$34.75 to $48.37 per hour
Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA)
High school diploma
Laboratory technology diploma
Laboratory technologists play a critically important role in diagnosis, disease prevention and public health surveillance. They are responsible for obtaining, processing, testing and reporting the results of a variety of specimens including blood, body fluids, tissues and other environmental samples. Laboratory technologists perform routine and specialized procedures to analyze samples used in diagnosis, treatment, monitoring, epidemiology and research. Laboratory results aid clinical practitioners in confirming or ruling out diagnoses, monitoring chronic disease changes and analyzing the effects of medical therapies.
Laboratory technologists work in all areas of the clinical laboratory including blood banking, chemistry, hematology, immunology, histology and microbiology. They use a variety of sophisticated instruments and equipment including microscopes, computers and various analyzers, and test kits to get medical results. They are responsible for ensuring equipment is working properly and troubleshooting as necessary. Laboratory technologists ensure the accuracy of test results. They may also provide leadership and work guidance to fellow laboratory staff and students.
Laboratory technologists work in a variety of facilities, including hospitals, cancer care centres, research facilities and community and public health labs. In the course of their work, they collaborate with a variety of other health care disciplines, such as other technologists and therapists, physicians and nurses to provide the best patient care. The ability to work well in a team environment is important. There is also the opportunity to work independently when special projects arise.
Laboratory technologists may work full-time or part-time hours or on a call-in (casual) basis. They can apply for positions that are permanent, temporary or casual depending on department and facility needs. Shift schedules may include a combination of day, evening, night and weekend shifts, as well as on-call duty.
Laboratory technologists often sit or stand for long periods of time, such as when they are testing specimens. Their work often requires prolonged visual focus and attention and the ability to perform repetitive motions. They can be required to walk, bend, reach and move equipment during the course of their work.
The work of laboratory technologists can also expose them to strong chemicals, biological hazards, infectious diseases and the potential for needle stick injuries. To avoid infection, harm and ensure the safety of patients and co-workers, laboratory technologists practise safe work procedures. At times, they may work in challenging and stressful circumstances, including time critical emergency situations.