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Main Programs and Courses Health Care Programs Medical Laboratory Assistant

Medical Laboratory Assistant

Please check with the campus of your choice for program availability.

Medical laboratory assistants are responsible for data entry, collecting blood, urine, and specimen samples in laboratory environments.


With a combination of medical and administration skills, medical lab assistants may be employed in private diagnostic testing laboratories, public health laboratories, physician’s offices, and more.


Medical Lab Assistant Courses


Vancouver Career College’s Medical Laboratory Assistant diploma program covers extensive knowledge of hematology, cardiovascular systems and ECG, urinalysis and body fluids, and the fundamentals of cytology and histology in a variety of hands-on courses.


Your practical training will be completed in fully-equipped classrooms and laboratory settings.


Real-World Experience


Complete your diploma in 36 weeks and gain real-world experience during a six-week practicum before you graduate. Practice your skills in urine and glucose analysis and perform diagnostic tests for diabetes and hypoglycemia among other activities.


Admission Requirements

  • High school graduation or equivalent* OR mature student status
  • English 11
  • Keyboarding 40 wpm

*From an English language teaching institution.
**19 years of age upon starting classes, and pass college’s admissions test.

Administrative Admission Requirements

  • Interview with campus director, program coordinator, or designate.


The British Columbia Society of Laboratory Science (BCSLS) has established standards for the training of Medical Laboratory Assistants. The CDI College Medical Laboratory Assistant program is approved by the British Columbia Society of Laboratory Science. Graduates of BCSLS approved programs can apply for BCSLS certification after graduation

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

This program is 36 weeks in length.
  • Private Diagnostic Testing Laboratory     
  • Public Health Laboratory     
  • Hospital Laboratory     
  • Quality Control Laboratory   
  • Physician’s Office or Clinic

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

Hear from a Medical Laboratory Assistant grad

Nicole Roy talks about the hands-on training she received at Vancouver Career College.

Program Courses
SSS4 / Student Success Strategies

The purpose of this course is to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and study techniques to help foster effective learning and a positive educational experience. This course explores many different theories on learning and studying and how these theories can be applied to each student’s individual studying methods in order to develop a method that is both effective and efficient. Effective study habits and productive note-taking are key topics in this course, as well as the importance of values and goals. Through active participation in learner-centred activities, students will explore and practice strategies for setting personal goals, prioritizing tasks, managing time, and managing the stress that arises in school or work situations. This course will also equip students with a sound understanding of matters related to finance, credit, and debt and the critical implications they have on our lives. Students taking this course will complete the Enriched Academy program, which provides comprehensive coverage of financial and money management skills that will allow them to better save, budget, and manage their money and financial situations.

ITC4 / Introduction to Computers
This course is a broad-based introduction to using a personal computer. It teaches the fundamentals of an operating system and the most popular application software including word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations. You will also learn about the Internet, Web browsers, electronic mail and antivirus software. The course is based on the Windows 7 operating system, Microsoft office 2013 and a variety of popular software programs for the Internet-related and security-related applications
KBF4 / Keyboarding
This course gives the student an introduction to the fundamentals of keyboarding. This course will help the students reinforce their English language skills and develop their ability to key and compose information, develop the proper keyboarding techniques and skills.The gradual pace of this course will help the students develop both speed and accuracy while applying the proper keyboarding techniques and position. Students will also develop their proofreading techniques and improve their word processing techniques in a windows environment.
FTME / Fundamentals of Terminology
This course will provide the student with the fundamental notions necessary to the understanding of the components of medical terminology. The students will learn the basic anatomical structures of the body and identify commonly used abbreviations in the healthcare field. The emphasis of this course is placed on the proper use of the elements of medical terminology, such as prefixes, suffixes, and root words. Medical terminology is a vast field that cannot be taught completely in one course. This course will serve as a foundation for the continuous learning of medical terminology that will continue throughout the remainder of the program.
ANME / Anatomy, Physiology and Medical Terminology
This course gives the student an overview of the human anatomy and the terminology associated with each body system. Understanding new words becomes easier with the discovery that many of these terms are made up of interchangeable word parts that are used in different combinations. The text used in the course is designed to make the process as simple as possible.
QLME / Quality Assurance and Laboratory Mathematics
This course is designed to provide the students with a solid mathematical foundation for use in the medical laboratory. It includes a basic understanding of mathematics, measurements, dilutions, solutions, graphs, statistics and quality control, as well as specific applications in chemistry, hematology, and urinalysis.
ICLE / Introduction to the Clinical Laboratory
This course will provide the students with the knowledge to be able to apply the proper techniques and processes related to specimen procurement, processing, and data collection. Determine the suitability of a sample for the test requested. Apply the correct specimen procurement and processing techniques related to phlebotomy. Recognize laboratory equipment, instruments, and supplies. Demonstrate the correct usage and handling of laboratory glass and plastic ware. Demonstrate the knowledge of the proper usage of a microscope.
HEME / Hematology
Hematology is a 15-day module, intended to introduce the students to the laboratory procedures involving hematology, coagulation, transfusion medicine, and immunology. Delivery of this module combines classroom teaching, laboratory demonstrations, and practice.
CVSE / Cardiovascular System and ECG
This module is intended to explore the cardiovascular system of the body and electrocardiography. The students will learn about the heart and the circulation of blood through the body and the cardiac cycle and rhythm. The students will learn about the heart's conduction system and how it can be examined through the use of ECG. Students will also learn how to monitor vital signs and recognize the reportable values for the vital signs.
LMBE / Laboratory Microbiology
This course is designed to provide the student with an understanding of how to perform routine procedures to collect specimens and process them in an appropriate way so that the micro-organisms can be cultured and identified. This will assist the physician in treating various infections. The student becomes familiar with the various uses and applications of equipment and culture techniques to grow microorganisms.
UNSE / Urinalysis and Body Fluids
This course will provide the student with the fundamental notions necessary to the understanding of Urinalysis as performed in a routine laboratory or clinic. The students will learn the basic anatomical structures of the renal system and identify the various components. Each aspect of the study of urine in the diagnosis, management, and treatment of various diseases will be understood. As well, the evaluation of various other body fluids will be studied to ensure their understanding of how these other body fluid evaluations can help the physician in their management of their patients.
CHME / Clinical Chemistry
The student will understand the procedures related to clinical chemistry. Explain the proper specimen collection requirements for all routine clinical chemistry tests. State the reportable ranges for routine clinical chemistry tests. The students should be able to demonstrate knowledge of tolerance testing as well as the ability to collect special chemistry test specimens.
CYHE / Fundamentals of Cytology and Histology
This course will provide the student with the fundamental notions necessary to the understanding of the components of Histology and Cytology. The student will use their basic understanding of anatomical structures of the body.
SPEE / Stands of Practice, Ethics, Accreditation Bodies and Legislation
This course will provide the students with the fundamental notions necessary to the understanding of the components of the standards of practice. The students will have knowledge of the standards of practice, ethics, and legislations governing medical laboratory assistants. The emphasis of this course is also placed on laws, regulations, various acts, and the legislative framework that influence the practice of medical technology in your province.
LSAE / Laboratory Safety and Asepsis
The purpose of this course is to provide students with the proper knowledge of workplace safety procedures. Students will learn how to safely and effectively use and maintain laboratory equipment. This course will provide an excellent foundation for the safety protocols students will use in the other Medical Laboratory Assistant courses. It will also establish the necessary training for the MLA within the clinical field. Students will be instructed on the correct waste-disposal techniques, with particular emphasis on bio-hazardous waste.
PRAC126 / Practicum

Students are required to complete a minimum of 120 supervised hours of outside clinical experience. This is a non- payment work experience.

PSK4 / Professional Skills
This course is designed to equip students with interpersonal skills identified by employers as essential for success in the professional world. Using a variety of instructional methods including case studies, group exercises, and discussion, students learn and practice key communication skills.
CES4 / Career and Employment Strategies

This course builds on the skills learned in the Student Success Strategies course or its equivalent. It provides information on how to use the communication skills learned in order to make a successful presentation to a prospective employer. Students also learn how to uncover the hidden job market and identifyemployment opportunities. Self-assessment during this course allows students to identify their personal skills that are transferable to the work place and to describe these skills to a prospective employer. Students may be videotaped during a mock interview and will participate in the analysis of their performance in the “interview”.

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