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Program delivery update

To ensure we can safely offer the high-quality learning you expect, we've changed how many of our programs are delivered. Please view this program's delivery option(s) under "locations & availability". Learn more about how programs will be offered

Medical Laboratory Technology

Start date change: This program has been deferred to a later date to ensure it can be safely delivered under public health guidelines. Please view new start dates under "locations and availability".

Program Image
Start Date:
January
Typical Length:
3 Years
Credential:
Diploma

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Overview

As part of the healthcare team, Medical Laboratory Technologists (MLT) perform laboratory testing and investigations related to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease in a wide variety of specimens, including blood, body fluids and tissues.

Medical Laboratory Technologists are scientific fact finders who:

  • operate a variety of complicated instrumentation
  • prepare tissues
  • study cells and micro-organisms under the microscope
  • analyze the composition of body fluids and secretions

In addition to their technical skills, Medical Laboratory Technologists require the ability to:

  • work both alone and as part of a team
  • manage time wisely and communicate clearly
  • exercise close attention to detail

Clinical placement

  • You participate in work placements within the Nova Scotia Health Authority and the IWK Health Centre.
  • Clinical placements are mandatory credit courses offered throughout the duration of your program. They provide you with the opportunity to integrate theory with practice and understand the everyday challenges of a work environment.
  • Opportunities are typically unpaid.
  • Students are required to complete clinical placements throughout the province.
  • Some evening, weekend and/or holiday shifts may be required.
    • Transportation, living accommodations and other costs related to work placements are the responsibility of the student.
  • During clinical placements, the theory component of the program will be delivered through Online Learning.
  • For more information visit Work Experience Opportunities.

Choose NSCC

  • The MLT program has been accredited by Accreditation Canada.
  • Graduates who have successfully completed the MLT program are eligible to challenge the national certification exam for Medical Laboratory Technologist (MLT)
  • The MLT program has been recognized by the Canadian Armed Forces and now qualifies for a Canadian Armed Forces Paid Education program. Students who graduate from the program may receive advanced standing as a Medical Laboratory Technologist in the Canadian Armed Forces (subject to successful enrolment in the Canadian Armed Forces).
  • Develop skills to meet a growing need in the medical industry.
  • Small class sizes provide the support and attention you need to succeed.
  • Hands-on learning and work terms in real medical environments provide the experience employers look for on a résumé.
  • Continue your studies at university – This program includes courses that count towards a university degree. Find out more

Other info

  • After successful completion of the first year of study of the MLT program, you meet the competency requirements for the Medical Laboratory Assistant (MLA) role and are eligible to challenge the national certification exam for MLA.
  • The nature of medical laboratory work requires healthy skin and general good health.
  • Students with colour blindness should discuss this condition with their physician before pursuing a career in medical laboratory science. The ability to clearly differentiate colours is essential for working in clinical laboratories.

January 2021

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Ivany Campus/Online Dartmouth Full time BlendedBlended
Complete your program through courses that combine online (scheduled), and on-campus learning.
Waitlist This program location has a multi-year waitlist. Contact Admissions for more information.

Admission requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent, including:
    • A minimum mark of 70% in Grade 12 Academic Biology, English and Math.
    • A minimum mark of 80% in Grade 12 Academic Chemistry.
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details
  • If you do not have the required academic credits, NSCC offers a variety of credit courses through the Academic & Career Connections program.

Program requirements

  • A current, official Criminal Record check and Vulnerable Sector check are required to complete work placements in this program. A conviction may impact your ability to complete program requirements. Inability to obtain a work placement will impact the student's ability to complete program requirements and proceed through to graduation. Information on this process is provided at the beginning of your program.
  • Health and Human Services programs have additional requirements including immunizations and completion of Standard First Aid, CPR Level C. You must submit documentation that you have completed these requirements at the beginning of your program. View additional Health and Human Services program requirements.
    • Receiving immunizations may take up to 10 months to complete. Failure to complete immunizations can result in a delayed work placement.

Tuition

Tuition is valid for the 2020-21 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
$3,515
Tuition (International):
$11,350

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • Medical Laboratory Technologists are one of the largest groups of healthcare professionals in Canada. Due to a national shortage of qualified technologists, the outlook for employment opportunities is positive.
  • Graduates who have successfully completed the national certification exam are qualified to apply for licensing with the Nova Scotia College of Medical Laboratory Technologists. Once they become licensed, they are eligible to work in any medical laboratory in the province.
  • Medical lab graduates also have several other employment options, such as research and pharmaceutical labs, sales, technical support and education.
  • Medical laboratory services are generally required on a 24-hour basis. As a result, most positions in medical labs require shift work (evenings, nights, weekends and holidays).

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

ANAP 1004 - Anatomy and Physiology for Med Lab Tech
This course provides an overview of the sciences of anatomy and physiology. Knowledge of the basic structure and functions of the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems is essential for a variety of Health and Human Service programs. The integration of these systems will be discussed.

MLTD 1010 - Introduction to Laboratory Quality
In this seminar-based course, basic quality concepts including quality assurance, quality control assessment, Wesgard multirules, and basic statistical concepts will be defined and applied to ensure students understand the foundational role of quality in ensuring accurate laboratory results.

MLTD 1013 - Introduction to Microbiology
The students will be introduced to clinical microbiology and media preparation concepts, techniques and theory including bacterial cell structure, physiology, metabolism, and genetics. Through laboratory sessions the students will learn principles of sterilization, sterile technique, and quality control of media. Laboratory sessions will include the basic skills to culture selected clinical specimens, isolate bacteria, stained smears, record colonial morphology, and perform preliminary identification techniques. The students will apply the principles of safe practice.

MLTD 1015 - Medical Laboratory Techniques
Students will learn the theory and skill required to perform basic procedures in a laboratory. The course includes laboratory safety, infection control practices, glassware, balances, pipettes, centrifuges, microscopes and reagent preparation with related calculations. The students will explore the concepts of safe and professional practices for Medical Laboratory Professionals. The students will learn about the different types of potential hazards associated with working in a clinical laboratory environment and how to protect themselves and others around them.

MLTD 1016 - Professional Practice I
This course uses an experiential and self-reflective approach to help students develop self-awareness and understanding of how one’s own interpersonal style affects others. The student will have the opportunity to develop the skills required to communicate clearly and professionally using a variety of communication mediums to patients, clients, colleagues, students and other health care professionals. Emphasis will be placed on cultural uniqueness and diversity, empathy, courtesy while maintaining good relationships with others in a work environment and when working as part of a team. Students will prepare and deliver oral presentations and will have an introduction to Portfolio Learning .

MLTD 1017 - Specimen Procurement
This course focuses on the collection, receipt and pre-analytical processing of clinical laboratory specimens including urines. Activities will include specimen collection by venipuncture and capillary puncture. After learning the techniques on a simulated arm, students will collect specimens from one another to further develop their skill-set.

MLTD 1024 - Introduction to Core
In this course students will be introduced to core medical laboratory concepts through theory and practice of clinical chemistry and hematology core lab practices. Manual and automated testing, using various foundational hematology and clinical chemistry methodologies/techniques will be performed. Application of quality practices will be emphasized.

MLTD 1025 - Introduction to Transfusion Medicine
This course will introduce students to basic transfusion medicine practice and related immunology concepts. A comparison of the natural and adaptive immune systems and their respective cellular and humoral components including the complement system will be discussed. Patterns of inheritance (genetics) of ABO and Rh blood group systems is described and related serological testing will be performed in the laboratory component of the course.

MLTD 1026 - Professional Practice II
Students will explore the concepts related to professional responsibilities in medical laboratory practice within the Canadian Healthcare System. They will learn about concepts such as legal aspects of safe practice, client-centred services, inter-professional education and professional standards. The student will be introduced to the certification and licensing bodies for medical laboratory employees.

MLTD 1050 - Clinical Practicum I
During this Clinical Practicum, students will develop competence in phlebotomy procedures, core lab processing, including the loading of samples onto automated and semiautomated analyzers, Histotechnology accessioning and processing, and Microbiology accessioning and processing.

MLTD 1069 - Introduction to Histotechnology
This course consists of the introduction to the human micro-anatomical structure and function of the basic tissue types and organ systems. Students will be preparing specimens for Histotechnology and Cytology procedures including processing surgical and autopsy tissue specimens through fixation, paraffin processing and routine staining.

MLTD 2013 - Clinical Microbiology I
The course continues to build on the knowledge and competence in the discipline of clinical microbiology. Clinically relevant bacteria are studied, with an emphasis on the ability to isolate, identify and do susceptibility testing on common pathogens, from simulated clinical specimens, using appropriate media. Performance and assessment of quality control procedures will be performed.

MLTD 2019 - Histotechnology I
This lab-based course consists of processing surgical and autopsy specimens and builds on skill-sets learned in Introduction to Histotechnology/Cytology. It includes activities such as tissue fixation, embedding, sectioning and processing tissue requiring special procedures and microscopic review of tissue components.

MLTD 2023 - Clinical Microbiology II
The course continues to build on the knowledge and competence in the discipline of clinical microbiology. Clinically relevant bacteria are further studied, with an emphasis on the ability to isolate, identify and do susceptibility testing on common pathogens, from simulated clinical specimens, using appropriate media. Performance and assessment of quality control procedures will be performed.

MLTD 2024 - Quality Systems
This course builds on concepts introduced the Introduction to Laboratory Quality and in discipline-specific courses in previous semesters. Students will study Quality Management Systems and the relationship of these quality practices to clinical laboratory safety. We will discuss how quality and patient safety interact as the cornerstones of clinical laboratory practice.

MLTD 2026 - Transfusion Medicine I
This course continues to build on foundational transfusion medicine concepts learned in the introductory course. Other major blood group systems are covered as well as related phenotype testing and genotype predictions. Basic antibody detection and identification procedures are studied and correlation of theory with the laboratory techniques occurs. An introduction to the Canadian Blood system, blood and blood products.

MLTD 2027 - Clinical Chemistry II
In this course students will build on their clinical chemistry knowledge by learning to perform testing and evaluate results to identify liver, cardiac, digestive, protein and lipid disorders. Testing methodologies will include light measuring and immunoassay methods.

MLTD 2028 - Hematology II
This course is a study of peripheral blood and body fluids with a focus on white blood cell abnormalities encountered in a hematology lab. The students will apply their previous learned skills by microscopically evaluating blood cells, correlating their findings with automated hematology CBC analyzers reports, and demonstrate good quality practices while performing a variety of hematology tests.

MLTD 2050 - Clinical Practicum II
This clinical practicum provides the student with the opportunity to practice skills in routine Clinical Chemistry, Hematology and Histotechnology. They will spend 2 weeks in each discipline.

MLTD 2067 - Clinical Chemistry I
In this course students will receive further instruction in the utilization of laboratory procedures, equipment and instrumentation to produce accurate, precise test results within established quality control parameters. They will learn to use automated instruments to perform testing on specimens for routine analytes used to evaluate acid-base balance, water and electrolyte balance, carbohydrate, mineral and bone metabolism, and renal function.

MLTD 2068 - Hematology I
This course expands on previous hematology concepts learned in Core lab. Hematology theory and coagulation concepts will be discussed throughout the course with the opportunity for the students to apply their knowledge in a laboratory settling. Students will learn to evaluate normal and abnormal blood cells, with a focus on red blood cell abnormalities, perform a variety of manual tests, and operate automated laboratory equipment, including blood and coagulation analyzers. Students will learn to interpret laboratory data from a variety of tests to aid in the clinical diagnosis of hematology and coagulation diseases.

MLTD 3013 - Clinical Microbiology III
The course continues to build on the knowledge and competence in the discipline of clinical microbiology. Clinically relevant bacteria, parthenogenesis and manifestations of disease within urinary, genital, gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts, blood stream, central nervous system, joints and soft tissues will be covered. Appropriate antimicrobial susceptibility testing and mechanisms of resistance are included.

MLTD 3016 - Transfusion Medicine II
This course continues to develop the student’s Transfusion Medicine skill set. Students will have opportunities to practice basic techniques and perform complex forms of testing including pre-transfusion testing. Identification of irregular antibodies, complex patient presentation, adverse reactions to transfusions and hemolytic disease of the newborn will be covered, as well as autoimmune conditions, complex clinical case studies and transfusion therapy.

MLTD 3017 - Clinical Chemistry III
In this course students will enhance their knowledge of clinical chemistry by focusing on the production of accurate, precise results to evaluate acid-base and hormone imbalances, tumour markers, therapeutic drug monitoring and toxicology. Testing methodologies will include light measuring, electrochemistry, immunoassay, chromatography and mass spectrometry.

MLTD 3019 - Histotechnology II
This lab-based course includes the performance and interpretation of biological staining procedures such as methods for connective tissue, carbohydrates, microbiological specimens, pigments, leukocyte enzymes, silver impregnation and immunohistochemical markers.

MLTD 3024 - Specialized Diagnostics
This course will provide the student with an introduction to specialized diagnostics and techniques in the clinical laboratory. The student will learn about the expanding application of molecular techniques in clinical laboratories and will have the opportunity to develop skills in basic molecular techniques. Principles, interpretation of results and opportunities to analyze the interdependences of specialized diagnostic tests will be provided.

MLTD 3033 - Clinical Microbiology Practicum
This practicum is spent in the clinical laboratory where students will have the opportunity to continue to build on the skills learned in their previous training in Clinical Microbiology. They will set up, identify and report cultures set up from the various body sites. The students will also have further opportunities to build on concepts of laboratory safety, professionalism, patient relationships and communication.

MLTD 3035 - Transfusion Medicine Practicum
This practicum is spent in the clinical laboratory where students will have the opportunity to continue to build on the skills learned in the classroom and laboratory sessions. They will gain experience in grouping and Rh typing of blood specimens and will perform compatibility testing, antibody investigation and other special topics. Students will also have further opportunities to build on concepts of laboratory safety, quality processes, professionalism, patient relationships and communication.

MLTD 3037 - Clinical Chemistry Practicum
This practicum is spent in the clinical laboratory where students will have the opportunity to continue to build on the skills learned in their previous training in clinical chemistry. They will rotate though routine and specialized sections where they will perform analyses for hormones, tumour markers, therapeutic drugs, drugs of abuse, acid base balance and oxygenation status. Students will have further opportunities to build on the concepts of laboratory safety, quality, professionalism, patient relationships and communication.

MLTD 3038 - Hematology Practicum
This practicum is spent in the clinical laboratory where students will have the opportunity to continue to build on the skills learned in their previous training in Hematology. They will gain experience in coagulation studies, practice reading differentials, operating hematology CBC analyzers and perform other Hematology tests as required in the laboratory setting. Students will also have further opportunities to build on concepts of laboratory safety, quality processes, professionalism, patient relationships and communication.

MLTD 3039 - Histotechnology Practicum
This practicum is spent in the clinical laboratory where students will have the opportunity to continue to build on the skills learned in their previous training in Histotechnology. They will gain experience in processing, fixing, embedding and cutting tissue as well as cutting tissue blocks and preparing the tissue slides for staining. The focus of this practicum will be on staining procedures, using a variety of special stains. Students will also have further opportunities to build on concepts of laboratory safety, professionalism, patient relationships and communication.

MLTD 3050 - Interdisciplinary Simulation
This practicum will be provided at the NSCC and provide an opportunity for students to continue to build on the skills learned in their previous practicums. The simulation will incorporate all disciplines and roles within a clinical laboratory and be led by faculty and supported by program assistants. Students will also have opportunities to build on concepts of laboratory safety, quality processes, professionalism, patient relationships and communication. During the 4-week simulation, opportunity for assessment and evaluation will be provided. The final week will be a review week in preparation for the CSMLS National Exam.

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