a great idea. — Music — Medical laboratory assistants play an important role in
the health care process. By collecting and processing specimens or samples, they help physicians
diagnose diseases. That’s why you need a thorough understanding
of lab procedures, together with a
step-by-step approach to your work. Why not put this occupation under a microscope, and learn about
educational requirements and salary ranges, in the occupational profile on the alis website. While you’re there, check out related occupations, like biological technician and healthcare aide. Explore the possibilities! Go to alis.alberta.ca — Music —

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