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Careers: Medical Laboratory Assistant

Overview

Medical laboratory assistants help doctors and other members of medical teams with various tasks relating to patient testing. These professionals are detail-oriented and have a respect for occupational protocol. Thorough and careful, medical lab assistants provide essential services such as collecting blood samples, which may prove instrumental in both the diagnosis and treatment doctors will recommend to their patients. They frequently work in hospitals but may also find positions in clinics, research laboratories (both government-run and private) and in post-secondary educational institutions.

Medical Laboratory Assistant Job Description

Regardless of what type of environment they work in, medical laboratory assistants must possess knowledge of anatomy, physiology and follow proper storage and safety techniques. They must also have excellent interpersonal skills as a substantial part of their role involves communication with both doctors and patients. Some of the typical responsibilities of a medical laboratory assistant include:

• Blood sample collection from patients
• Instructing patients on how to collect samples of various bodily fluids on their own
• Secure and safe storage of various patient specimens
• Preparation of samples for testing
• Cleaning and maintenance of medical laboratory equipment
• Effectively working as part of a team

Medical Laboratory Assistant Projected Demand

Demand for new medical laboratory assistants is projected to slightly increase over the next few years due to retirement and promotion within the field. The average salary for medical laboratory assistants in Canada is $15.65 an hour with higher pay going to candidates whose skillset includes knowledge of Phlebotomy (the process of inserting a needle into a blood vessel in order to extract blood from the vein).