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Medical Laboratory Assistant

Certificate - 24 credits
Delivery Method: Hybrid


A Medical Laboratory Assistant (MLA) is a multi‐skilled person whose skills are focused on assisting in the medical laboratory. Competencies include medical terminology, phlebotomy skills, blood and body fluid processing, ability to assess validity of samples collected for laboratory tests and maintain validity of samples through the processing phase. MLAs must understand and comply with government regulations and safety in regard to human testing. Other skills include loading automated instrumentation, performing waived level laboratory testing. This program includes completion of the Phlebotomy Certificate and prepares students for certification as an MLA. Students may also prepare for entry into the MLT program.

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Career Information

Visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the MN Dept of Employment & Economic Development, and the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) to gather valuable career information such as wage reports, career outlook, job prospects, industry trends, and career opportunities. These tools are available to help empower students to make informed decisions about their educational and professional paths.

Below you will find the Career Field and Career Cluster that this program is related to. Learn more about if this career area fits your interests!

Is Health Science right for you?

Health science workers promote health and wellness. They diagnose and treat injuries and disease. As a physician, dentist, or nurse, you could work directly with patients. You could also work in a laboratory to get information used in research or provide administrative support by keeping medical records.

Skills and Knowledge

  • Phlebotomy (drawing blood)
  • Prepare samples for analysis
  • Test specimens (blood, body fluids) using waived complexity test methods.
  • Communicate with other healthcare team members in a healthcare setting.

Plan Your Education

The Program Guide is a tool to help you map out how to successfully get your degree at Lake Superior College.

View approximate total tuition and fees for MN residents to complete this degree.

Career Laddering in the Medical Laboratory

This program has additional entry requirements.

The Medical Laboratory Assistant Certificate Program Application Window is open.

Accepted/Current LSC Students: Apply to the program.

Prospective LSC Students: Learn more about the application process.

Goals and Outcomes

Program Mission

The mission of the Lake Superior College Medical Laboratory Assistant program is to serve students with cost effective, and time efficient, training that leads to employment in the medical laboratory at an entry level. We seek to support the community with MLA graduates who are proficient in phlebotomy, sample processing, assessing validity of samples received in the medical lab for analysis, loading instrumentation, performing waived testing and able to interact with other healthcare workers and patients in a professional manner. Furthermore, the program provides a stepping stone for students with goals of continuing to ladder up in medical laboratory careers.

Program Outcomes

  1. Prepare blood and body fluid specimens for analysis according to industry standards and prepare reagents, standards, and controls.
  2. Perform data entry using a Laboratory Information System (LIS).
  3. Perform phlebotomy following CLSI guidelines.
  4. Display behaviors and communication skills appropriate for the healthcare environment.
  5. Demonstrate HIPAA/confidentiality in the classroom and during clinical practicum.
  6. Demonstrate compliance with safety principles and guidelines as well as other laboratory regulations that may impact clinical site accreditation and patient safety.
  7. Demonstrate achievement in entry level competencies in performance of clinical laboratory waived testing procedures.
  8. Demonstrate the ability to pipet, prepare patient dilutions, prepare reagents, controls, standards and other materials in support of clinical laboratory personnel performing moderate and high complexity analyses.

MLA Program Questions

Contact your advisor or
Crystal Schmidt, M.Ed., MLS(ASCP)CM.
MLT Program Director
[email protected]

After You Graduate

Consider advancing your laboratory career by exploring our MLT Associate degree program.

Consider taking the MLA certification exam to become a certified MLA ASCP BOC


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