Medical Laboratory Technician

Post-Secondary Programs
Credential Earned: Ontario College Certificate (1 Year)
Campus: Timmins
Program Length: 3 Semesters

Program Codes
H150 (PC) – Timmins Campus

Northern’s Medical Laboratory Technician diploma will set you up with the knowledge and expertise you need to work alongside other laboratory professionals. Along with an overview of applied anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and chemistry, you’ll learn specimen collection and processing. You’ll master the various tests and equipment. You’ll develop the professional bedside manner that’s so critical for close patient contact.

Using simulation in our medical lab, you’ll get all the practice you need. Plus, you’ll get experience at various local laboratories as part of your placement. It all adds up to a smooth transition to the workplace, and a rewarding career in a hospital, research lab, private or public clinic, and beyond.

The Medical Laboratory Technician program provides students with the knowledge and skills to enable them to work in a medical laboratory. Students will receive education and training in specimen collection and processing, the administration of ECG’s, set up of Holter monitors, and the use of laboratory equipment while developing the professional attitude and demeanor needed for close patient contact.

Students should be aware that working in a Medical Lab setting will result in exposure to potentially challenging environments, such as patient contact/trauma, mental health issues and challenging family dynamics in an emergency setting. Graduates must be capable of managing this work-related stress as part of their daily duties.

Students will have the opportunity to perform a variety of lab functions both within the simulated on site medical laboratory and during clinical practicums within both community and hospital laboratories.

Upon successful completion of all courses outlined in the program of study, students are eligible to write the Examination for Medical Laboratory Assistant/Technician with the MLPAO.

This program is currently applying to Accreditation Canada/Equal to pursue accreditation status. Equal is Accreditation Canada’s specialized health professional education accreditation program that helps health professions and their higher education institutions and programs deliver quality education to the future workforce.  For more information on how this process relates to your future working as a Medical Laboratory Technician, please contact the Program Coordinator, Violet Jewitt at jewittv@northern.on.ca.

Contact Information

For questions about being admitted into the program, please contact Northern College Admissions at admissions@northern.on.ca or by phone at 705-235-3211 ext. 7222.

For questions about the content of the program, contact the Program Coordinator.

Daryl Corriveau
Program Coordinator
Email: corriveaud@northern.on.ca

Student Success & The Northern Experience

Our Medical Laboratory Technician diploma will set you up with the knowledge and expertise you need to take charge of the lab. Along with an overview of applied anatomy, physiology, microbiology and chemistry, you’ll learn specimen collection and processing.

With comprehensive simulations in our state-of-the-art medical lab and through placements at various local laboratories, you’ll master the various tests and equipment used to measure vital signs.

Does this program sound like a good fit for you?

Connect with us to learn more.

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Course Information

Course descriptions can be found below.

Please note, course information is based on our current offering and is subject to change. Current students can find more information on courses in their student account.

If you have questions or require program information for previous academic years, please contact the Program Coordinator.

More information can be found in the Program Outline [PDF, 184 KB]. Program Outlines can also be found in the archives.

Program Outline [PDF, 184 KB]

2024-2025 Academic Year

Semester 1

In this course, students will learn essential skills for success in college and the workplace. This course focuses on developing and strengthening oral and written communication skills, and critical thinking ability. During this course, students will engage in a variety of forms of communication with a focus on upholding the principles of academic integrity. Students will develop the skills necessary to create discipline-specific documents, practice business etiquette and professionalism, and apply critical thinking strategies to practical scenarios. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to plan and draft concise, coherent and well-organized writing assignments that are tailored to specific audiences and purposes. 

42 Hours

This course will introduce students to the proper techniques for the collection of blood, and body fluid specimens. . Students will be introduced to the processing of specimens for the various tests and the importance of storage to ensure valid test results. Students will be introduced and utilize standard precautions in handling biological specimens. This course will provide students with opportunities to perform ECGs and set-up Holter monitors. An exciting aspect of this course is the focus on the theoretical knowledge and skills needed to interact with patients in the collection of specimens. Legal and ethical issues pertaining to specimen collection and processing will be explored and discussed.

28 Hours

This course provides students with an introduction to the concept of safety in the laboratory environment for patients, co-workers, and medical laboratory technicians. General safety measures, employee safety and occupational health and safety issues are explored in this course. In addition, the topics of basic specimen handling, storage, shipping and disposal of biological hazards, blood borne pathogens and drug samples in accordance with current government legislation and regulations and institutional policies is examined. Emergency response plans are reviewed and discussed. The discussion of use, care and maintenance of common laboratory equipment provides for hands-on experience and application of theory.

42 Hours

This course will introduce students to the proper techniques for the collection of blood, urine and fecal specimens. Students will be introduced to the processing of specimens for the various tests and the importance of storage to ensure valid test results. Students will be introduced and utilize standard precautions in handling biological specimens. This course will provide students with opportunities to perform ECGs and set-up Holter monitors. An exciting aspect of this course is the focus on the theoretical knowledge and skills needed to interact with patients in the collection of specimens. Legal and ethical issues pertaining to specimen collection and processing will be explored and discussed.

28 Hours

This course will assist the student to increase his/her foundational knowledge of the normal structure and functions of the major organ systems. This course will also assist the student to identify the common pathologies of the various organ systems and familiarize him/her to the relevant tests utilized for proper diagnosis. In addition, the student will gain an appreciation for the physical and biochemical changes from early childhood to the senior years.

42 Hours

This course will assist the student in gaining familiarity with the use of a coherent system of measurement units vital to precise clinical laboratory analyses. Students will be introduced to statistical calculations and quality control methods. In addition, students will be able to perform mathematical calculations relating to the clinical laboratory techniques. Students will be able to develop computer literacy skills and beginning competency in data entry and laboratory information systems.

56 Hours

This course will enable students to deepen their understanding of chemistry through the study of atomic and molecular structure, chemical systems and equilibrium, electrochemistry, energy changes and rates of reactions, states of matter, solutions, and gases. These topics will have a strong health science emphasis and will provide students with a chemistry perspective of health and the human body.

56 Hours

Semester 2

Improving your knowledge and understanding of the history of the Indigenous peoples of what we now call Canada is an important step to enable Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, organizations, and communities to work together more respectfully. Throughout this course you will have the opportunity to learn, discuss and reflect about many topics that are relevant in the learning journey towards reconciliation.

42 Hours

This course will assist students in the application of proper techniques for the collection of blood, urine and fecal specimens. Students will develop skills in processing specimens for the various tests and the importance of storage to ensure valid test results. Students will learn to use standard precautions in handling biological specimens. This course will provide students with opportunities to perform ECGs and set up Holter monitors. An exciting aspect of this course is the focus on the theoretical knowledge and skills needed to interact with patients in the collection of specimens. Legal and ethical issues pertaining to specimen collection and processing will be explored and discussed.

28 Hours

This course will assist students to understand the specimen requirements for all routine clinical chemistry tests. It will provide students with the clinical laboratory practice to setup/load both automated and manual instrumentation including QC samples for initial analysis. Students will gain an understanding of the normal ranges for all routine chemistry tests, recognize variant results and report relevant information.

56 Hours

This course will introduce students to the proper techniques for the collection of blood, urine and fecal specimens. Students will be introduced to the processing of specimens for the various tests and the importance of storage to ensure valid test results. Students will be introduced and utilize standard precautions in handling biological specimens. This course will provide students with opportunities to perform ECGs and set-up Holter monitors. An exciting aspect of this course is the focus on the theoretical knowledge and skills needed to interact with patients in the collection of specimens. Legal and ethical issues pertaining to specimen collection and processing will be explored and discussed.

28 Hours

This course will introduce students to the formed elements of blood, and the routine tests in hematology and blood bank departments. Students will learn the underlying principles, use and care of equipment found in the hematology and Transfusion Medicine departments. Students will learn how to prepare and stain a peripheral blood film and examine it for proper staining.

56 Hours

This course will assist students in understanding the major classes of micro-organisms. Students will learn about common media used in a microbiology laboratory including preparation, autoclaving and dispensing. Students will learn to how to handle specimens using aseptic technique. They will learn to inoculate specimens using the proper media and incubation conditions. Students will be able to perform common stain techniques and examine them for proper staining. Students will learn the different specimen types, collection for submission for testing and basic techniques in the Histology and Cytology Departments.

56 Hours

This course will introduce students to the organization and structure of the clinical laboratory and the movement of specimens from collection to analysis and storage. Students will gain an understanding of the complexity of laboratory systems that encompass the receipt, organization, prioritization and transmission of information. Students will learn strategies for effective time management and priority setting. Students will be introduced to the various components of a quality assurance program within a medical laboratory.

56 Hours

Semester 3

This course will provide students with an opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge in a clinical practice setting under the direction of a medical laboratory technician. The focus of this course is to allow for easy transition into the workplace environment. Students will be given the opportunity to become proficient at specimen collection and handling and be able to function as an effective member of a medical laboratory team.

37.5 Hours

Career Ready Graduates

Articulation Agreements

A number of articulation agreements have been negotiated with universities and other institutions across Canada, North America and internationally. These agreements are assessed, revised and updated on a regular basis. Please contact the program coordinator for specific details if you are interested in pursuing such an option.

  1. Utilize health and safety measures to protect the environment and ensure the safety of patients, co-workers, and self.
  2. Communicate laboratory and other data in written, electronic and verbal formats, accurately and completely.
  3. Prepare a variety of laboratory solutions and media accurately and appropriately.
  4. Demonstrate the safe and appropriate collection, and handling of specimens.
  5. Perform a variety of laboratory tests using correct techniques.
  6. Demonstrate the safe and appropriate use and care of specialized equipment within medical laboratory.
  7. Prepare laboratory specimens to level of diagnostic quality.
  8. Demonstrate proper technique in performing a venipuncture, a capillary stick and an arterial blood gas puncture to ensure a quality specimen.
  9. Demonstrate competency in data entry/retrieval within laboratory information systems.
  10. Perform laboratory duties within the scope of practice outlined in the RHPA, in compliance with current legislation, regulations, Standard and best practice guidelines.
  11. Demonstrate effective communication on a personal and professional level.

Career Opportunities

Employment opportunities exist with hospitals, private/public health laboratories, clinics, veterinary laboratories, research labs and commercial diagnostic supply companies.

Upon successful completion of all courses outlined in the program of study, students are eligible to write the Examination for Medical Laboratory Assistant/Technician with the MLPAO.

Admissions Information & Requirements

Program Specific Requirements

Medical Laboratory Technician Clinical Requirements [PDF, 3.18 MB]

 

Admission Requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)
  • Grade 12 English (C,U)
  • Grade 11 Math (C, M or U)
  • Grade 11 or 12 Biology (C or U)
  • Grade 11 or 12 Chemistry (C or U)

Or equivalent

Computer proficiency in Microsoft Office (word processing, spreadsheets), web search engines and e-mail systems.

Successful completion of Northern’s two-semester Pre-Health Sciences program will also serve to meet the admission requirements for the Medical Laboratory Technician program. Northern College does not offer testing for the science equivalencies.

 

Academic prerequisites for this program may be obtained free of charge through Academic Upgrading.

Applicants who do not have a high school diploma or equivalent and will have reached the age of 19 years on or before the start of the program must undergo academic testing and may be required to complete Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR) process to demonstrate equivalency of admission requirements prior to admission into a program.

For more details, please contact the Admissions Office at 705-235-7222 or admissions@northern.on.ca.

Additional Requirements for International Students

In addition to the admission requirements, international students must have proof of English Proficiency and meet the requirements below.

1. Proof of Senior High School Diploma/Certificate with 50% in each equivalents for Mathematics, Chemistry and Biology.

2. English Proficiency (we will require one of the following):

  • IELTS Academic (International English Language Testing System – minimum overall score of 6.5 must be achieved, with no individual band score under 6.0.
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) – Internet Based Test (iBT) overall minimum score of 88+
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English) Academic 60+

If your country of citizenship has English as its official language, we may accept alternate proof of English Proficiency.

All educational documents must be submitted in English and will be dependent on the country of citizenship.

For more information, please contact admissions@northern.on.ca.

Additional Information

Students must successfully complete and pass all courses in both semesters in order to enter semester 3.

 

Applicant Selection Criteria

Where the number of eligible applicants exceeds the available spaces in the program, the Applicant Selection Criteria will be:

  • Preference for permanent residents of Ontario
  • Receipt of Application by February 1st
  • Achievement in the Required Academic Preparation

 

Required Documentation

  • Current Basic Cardiac Life Support (CPR – HP content). Standard First Aid Certificate (or equivalent)
  • Physician’s medical report as per guide supplied by the College Immunization record including Hepatitis B; two step Mantoux (with follow up chest x-ray if the test is positive)
  • Employers who provide clinical placement settings require a criminal record check for criminal offenses before accepting a student into the clinical setting
  • A recent criminal/vulnerable sector record check (within 3 months of start of semester) is required prior to the start of the third semester.
  • CPR re-certification, criminal reference checks and immunization updates are required annually. Any costs for these tests/certifications will be the responsibility of the student.
  • To be eligible for participation in clinical training, students must not have been convicted of any criminal offence for which that person has not been pardoned. An unpardoned criminal record will result in an inability to participate in clinical placements and field internship courses and will prevent the student from graduating.

 

Clinical & Fieldwork Requirements

In the final 5 weeks of the program, students will be placed in a clinical laboratory where you will function, under supervision, as a member of the clinical laboratory team. Northern is partnered with a number of public laboratories across Ontario that will provide excellent clinical training to Northern’s Medical Laboratory Assistant/Technician students.

Clinical partner sites are subject to change; therefore, specific geographic regions may not be available at the time of your placement and other regions may be added.

Please note that when you accept a seat in the program, you also accept to go to any of the program’s affiliated clinical sites available at the time of your placement. The placement will be delivered at an accredited hospital or lab in Ontario that is an approved clinical partner of Northern College.

Please note that all related clinical placement expenses such as travel, parking, and accommodation are the responsibility of the student. Mask fit will be provided by Northern College prior to clinical placement.

 

Examination for Laboratory Technicians

Upon successful completion of all courses outlined in the program of study, students are eligible to write the Examination for Laboratory Technicians as set out by the Medical Laboratory Professionals’ Association of Ontario (MLPAO) and/or. Canadian Society of Medical Science (CSMLS) At the time of publishing, the application fee for MLPAO exam is $210.00 and for CSMLS exam $215.00.

Tuition, Fees & Payments

Tuition and fees are typically updated yearly for the upcoming Academic Year in May.

Current amount may be based on last years amounts and are subject to change. Ancillary fees vary by campus and program.

If the tuition and fee information for international students does not appear on this page, visit northerncollege.ca/international/tuition to see amounts for general programs.

Please refer to your Student Account for the most up-to-date information.

Student Year Campus Program Code Tuition Ancillary Fees Total Fees
StudentDomesticYear1CampusTimmins - PCProgram CodeH150Tuition $4,080.84 Ancillary Fees $985.50 Total $5,066.34
StudentInternationalYear1CampusTimmins - PCProgram CodeH150Tuition $19,389.74 Ancillary Fees $1,598.00 Total $20,987.74
Tuition & Payment Information

Find Your True North.

At Northern College, you’re a part of a community.

From your teachers to support staff and administrators, we are all here to help you get an education and make some lasting connections along the way.

Your success is incredibly important to you, so we provide student supports to help you achieve your goals. From study assistance and accessibility services to mental health supports and financial aid, we’ve got you covered.

Each of Northern’s campuses boasts exercise facilities, a gym, cafeteria, study areas and a library – places that you can go to help keep you focused as you work your way through your studies. The communities we call home are incredible places, filled with amazing people and things to do.

Student Supports & ServicesTimmins Campus

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Does Northern College sound like a good fit for you?

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