Camosun College Medical Lab Assistants are Front-Line Health Care Heroes
Medical lab assistants are front-line healthcare workers responsible for collecting human blood, body fluids, and confidential information used by physicians to diagnose medical conditions. Demand for this profession is strong and growing.
Alex Purdy served proudly for 14 years as a medical laboratory assistant with LifeLabs. As an instructor in Camosun College’s Certified Medical Laboratory Assistant Certificate program, she is giving back by developing the next generation in her field.
“I loved the job and the variety of the role,” says Purdy. “I really enjoyed supporting patients, creating bonds and knowing that I was making a difference in their health care, and that’s why I’m instructing because I want other people to experience that as well.”
Purdy is a Camosun alumni having graduated from the program more than 20 years ago.
Medical lab assistants are front-line healthcare workers responsible for collecting human blood, body fluids, and confidential information used by physicians to diagnose medical conditions.
“Every single person in B.C. during their lifetime will get a laboratory test and most of those will be blood draws administered by medical lab assistants,” explains Allied Health and Technologies Chair Lynelle Yutani. “And right now, there are medical lab assistants out in the field actively supporting COVID-19 immunizations and testing — they are undoubtedly a critical part of the team that makes British Columbia safer and healthier.”
Demand for medical laboratory assistants is strong, and this program prepares students for employment.
“I’ve always wanted to work in health care,” says Chanice Cardinal, Indigenous learner and CMLA student representative at Camosun. “The hands on, real-world experience I’m gaining from Camosun certainly makes me feel prepared for work as a medical laboratory assistant.”
“We have very long-standing, student clinical placement agreements with both Island Health and LifeLabs—the main private laboratory facility here in B.C.,” adds Purdy. “Most of our students go on to successful employment with both of them and we often have instructors come from working in those facilities to support the program as well.”