Medical Laboratory Technologist

Medical Laboratory Technologists are health care professionals that perform medical laboratory tests on patient tissue samples, blood, and other body fluids. If a physician is unsure of a patient’s health condition after performing a physical exam or other basic medical tests, they require more information to make a diagnosis. By testing blood, body fluid, or tissue samples, medical laboratory technologists provide important information on the patient’s health. This new information allows physicians to make a clear diagnosis and other important health care decisions. Thus, the services provided by medical laboratory technologists indirectly help to prevent and treat a host of diseases, disorders, and conditions. Some of these conditions include:

  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Trauma
  • Various blood, organ and tissue conditions.
  • Disease, infections and illnesses of all kinds.

Medical laboratory technologists do not diagnose, assess, treat or otherwise provide input on the patient’s condition. Their role is only to perform laboratory tests and present the results to other health care professionals. Other health care professionals such as physicians, dentists or optometrists can then interpret these results and provide a diagnosis. Medical laboratory technologists work in medical laboratories located in hospitals, blood transfusion centers and private and public health care centers.  

Some specific services provided by Medical laboratory technologists include:

Clinical Chemistry: Detecting chemicals, hormones or drugs.

Clinical Microbiology: Detecting bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites.

Hematology: Detecting blood diseases and disorders.

Transfusion Science: Determining blood type and compatibility.

Histology: Analyzing tissue samples to detect disease.

Immunology: Detecting immune system disorders.

Flow cytometry: Detecting leukemia and other disorders using bone marrow samples.

Electron Microscopy: Using an electron microscope to detect bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites.

In Ontario, “Medical Laboratory Technologist” is a regulated profession subject to the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics defined by the College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Ontario. For more information on regulatory colleges, view our What is a Regulatory College page.