This rewarding career allows conscientious individuals to work in a large variety of laboratories encompassing five major medical specialties:
- Hematology and hemostasis: the study of blood and blood coagulation
- Clinical biochemistry: the study of body fluid chemistry
- Histology: the study of body tissues
- Clinical microbiology: the study of microorganisms
- Transfusion science: the study of blood transfusions.
Students are also trained in emerging areas that are growing in importance, such as molecular biology (DNA technologies) and immunology.
The training that technologists receive prepares them to:
- Use highly specialized instruments and techniques to analyze body tissues and fluids and identify microorganisms
- Help with patient diagnosis and with research into medical conditions and treatments
- Work as part of a team
- Procure laboratory specimens and communicate effectively with patients
- Work in many different venues, including clinical, research and pharmaceutical settings
First and second year students:
- Acquire theoretical knowledge of all six major medical specialties in the classroom components of their courses
- Develop and practice their laboratory skills in the laboratory components of their courses
- Second year students are allowed to work in hospital clinical laboratories during the summer and Christmas holiday period as “externs”. Students must have completed all courses in the first and second year and must be a student member of the OPTMQ.
Third year students:
- Continue with on-the-job training during a 26 week internship in which they rotate through the major clinical laboratories in accredited hospitals.
Graduates are eligible to:
- Become nationally certified, upon successfully passing the certification examinations of the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS).
- Join the Ordre Professionnel des Technologistes Médicaux du Québec (OPTMQ).
- Obtain American certification, upon successfully passing the exams for the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP) or the National Certification Agency (NCA) for Medical Laboratory Personnel.
Check out a list of potential employers of medical technologists.