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Frequently asked questions

Why should I choose UOIT for my Bachelor of Health Science in Medical Laboratory Science degree (MLSc)?

  • UOIT has gained national recognition in health sciences and has earned a solid reputation within the MLSc community.
  • UOIT provides the only direct-entry, honours Medical Laboratory Science degree program in Ontario.
  • The MLSc program prepares students for graduate studies.
  • You will receive a very competitively priced, high-quality education.
  • You will learn through personal interaction with professional staff in a technology- rich environment.
  • You will use state-of-the-art instrumentation in the laboratory and gain a solid understanding of the knowledge, skills and judgment needed for professional practice, laboratory outcomes management, laboratory information systems and laboratory administration.
  • During your 36-week practicum in fourth year you will gain valuable clinical experience in a diagnostic laboratory and you will have the opportunity to demonstrate your skills to potential employers.
  • The practicum also provides you with the opportunity to discover the many facets of the field open to well-prepared practitioners.
  • Practicum sites include a variety of diagnostic laboratory settings across Ontario.

What will I do as a medical laboratory technologist (MLT)?

The MLSc program prepares scientific professionals to perform a vast array of simple to very complex diagnostic tests and to provide therapeutic products. Physicians use these test results and/or therapeutic products to diagnose disease processes, treat the patient and/or monitor treatment. To provide this service, MLTs must rely on technical knowledge and skill, facility with automated and manual equipment, an aptitude for clinical reasoning and solid professional judgment.

How do I know if the MLSc program and diagnostic laboratory profession are for me?

This program and profession will suit you if you:

  • Love science but have an artistic side. There are many technical aspects of practice that rely on the ability to recognize subtlety in colour, size and shape.
  • Love to work with instrumentation.
  • Have a strong interest in being part of a team that provides quality patient care but are not as interested in having continuous patient contact as this is a low-patient-contact profession.
  • Want to make a significant contribution to patient health, are dependable, thrive under pressure, follow detailed instructions well, are detailed-oriented and always committed to finishing what you start.

If the above characteristics describe you, the med lab profession needs you!

What are the career opportunities for an MLT?

MLTs work in:

  • education sector
  • environmental testing facilities
  • hospital laboratories
  • laboratory and patient information management
  • pharmaceutical reagent and instrumentation sales
  • pharmaceutical research laboratories
  • private-sector and public-health diagnostic laboratories.

The program also prepares you to pursue graduate studies in a related field.

Will I be able to find a job when I graduate?

Yes!

  • Each year, 97 to 100 per cent of all UOIT MLSc graduates successfully complete the national certification examination on the first attempt – a true indicator of the success and quality of this program.
  • Within six months of graduation 100 per cent of graduates have secured a job related to their program.

MLTs are in high demand in:

  • Canadian Blood Centres and clinics
  • hospital, private and reference laboratories
  • research sector

In addition to these traditional roles, MLTs, once they have gained experience, also find employment in:

  • education
  • community outreach
  • hospital administration
  • information management
  • patient education
  • point-of-care testing
  • supervisory and management positions

They possess the following traits, which are highly valuable for many positions:

  • adherence to strict quality control guidelines
  • attention to detail
  • clinical knowledge
  • technical skills

Companies that produce instrumentation and medical products also hire MLTs as sales, marketing and technical representatives.

By 2015, it is estimated 51 per cent of current MLTs will retire. Oshawa and its surrounding communities will seek technologists for many years to come.

What salary can I expect to earn as an MLT?

Salaries vary from laboratory to laboratory but registered new graduates can receive a yearly base of $42,000 and up to $50,000 with shift work.

As an MLT will I have much interaction with patients?

The extent MLTs interact with patients varies with the employing institution and its patient-care practices. MLTs are trained to draw blood from patients and have the skills to deal with patients in a consultative role. As point-of-care testing (POCT) grows, patient interaction will grow for technologists involved in POCT; however, most of the time an MLT works within the laboratory environment.

How large are classes?

Introductory classes, such as Biology, can be as large as 250 students. The class size in MLSc-specific courses ranges from 30 to 50 students. Smaller discussions and seminars also take place with faculty members and clinical experts to discuss areas of interest.

What kinds of skills will I learn in first year?

Your first year will be a mixture of basic science courses such as:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Introductory health sciences courses

MLSc-specific courses start in the second year of studies.

Is enrolment limited?

Yes, this program is competitive and we are looking at an enrolment of 40 first-year students in any given year.

Are all classes in the daytime?

The majority of MLS classes are offered in the daytime, with a few running in the early evening.

Can you study part-time?

The basic baccalaureate program, like most programs at UOIT, is full-time. Under certain circumstances students may be able to study part-time. Those students who already have a degree may be eligible to carry a reduced course load.

If I have done a number of courses in another university program will I receive exemptions/advanced standing based on these courses?

Exemptions for courses taken at another university are granted, as long as those courses are comparable to similar courses at UOIT, the courses are relevant to the program and the marks achieved meet the required standard.

With work and a family, can I handle this program?

There are students in the program with similar responsibilities. These candidates have been able to meet the challenges of returning to school and are successful in this program, given they have the necessary resources, careful time management, and family and employer support.

If I have been out of school for a number of years, can I succeed in this program?

If you have been out of academic studies for a long period, we suggest a lighter course load, customized scheduling or university preparation courses. Following these suggestions will help to maximize your chances of success in the program.

Will completing the MLSc program help me get into medical school?

You'll receive a professional designation and clear academic path, should you wish to apply to medical school. The degree gives you a thorough grounding in the biological sciences and covers all areas of MLSc including practical experience. Regardless, some programs in medicine may have specific requirements for courses not addressed in the UOIT MLSc program. Experience has demonstrated it is possible to add these courses to your transcript at UOIT or to complete them at another educational institution.

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