As per the Health Professions Act (2010), a college was established for each profession designated under the act. In the summer of 2012, the former Newfoundland and Labrador Society of Medical Laboratory Science (NLSMLS) became the Newfoundland and Labrador College of Medical Laboratory Science (NLCMLS). Medical Laboratory Technology officially became a licensed profession in NL in the fall of 2012 with government’s formal acceptance of the Medical Laboratory Technologists Regulations.
All Medical Laboratory Technologists (MLT) working across Newfoundland and Labrador are members of the NLCMLS.
MLTs are highly trained and skilled professionals who are an integral part of the health care community. Recognizing that lifelong learning is essential to maintain our expertise in a rapidly changing technical laboratory environment, the NLCMLS strives to provide its members access to quality continuing education which both enhances our professional knowledge and promotes public safety.
NLCMLS establishes registration and education requirements, as well as entry to practice requirements, scope of practice, code of ethics and standards of practice for our profession.
The NLCMLS is part of the Newfoundland and Labrador Council of Health Professionals (NLCHP). NLCHP, as the regulator, monitors compliance with qualifications for registration and continuing education and exists to ensure the public is safe when cared for by the health professionals they regulate.
Who are Laboratory Technologists?
Medical Laboratory Technologists (MLTs) are an important part of the health care professional team. Using a variety of sophisticated instrumentation, as well as manual procedures, they analyze tissue samples, blood and other body fluids for diagnostic testing. MLTs provide the results of these tests to clinicians, allowing them to make accurate diagnosis and if needed, appropriate treatment.
There are three MLT designations: General, Clinical Genetics, and Diagnostic Cytology.
1. General MLTs specialize in several areas:
- Clinical Chemistry: Conducts tests on blood and body fluid to detect chemicals, hormones and/or drugs.
- Common Tests: Blood Glucose (blood sugar) and Hemoglobin A1C used to diagnose and monitor diabetes
- Clinical Microbiology: Conducts tests on blood, body fluid and/or tissue samples to detect bacteria, fungi, viruses, and/or parasites.
- Common Test: Throat swab to detect strep throat.
- Hematology: Conducts tests to measure blood cells and to detect diseases/disorders of the blood.
- Common Test: Hemoglobin Test to detect anemia.
- Transfusion Science: Conducts blood typing and blood compatibility tests.
- Common Test: Cross-matching for blood transfusions.
- Histology: Prepares samples of body tissue for tests to detect disease.
- Common Test: Biopsy of a breast lump. Other speciality areas include immunology, electron microscopy, virology, parasitology and flow cytometry.
2. Clinical Genetics MLTs specialize in DNA and chromosomal analysis to detect diseases or abnormalities.
- Common Test: Cheek swab or saliva test to detect genetic predisposition to certain cancers, like breast or stomach cancer.
3. Diagnostic Cytology MLTs specialize in microscopic cellular analysis to detect pre-cancerous cells, cancerous cells, and other cellular-based diseases.
- Common Test: PAP test to detect cervical cancer.