New MLT program to address industry shortage
November 17, 2021
TORONTO – Anderson College of Health, Business and Technology is proud to announce the launch of its Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) program. With 70% of all medical decisions relying on lab results, an increase in testing demand since COVID-19, and a projection of 42% of current MLT professionals looking to retire, Anderson’s program aims to directly address this massive shortage, and get skilled graduates supporting Canadian patients faster.
CBC reported on the shortage back on April 2, 2020, recognizing that “laboratory logjams that were already the norm have been exacerbated by the pandemic along with a pipeline problem, with more leaving the profession than joining.” The Medical Laboratory Professionals’ Association of Ontario (MLPAO) also reported that, “70% of labs entered COVID-19 short-staffed.” These shortages cause delays in turnaround time, lengthened hospital stays, and can negatively impact patient health.
Anderson College’s new MLT program, licensed from Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), aims to be a part of the solution to the current and projected challenges.
“SAIT is pleased to collaborate with Anderson College in licensing its MLT curriculum to shorten the time for program implementation given the national shortage of medical laboratory staff and the immediate need for qualified professionals,” says Sonja Chamberlain, dean, School of Health and Public Safety, SAIT. “The pandemic has highlighted the critical role medical laboratory professionals play in the healthcare system and the direct impact they have on patient outcomes. SAIT congratulates Anderson College on the launch of their new MLT program and being part of the solution.”
“More than 70% of doctors’ clinical decisions are based on proper test results being performed by the medical laboratory technologist,” says Dr. Rafik Ragheb (pictured), chair of Anderson’s Medical Laboratory Assistant Technician program. “This translates into a requirement for medical laboratory technology training to be exemplary, with rigorous attention being paid to the competencies required. As program chair, I look forward to working even harder with my peers, colleagues, directors and consultants to further enhance the practice of laboratory medicine and education in Ontario and across Canada.”
“After consultation with our stakeholders and recognizing an immediate need, our Anderson team worked tirelessly to launch this comprehensive MLT program – we believe it will indeed help address the urgent shortage of medical laboratory technologists in Ontario,” says Cheryl Russell-Julien, director of Academics for Anderson. “The program will consist of hands-on instruction in our newly designed state-of-the-art laboratory; the second year will allow students to apply their skills on-the-job with our Medical Laboratory Affiliated Partners.”
“Not only does our MLT program support the province’s need for well-trained professionals but, this fulfilling profession plays a critical role in promoting the health and well-being of Ontarians and Canadians alike,” says Kim Alkalay, Anderson’s MLT project lead.
Anderson College currently offers a Medical Laboratory Assistant Technician (MLAT) program that delivers hundreds of qualified graduates to serve in healthcare. The new MLT program is based on the national competency profile issued by CSMLS, is two years, full time and fast paced. It’s designed to train students to become skilled in applying the scientific, technical, and medical principles needed to perform and evaluate laboratory testing in a healthcare setting and prepare them for challenging the national CSMLS certification exams. Graduates will be ready for entry-level positions in clinical laboratories, research labs or scientific supply companies.
About Anderson College
For over 40 years Anderson College has been a partner to thousands of students overcoming career challenges and transitioning to the next phase of their lives. With five locations in Toronto, Mississauga, and Hamilton, it is recognized for its high-calibre faculty, career-focused education, hands-on, real-life career training, and supportive culture. For more information or to learn more about the Medical Laboratory Technology program visit www.andersoncollege.com.
About The Medical Laboratory Professionals’ Association of Ontario
The Medical Laboratory Professionals’ Association of Ontario is a non-profit health professional organization founded in 1963 with over 4,000 members across the province. The MLPAO represents the interests of Medical Laboratory Professionals in Ontario with government, regulatory bodies, educational institutions, healthcare professionals and other stakeholders. For more information, please visit www.mlpao.org.