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School of Health and Human Services

Current Students - MEDL Program Handbook

Medical Laboratory Assistant (MEDL) Program Handbook

Last updated: September 12, 2018

The School of Health and Human Services is a place of warmth and caring. We are always looking to connect with future and current students so please don't hesitate to hhsinfo@camosun.ca if you have any questions.

Camosun College campuses are located on the traditional territories of the Lkwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples. We acknowledge their welcome and graciousness to the students who seek knowledge here.


What's in the Program Handbook

Note: Numbering is consistent across all program handbooks. Unlisted sections do not apply to this program and have been hidden.

Once enrolled in a program, you're required to familiarize yourself with the information found in your school and program information pages.

Policies and expectations unique to our program are outlined in the following pages. Please ensure that you read the HHS Student Handbook for general school information.

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1. Welcome

1.1 Chair's Message

Your instructors, support staff, and I want welcome you to the Department of Allied Health & Technologies. We are so excited that you have chosen to embark on your educational journey with us at Camosun College. By choosing a program in Allied Health, you have demonstrated that you have a desire to work with people and technology while you serve the needs of your community. 

Allied Health is a term that encompasses the vast number of healthcare professionals working outside the practice of nursing or medicine. We are a growing force in healthcare workplaces, gaining recognition for our specialized expertise, change resilience, and professionalism. Allied Health professionals integrate into every aspect of patient and client care, particularly in Diagnostic and Therapeutic services. Forecasts for continued growth in these services across Canada means that job growth in Allied Health professions will likely continue well into the 2020's.

As you pursue your Allied Health education at Camosun College, you will see how passionate we are about supporting you on your journey as a student. Learning isn't always a linear pathway and success shouldn't always be defined by progression alone. We value all learning opportunities and recognize that at sometimes, it takes great challenges to reveal strength of heart, clarity of mind, and connection to spirit. We designed these guidelines and procedures to help you understand and access the resources and information you will need to be successful.

Your instructors in the Allied Health & Technologies Department are committed to helping you transform into competent, compassionate Allied Health professionals. We want you to thrive in the diverse and ever-changing environments within the healthcare workplace. We work hard to model and promote life-long best practices in Allied Health Sciences by providing you access to authentic learning opportunities using creative, innovative teaching practices. You will have the opportunity to experience the real workplace environments of your chosen profession where you will learn alongside actual employed professionals in your discipline.

No matter how long your program is, you are already a member of a diverse, interprofessional team of learners. Get to know the campus, explore all the college's resources, and spend some time getting to know your instructors and your fellow students – they are all part of your support team. We know that your journey into your Allied Health education at Camosun College will be the beginning of an inspiring, life-changing future!

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to stop by my office, discuss them with one of your instructors, or any of the dedicated staff here at Camosun College.

Sincerely,

Lynelle Yutani MRT, RPA/RRA, RT
Chair, Department of Allied Health & Technologies

Contact the Allied Health & Technologies department.

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2. Program Values

Vision

In the Department of Allied Health & Technology, we inspire life-changing learning by transforming learners into competent, compassionate health professionals.

Mission

Our college seeks to build a better future for our community with relevant, innovative and applied education. We realize this by promoting life-long best practices in Allied Health sciences with authentic learning opportunities and creative, innovative teaching practices.

Values

We value our learners, because they choose us. Learners are why we exist. Everything we do should contribute to successful outcomes. The experiences we offer distinguish us from other institutions offering the same courses and programs that we do. Each Learner contributes uniquely. We value all human diversity, which enriches us all. We are all Learners. All students, staff, faculty, and administrators are learners. Remembering this helps us keep perspective. Every interaction between humans is a learning opportunity. Learning is everyone's responsibility.

Professionalism is a learned and vital skill for healthcare. Professionalism is the cornerstone of service to others in health care. It is the concept of constructed altruism, when fulfilling one's duty all actions taken should be in the best interest of the patient or client, not in self-interest. Professionalism is a learned behaviour, one that we choose to live and model for our students. We apply this more broadly to ourselves as educators as well as in our clinical practice. 1

  • Respect – We strive to do no harm to ourselves or others in either words or deeds. We care about the feelings and well-being of ourselves and others. Even when we dislike someone, we allow them equal forum.
  • Self-Regulation – We maintain the same level of decorum without oversight as we would under the pressure of observation. Even when no one is "overseeing or watching" us, we uphold our ethics & values. We freely accept our duty and commitment to service.
  • Integrity – We are committed to honesty, transparency, fairness, and promoting ethical behaviours. We are not afraid or embarrassed to admit when we are wrong or need help; this is how we grow and most importantly, how we all learn.
  • Accountability – We take personal responsibility for our thoughts, words, and deeds. We consider, and accept the consequences of our behaviours. We are accountable to each other, students, the college, the public, our governing bodies, and ourselves.
  • Leadership – We value the leader who is an ambassador for their cohort or field, proactively promoting their profession through mentorship and teaching. We willingly share our knowledge and experience.
  • Image – We display our values physically and visually with our outward appearance, language, and behaviours. We accept that how others perceive us affects our ability to interact successfully with them.
  • Specialized Knowledge – We make a deep personal commitment to attain, develop, maintain, and improve the knowledge required to perform our duty.
  • Mastery – We demonstrate excellence in applied knowledge by continuously striving to exceed our own best efforts through ongoing self-reflection, re-assessment, quality improvement, certification, and life-long learning. We believe reflective practice is crucial for attaining mastery.

Interprofessional/interdisciplinary collaboration builds healthy teams. We welcome and invite contributions from every team member. We strive for open and effective communication where each team member's voice is heard and respected. We each bring unique skills and strengths to the table, everyone benefits from working together. We collaborate to foster group pride and ownership in our accomplishments and satisfaction in tasks well done. We strive to demonstrate how collaborative behaviours and environments enhance group and personal success. We seek to empower students to do the same in pursuit of their educational goals.

Sustainability is necessary for progress. We accept that we are one part of a larger equation, and that our actions influence the overall balance of a greater whole. We do not fear the new and we do not discount traditional wisdoms. Be they ideas, processes, requirements, technology, needs, programming, or people, we use careful intent and intelligence to assess and benefit from future innovations and our existing resources. We commit to sustainable practices that help to ensure that we are able to continue providing a learner-centric environment for students of the future.  

Diversification is a path to growth. We continuously work to increase and enhance student access to existing programs by expanding capacity, creating more flexibility, and providing work integrated solutions to students. We recognize that adult learners come with a range of existing knowledge and skills in a wide range of abilities; all of which contribute to both success and challenges on the pathway to competence. We welcome and value aboriginal ways of being and knowing as ways to grow our practice understanding. We actively pursue new programing and continuing education opportunities. We explore and promote the establishment of new degrees, certifications, credentials, and diplomas that provide pathways for student growth and future success.

Quality is everyone's responsibility. We strive for continuous quality improvement of our student's experiences, our programming and curriculum, our equipment and learning tools, and ourselves. Quality assurance and improvement are the responsibility of every member of the team. We listen carefully to students, each other, our educational partners, our national certification agencies, and accrediting bodies. We reflect before we react; only responding with our collective best efforts to ensure we meet or exceed the highest quality standards in health science education.

1. Portions of this interpretation of Professionalism paraphrased from the Canadian Medical Association, The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, The American Board of Internal Medicine, and http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/professionalism.htm.

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4. Program Learning Outcomes

As a Medical Laboratory Assistant or Technical Assistant (TA) you will perform a vital role in the medical laboratory team, working closely with the public and capably performing the required manual skills. In this program, you will be trained in the collection of specimens from patients, the initial processing and preparation of specimens for analysis, data entry, clerical and reception services, performance of Electrocardiograms (ECGs), and a variety of basic laboratory procedures.

The Medical Laboratory Program prepares you to apply for employment in a hospital or private laboratory. The program consists of theory, practical and practicum components; and upon successful completion you will receive a Camosun College certificate. This program meets the criteria set by the BC Society of Laboratory Science (BCSLS).

Learning outcomes by course.


4.1 Performance Indicators

At the end of the program, the student will be able to:

  • perform the role of the MLA in hospital and community laboratories and within the context of the health care system.
  • follow legal and ethical guidelines in performance of duties as a MLA.
  • demonstrate effective communication skills with patients and members of the health care team.
  • perform duties in a manner that assures and improves quality health care.
  • use knowledge of human anatomy and physiology to perform tasks in a safe and appropriate manner.
  • define and use correct terminology related to measurements used in the laboratory.
  • practice principles of laboratory safety and infection control.
  • practice the correct procedures and techniques in obtaining blood and other specimens for analysis in the clinical laboratory.
  • demonstrate how to prepare specimens for distribution to clinical laboratory departments.
  • demonstrate use and care of laboratory equipment.
  • demonstrate correct procedure for performance of an electrocardiogram (ECG).

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5. Collaborative Learning Process

You have chosen to work in a health care profession that demands special skills, knowledge, values, and attitudes. In order to be successful at Camosun College, students responsible for understanding and adhering to the expectations and policies as outlined in the Camosun College Policies.

Policies and expectations unique to the Medical Radiography program are outlined in the following pages. In some cases they duplicate those of the college and the clinical environment and are repeated here in order to emphasize their importance. Camosun College and program policies are designed to:

  • Enhance a learner's chance for success
  • Provide education on proper safety procedures in order to protect the student, technologists and the public
  • Ensure a high standard of knowledge and care for the patient
  • Inform the student of the expectations and responsibilities associated with professional conduct.
  • Assist students, teachers and administrative staff to monitor and intervene when a student is "at risk" of not meeting program requirements (CC)
  • You are ultimately responsible for your learning and progress and are expected to seek help in a timely manner when you are unable to meet the course requirements. The college is committed to supporting student success and to working with students in achieving their educational goals.
  • When an instructor, during the process of ongoing assessment, determines you to be at academic risk, the instructor will alert you and discuss improvement strategies. Because you are ultimately responsible for your progress, you should communicate your progress and challenges to the instructor and act on the improvement strategies suggested.
  • Students entering HHS programs are aware of and agree to these Standards and their application, including consultation among teachers and with other support services in Camosun College as required.

5.1 Supporting Diverse Learners

Purpose of Procedures and Guidelines

  1. The purpose of these guidelines are to ensure that the department supports students' educational interests and protects their rights.
  2. These guidelines ensure that students, faculty, and the Chair each understand their roles and responsibilities. It is important that each party appropriately and consistently follow all steps of the process.
  3. Departmental procedures and guidelines provide clarity when college policy is unclear or vague.

These guidelines are in place to:

  • enhance a learner's chance for success
  • provide opportunities for others to succeed
  • effectively utilize learner and college resources
  • assist students, their instructors, and staff to monitor and intervene when a student is "at risk"

5.2 AHT Student Appeals Policy

For more information, see: Camosun College Student Appeals Policy E-2.4

Purpose/Rationale

The purpose of this policy is to provide an appeal process for students who have reason to believe they have been graded unfairly or treated unjustly in relation to discipline by Camosun College (instructors or other decision-makers).

Scope/Limits

This policy applies to all students enrolled in Camosun College courses and programs. This policy does not apply to non-final grades.

During the Process

During the Appeal Process, students are entitled to:

  • Specific timelines for each stage of their appeal
  • Receive all decisions through a known, preferred means of notification & communication
  • Remain in the program during the appeals process. Students are granted permission from the Chair to continue attending classes until a final, binding decision is made regarding the student's appeal or the student withdraws from the appeal process.

Resolution Timelines

When a student initiates the formal appeals process, they are provided with a specific resolution timeline in writing by the Chair of the Allied Health & Technologies Department.

  • This timeline is to include specific times & dates that the student, the instructor or instructors, and Chair must respond with evidence, explanations, and or decisions concerning the appeal.
  • The timeline should be provided in the written communication format of preference on record for the student.
  • Sufficient explanation of the timelines and responsibilities of all parties will be provided to all involved individuals.
  • A participant's failure to comply with any stage of the timeline will immediately escalate the process to the next decision level.
  • For any portion of the timeline that the Chair cannot determine sufficiently, they will investigate & advocate on behalf of the student to ensure the most reasonable resolution time possible. The Chair cannot control specific variables, such as the dates of Board of Education meetings.
  • When possible, effort is made to prevent students from requiring the appeals process through supportive interventions consistent with Camosun College Academic Policies.
  • Programs within Allied Health & Technologies strive to ensure fairness and fair processes are observed at every stage of our supportive learning strategies processes. It is customary all communications to be shared with the ombudsman and for the ombudsman to be invited to all conversations with the student. Students are encouraged to independently seek the council of the ombudsman as well.

Section A. Multi-stage School Level Appeal (First Stage Appeal) of the Camosun College Student Appeals Policy

  1. Students initiating an appeal of their final grade in a course have ten (10) working/business days from the last day of the official posted final examination day in which to submit their appeal, in writing, to their instructor.
  2. Students initiating an appeal of a disciplinary action have ten (10) working/business days from the start of the action in which to submit their appeal, in writing, to the individual who imposed the discipline.
  3. Students and instructors have five (5) working/business days from the date the appeal was initiated to conclude any discussions regarding the status of the appeal. Unless the student notifies the instructor, in writing, that they have withdrawn the appeal, the instructor must submit their decision, in writing, to both the student and department Chair by the end of the 5th day.
  4. Students unsatisfied with the outcome of the first level of appeal have five (5) working/business days from the date of the written decision for their first (Instructor level) appeal to submit a second appeal to the departmental Chair.
  5. The student and the Chair have five (5) working/business days from the date the second appeal was initiated to conclude any discussions regarding the status of the appeal. Unless the student notifies the Chair, in writing, that they have withdrawn the appeal, the Chair must submit their decision, in writing, to both the student and Dean by the end of the 5th day.
  6. Students unsatisfied with the outcome of the second level of appeal have five (5) working/business days from the date of the written decision for their second (Chair level) appeal to submit a third appeal to the school Dean or their designate.
  7. The student and the Dean have five (5) working/business days from the date the third appeal was initiated to conclude any discussions regarding the status of the appeal. Unless the student notifies the Dean, in writing, that they have withdrawn the appeal, the Dean must submit their decision, in writing, to both the student and the Vice President Education by the end of the 5th day.
  8. Students unsatisfied with the decision of the Dean may appeal to the Vice President Education or their designate using section B. Final Appeal Stage of the college's Appeals Policy.

Supporting Forms


5.3 Progression Policy

  • Students must achieve 65% or higher in each course module to progress to the next.
  • Students must complete all course modules within the program in a single attempt to successfully complete the program.
  • Students must achieve all program outcomes in order to successfully complete the program and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Students must be judged competent and safe to practice in workplace behaviours and technical skills in order to successfully complete the program and receive a certificate of completion.

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6. Professional Behaviour

6.1 Professional Body & Discipline-Specific Definitions/Competencies

British Columbia Society of Laboratory Sciences (BCSLS)

BCSLS Code of Professional Conduct (link)

  • Medical laboratory professionals are dedicated to serving the health care needs of the public. The welfare of the patient and respect for the dignity of the individual shall be paramount at all times.
  • Medical laboratory professionals work with other health care professionals, to provide effective patient care.
  • Medical laboratory professionals shall promote the image and the status of their profession by maintaining high standards in their professional practice and through active support of their professional bodies.
  • Medical laboratory professionals shall protect the confidentiality of all patient information.
  • Medical laboratory professionals shall take responsibility for the professional acts.
  • Medical laboratory professionals shall practice within the scope of their professional competence.
  • Medical laboratory professionals shall endeavour to maintain and improve their skills and knowledge and keep current with scientific advances.
  • Medical laboratory professionals shall share their knowledge with colleagues and promote learning.
  • Medical laboratory professionals shall be aware of the laws and regulations governing Medical laboratory technology and shall apply them in the practise of their profession.
  • Medical laboratory professionals shall practise safe work procedures at all times to ensure the safety of patients and coworkers and the protection of the environment.

Adopted from the CSMLS Code of Conduct Rev. 2011 --with permission in 2017 (Web link not published yet) https://www.bcsls.net/

Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS)

CSMLS Code of Professional Conduct

  • Medical laboratory professionals are dedicated to serving the healthcare needs of the public. The welfare of the patient and respect for the dignity of the individual shall be paramount at all times.
  • Medical laboratory professionals work with other health care professionals, to provide effective patient care.
  • Medical laboratory professionals shall promote the image and status of their profession by maintaining high standards in their professional practice and through active support of their professional bodies.
  • Medical laboratory professionals shall protect the confidentiality of all patient information.
  • Medical laboratory professionals shall take responsibility for their professional acts.
  • Medical laboratory professionals shall practise within the scope of their professional competence.
  • Medical laboratory professionals shall endeavour to maintain and improve their skills and knowledge and keep current with scientific advances. They will uphold academic integrity in all matters of professional certification and continuing education.
  • Medical laboratory professionals shall share their knowledge with colleagues and promote learning.
  • Medical laboratory professionals shall be aware of the laws and regulations governing medical laboratory technology and shall apply them in the practise of their profession.
  • Medical laboratory professionals shall practise safe work procedures at all times to ensure the safety of patients and co-workers and the protection of the environment.

CSMLS Code of Ethics

CSMLS MLA Competencies


6.2 Appropriate Use of Electronic Devices/Mobile Devices

In order to provide a suitable learning environment and minimize disruptions, cellular communication devices are not generally permitted during simulation labs. Mobile device behaviour that is disruptive to instruction or other students will not be tolerated and students may be asked to leave class if necessary. Students at Camosun College will comply with the Acceptable Technology Use Policy.

Mobile devices have become a constant companion for students and workplace professionals alike. There are intrinsic risks associated with their use within diagnostic sciences that prevent their safe use during clinical practicums.

Personal mobile devices are a known vector for pathogens.  They are proven to increase the risk of infection (for both students and patients) and increase the risk for contamination of samples and equipment.  Students must not use their mobile devices during active learning times while at practicum. Students should thoroughly wash their hands following any interaction with their mobile device prior to returning to learning activities in the workplace. Workplaces will usually provide students with semi-secure locations in which to store their mobile device during practicum. Students will need to evaluate if this meets their personal security requirements; or should consider leaving their mobile devices in a personally secured location; or at home during their practicum shifts.

Personal mobile devices also increase the risk of intentional and unintentional violations of patient and client privacy and confidentiality. Students should not take photos at the workplace (of themselves or the environment) while in treatment areas, including offices and workbenches to reduce the risk of unintentional privacy violations.

In the classroom, personal mobile devices can distract students from learning opportunities and instructors from providing quality instruction. If you use your personal mobile device as a learning tool, please do so respectfully and consider sharing with your instructor how your device is enhancing your experience.

Students who are disruptive in the use of their mobile devices may be asked to leave the classroom. Chronic disruptive behaviour (on mobile devices or otherwise) can result in loss of marks and the Student Conduct policy may apply.

Individual instructors may include further direction about the acceptable use of personal mobile devices during their classes within their course outlines.

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7. Classroom, Lab, or Clinic Etiquette

7.1 Expectations of Student Performance

Policies

Please note that not all policies apply to Continuing Education (CE) students. CE has a specific Withdrawal Policy/Refund Policy.

Withdrawals

Please note that the following only applies to students in the Medical Laboratory Assistant – CE program when:

  1. a student chooses to leave the program before all courses have been successfully completed, or
  2. a student is asked to leave the program.

Sequential, successful completion of all courses is necessary to complete the program. If a student receives an "F" as a final grade in a course, they must leave the program.

Transcripts

All courses in the program will be assigned final grades. There is no final grade for the Program. Final grades will be assigned as follows:

  • Courses that the student has successfully completed to date at the time of withdrawal will have the corresponding final grade assigned to them.
  • Courses that are in-progress, where the student has completed more than 66% of the course hours but has not yet earned a passing grade, will be assigned a final grade of "F" or a "NC" depending on the grading system being used in the course.
  • Courses that are in-progress, where the student has completed less than 66% of the course hours, OR courses that have not yet started will indicate a withdrawal "W" grade.

Re-entry to the program

If a student chooses or is asked to leave the program; and wishes to return to take the program at a future date, they must re-apply as a new student. Because students do not receive partial credit for any completed courses or modules within the MLA-CE program, if they are readmitted, they must repeat the entire program.

Contact the Chair or your program leader to inform Continuing Education of your intention to withdraw from the program. Please do NOT submit a Registration Change Form or a Withdrawal for Medical/Compassionate Reasons Form to Student Services.

Refund Policy

Please note that a "Special Refund Policy" only applies to the Medical Laboratory Assistant – CE program. Refunds will not be issued for students withdrawing from the program after the start date.

  • A 100% refund, less the $500 non-refundable deposit, will be issued if the request is received fourteen (14) or more calendar days prior to the start of the program, no refunds will be issued after this date. Please note that it may take up to 6 weeks to process this request.
  • The tuition must be paid for in full prior to the first day of classes or stated deadline, whichever is first.
  • Exceptions will not be made for declined Criminal Record Checks, which are processed after the program has begun.

Services for Students

Please note that not all services may apply to Continuing Education (CE) students.
CE students are not contributing members of Camosun College Student Society (CCSS) and therefore do not pay CCSS fees or receive member benefits with their Photo ID. 

CE students can "opt in" to the Camosun College Student Society to pay the fees and receive benefits. You can also opt into health & dental coverage.


7.2 Grading Systems

Assignments

Assignments received past the due date will have 15% of the mark deducted per class. A note from the student's physician or other supporting documentation explaining the student's inability to complete the assignment on time may be required, especially for students chronically turning in late assignments. Assignments are handed in at the beginning of the class at which they are due.

Spelling

Correct spelling of words and terms that are specific to the program is a critical component. One-half point will be deducted for spelling and grammatical errors on words or content critical to the course.

Assessment Procedures

Quizzes, assignments and examinations are given periodically. Participation may be graded and evaluated in some courses (see individual Course Outlines). Each course must be successfully completed and passed in order to progress to the next course.

Students are encouraged to ask for assistance from their instructors if they are experiencing difficulties at any time.

Written Test and Examination Procedures

It is expected that the student will:

  • Write tests and examinations at the scheduled time and place.
  • Remove everything from the table, except items required to complete the test/exam.
  • Write final answers in ink unless the instructor specifies using pencil.
  • Not communicate with any other student.
  • Not bring any electronic devices into the classroom unless permission is given by instructor (e.g., calculator, cell phone).
  • Not leave the room until 30 minutes after the test has commenced.
  • Leave the area after writing test/exam.
  • Put their name on any scratch paper used and hand it in with the test or exam. Once the examination paper is handed in, it will not be returned during the examination.

Any student caught cheating will be dealt with according to the college's Student Conduct Policy

Once the grades are distributed, test or exam papers may be viewed or discussed as arranged with the instructor.

Late Arrivals for Scheduled Tests

Students arriving late for written or laboratory testing are disruptive to their peers and the instructor.
No student will be allowed into the classroom or lab after 10 minutes have elapsed from the testing start time and will therefore forfeit their opportunity for testing. The student will not be permitted to write a make-up test.

Students arriving late (i.e. within the first 10 minutes) will not be granted extra time to write the test or to complete the laboratory evaluation.

Missed Tests/Quizzes/Exams and Laboratory Competency/Case Study/Skill Checks

Dates and times are set for written and laboratory competency testing. Students are informed of the dates and times at the beginning of each course and are expected to organize their schedules accordingly.

Students are expected to notify our office or instructor BEFORE the scheduled written or laboratory testing session if they are unable to be present for the test. Failure to notify the office or instructor, will forfeit the student's opportunity for a make-up written or laboratory test (also applies to quizzes and exams).

Missed exam arrangements

If a student is absent from a written or laboratory test for reasonable cause (e.g., illness, family emergency), the student may be allowed a make-up test within three working days (or on the first day the student is capable) by contacting our office. A physician's note for illness, or a note substantiating the family emergency, will be required prior to arranging the make-up testing.

Failed Exams Procedure

The program will permit students to write a supplemental examination or assignment when they have failed a theory course or the theoretical component of a practice course under the following circumstances:

  • At least 90% of a passing grade has been achieved in the course (i.e. 90% of 65% (C+) is 58.5%). If your final grade in the course is below 58.5% you will be asked to leave the program. OR
  • Special circumstances are associated with absence or unsatisfactory performance (e.g., health, family problems). A physician's note for illness, or a note substantiating the family emergency, will be required.

The supplemental exam will cover material from the entire failed course in the program, and will not be used to increase the student's final grade above a passing grade. The maximum letter grade on a supplemental is C+.

Students may write a maximum of two (2) supplemental exams during the whole program and may write only one (1) per course.

The Chair will contact the student to inform them of the mark and to discuss writing the supplemental.

Students may remain in the program until the results of the supplemental are determined. If unsuccessful on the supplemental exam, the student will be asked to leave the program. Program fees will not be refunded.

Supplemental Exam Arrangements

Supplemental exams must be written within two weeks of receiving a failing grade. Arrangements for writing a supplemental exam are to be made through our office.

Note: Neither the original nor a copy of the test/quiz/exam/assignment may be given to the student to keep. The student may view and discuss the test or exam etc. by arrangement with the instructor. The exams may not be copied nor photographed. The instructor will collect the original after reviewing with the student(s) and return to our office for filing. These are retained at the office for one year plus one day as outlined in the Camosun College Record Retention Policy, after which they are shredded.


7.3 Attendance and Absenteeism

Program attendance guidelines model expectations of a workplace laboratory and local employers within the profession.

Classes/Labs

Regular attendance is taken and expected in all courses. Content missed will not be repeated and will be included in exams and evaluations. Additional lab time is not available for missed lab activities. It is the student's responsibility to obtain any missed information or course material covered during their absence.

Students should notify the relevant instructor(s) by email and contact our office at 250-370-3103 leaving a message to be forwarded or by email medlab@camosun.ca.

Practicum (where applicable)

Communicate absences to the practicum site and the practicum instructor as soon as possible. Students may only attend practicum at their designated site. Depending on the circumstances, students may be expected to make up missed hours. However, if workplace resources are unavailable to support make up time and a student's skills are judged insufficient, it is possible for a student to fail to complete the program because of missing practicum.

Academic Alert

An Academic Alert will be issued following three (3) uncommunicated absences, as this is an indication that Program Learning Outcomes are not being met and could interfere with successful completion of courses.

Classroom Ground Rules

As a participant in a class, please be respectful of others and…

  • Be punctual
  • Speak one at a time
  • Save non-related questions until a break
  • Complete assigned reading prior to each class
  • Stick to scheduled break times
  • Have cell phones on "vibrate or silent" and leave the room to return emergency calls
  • Take your bathroom break BEFORE tests/exams
  • Tidy up your area before you leave – waste cans are in each room
  • Ask questions and indicate concerns
  • No food or drink permitted in lab

7.4 Class Cancellations

Adverse weather

Camosun Severe Weather Policy

In the event that adverse weather conditions prevent you from attending classes or evaluations (Lab and/or Written) when the college remains open, the following guidelines apply:

  • If the student is unable to be present, he or she is expected to notify our office and the Instructor at the earliest time possible and optimally before the evaluation is scheduled to occur, (e-mail or voice-mail is acceptable). Failure to notify our office and the Instructor may forfeit the student's opportunity to make-up the Lab or written evaluation.
  • Instructors will be aware of weather conditions and will use their judgment in terms of justifiable absences. For example, if a student lives within range of a bus route and the buses are operational and the college is open, then attendance would be expected. Alternately, if a student lives in an outlying area (Sooke, Shawnigan, Mill Bay, etc.) and it is obvious that they cannot access transportation, then their absence would be considered reasonable and is excused.
  • Program instructors believe that students are both accountable and responsible for their decisions. Students benefit most when they keep to their regular commitments whenever possible. There is a professional expectation that students would not take unfair advantage to intentionally delay evaluation.
  • Missed evaluations (lab and/or written), based on a communicated absence, usually occur at the first possible opportunity once the student is able to return to school. Make up examinations are held on the Wednesday evening following the date of the regularly scheduled examination. Upon receiving permission from their instructor, Students must confirm that they will attend the make up exam period.

Instructor illness or emergencies

All instructors for the courses in the MEDL program have a designated back-up instructor. If your instructor is unable to attend class, they will notify their back-up instructor and have them substitute teach the class. Back-up instructors are well versed in the course content. They will progress through course content at the usual and expected pace in order to ensure students receive all instruction necessary prior to assessment dates. 

In the event of an unavoidable class cancellation due to instructor illness or emergency:

  • You will be informed by email (or by telephone if time permitting)
  • A notice will be put on the classroom door when possible.
  • You will be notified as soon as possible when class time may be rescheduled using the reserved "make up dates" in your course schedule.

Make-up dates

MLA-CE courses may be rescheduled using the "make-up dates" noted on your program calendar. Students are cautioned not to schedule other, unmovable commitments on those dates. College closures and other unavoidable class cancellations may require the re-scheduling of learning activities to ensure students can meet all of the outcomes for the program.


7.5 Dress Code and Guidelines

In addition to the HHS General Information on dress code and appearance (link back to the HHS section), students will find specific guidance on dress code and appearance guidelines in the following locations:

  • Individual course materials
  • Clinic/Lab Manuals
    • Lab Rules and Regulations (Scrubs, shoes, etc. per WorkSafe BC)
    • Lab Safety, Equipment & Supplies (Personal Protective Gear)
    • Access to buildings/facilities (Name Tags & Photo ID)

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8. Practicum Guidelines

8.1 Clinical and Community Placement Protocol

Students will find information on their practicum expectations within their practical skills and practicum course materials. Consult with your instructor or Chair if you are unable to locate your supporting documents.

  1. Clinical and Community Placement Protocol
  2. Student Safety and orientations on practicums
  3. Practice Guidelines/Professional Standards of Practice
  4. Practice Appraisals

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10. Info for Graduates

10.1 Licensing & Professional Association Information

British Columbia Society of Laboratory Science (BCSLS)

In order to be certified as an MLA, graduates must apply to the British Columbia Society of Laboratory Science (BCSLS).

BCSLS MLA Certification is a one-time process in which graduates of validated programs who can demonstrate that they have attained a recognized level of standards and training through BCSLS approved educational institutions receive a Certificate of Qualifications. This certification is essential for employment in BC at most health authority and corporate laboratories.   

Membership in the BCSLS can be renewed each year for a 12 month period. Membership has many benefits: Leadership opportunities, significant discounts on educational seminars and Congress, the right to vote at the Annual General Meeting and hold elected office with BCSLS.

Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS)

CSMLS offers national certification for Medical Laboratory Assistants (MLAs). Although not yet mandatory in every province in Canada, MLA certification is quickly gaining recognition as the standard requirement in the profession. Graduates of the MLA-CE program need to apply for a Prior Learning Assessment in order to access the national certification exam. More information on this process can be found on the CSMLS website.

College of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Health Professionals of BC (CDTHPBC)

The CDTHPBC is a newly formed regulatory body who will govern the practice of diagnostic laboratory science and other diagnostic and therapeutic health professions in BC. A professional college serves and protects the public, and acts in the public interest at all times, making sure its registrants are qualified, competent and follow defined standards of practice and ethics. Professional colleges are responsible for responding to complaints from patients and the public. They can also take action if one of their registrants is practising in a manner that is incompetent, unethical, illegal or impaired by alcohol, drugs or illness.

Medical Laboratory Assistants in BC can expect to be required to become members of the college within approximately 3-5 years of graduation.

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Contact Us
Camosun College Lansdowne
3100 Foul Bay Rd
Victoria BC V8P 5J2
Camosun College Interurban
4461 Interurban Rd
Victoria BC V9E 2C1
  • 250–370–3000
  • 1–877–554–7555 (toll-free)

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