Sunday, 11 January 2015

One Year Out: Where I Am After Grad

How fast the time goes! It seems like just yesterday I was frantically studying and worrying about jobs, exams and life after school. I wanted to recap how the year has gone and where I am in my career after degree completion.

I officially graduated from the Medical Laboratory Science program at Michener on January 31st, 2014 and I wrote the CSMLS exam on February 20th, 2014. Between January 31st and February 20th, actually squeezed in two job interviews at private labs - one for a permanent part-time position as a Microbiology MLT and one at my clinical placement for permanent full-time in Histology. 

While Microbiology is my preferred discipline, I felt the career opportunities plus the full-time was greater with the histology position so I accepted it. I worked as a Lab Assistant until I received my exam results at the end of March, after which I began working as an MLT. Depending on where you are hired, they can make this exception to start your training on the lab work flow and allow you to get a handle on what the Lab Assistants do while you are waiting for your certification. Of course, they probably have to be confident you are going to pass! When I received my MLT certification, I was trained in microtomy first and would most likely be doing microtomy only for 6-8 months before being trained in something else.

In April, I received a job offer for a full-time contract position in Microbiology at one of my dream labs. I jumped at the opportunity and left my full-time histology job but was offered to stay on casual, which has been amazing. I love having the opportunity to keep my toes in another discipline and keep my training up. Once you graduate, you’ll find what you learned leaves your brain quite quickly!

At the end of September, I received a full-time permanent position at the same microbiology lab where I am still currently working! One thing about my job is that I work in departments I wasn’t ever trained in at school because they are so specialized. I love learning new disciplines, especially ones we only touched briefly on in college such as molecular biology, mycobacteriology and immunology. One of my biggest accomplishments was being trained to work in out BSL-3 lab for our mycobacteriology lab. I go to work everyday knowing what I do is important and having a big impact on public health.

I also had the opportunity to attend the CAMRT Leadership Development Institute thanks to the CSMLS in September. Being able to connect with other young healthcare professionals reignited my passion for the profession and healthcare as a whole. Everyone was so engaged and ready to make changes in their respected profession that I was able to learn a lot from them. I left with a new set of skills that I plan to put to use in the next few years.

As a class, I believe everyone that graduated and passed the CSMLS exam is employed as an MLT in a least one job. Some are on contract, some are permanent but overall I believe everyone had some sort of job within 4 months of graduation. I know many people such as myself who are working two jobs, as there is an opportunity to. I enjoy my work so I figure why not!

My plan over the next year is to take some new courses to expand my knowledge and also grow as a Med Lab Professional. I’m still researching but quality management, public health and infection control have caught my eye so we’ll see what I end up doing.  Overall, I’m happy where I am at currently. I also hope to continue to grow this blog, MedLabMaven. It has been tough to figure out my place with this blog since I have graduated. Now that I have settled in my career, I think I have found what topics I can blog about. I’ve grown and learned a lot as a new tech and I can’t wait to see where I go next.  



  1. Could you explain more how one of your classmates became a path assis.?
    That's what I want to do. Should I skip Medical Laboratory Science?

  2. Hi!
    I am on a wait list for an MLT program and love science and pathology. However I was wondering if you ever feel isolated working in the lab? Or are you working along your lab team and calling doctors and nurses through out your day so it doesn't actually feel isolating? Would really appreciate any input. Love your blog!

  3. Is it a requirement to be able to draw blood in order to work as a medical lab technician?

  4. What are the options for becoming an MLT?

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