This week, Christine Nielsen, CEO, Canadian Society of Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) stopped by the University Health Network to share her thoughts on the future of the profession for Medical Laboratory Technologists (MLT) and Medical Laboratory Assistants/technicians (MLA).
The Lunch and Learn titled, Future of the Profession: Who has the Crystal Ball? covered key areas including the evolving needs in health care, the setting of industry standards, and the unfinished journey of regulation for MLAs.
We had roughly 130 LMP staff members register for the event, and it proved to be an excellent opportunity to hear from one of Canada’s national certifying bodies for MLTs and MLAs.
When discussing the evolving landscape of health care, Christine brought forward many important issues from advancements in laboratory technology to employer demands with an aging demographic. She discussed the validity of a “health care human resource crisis” and what that may mean for the profession. She also touched on an issue that is currently affecting students – a lack of clinical placements.
The topic of industry standards shined a light on competency profile exams, which CSMLS presents as a way to ensure the integrity of MLT and MLA programs. Christine discussed how competency profiles should evolve with periodic review to best reflect market demands and emerging technologies. Adding to that, she included a wide range of stakeholders that should be included in the reviewal process, such as educators, practitioners, regulators, and employers.
When on the subject of MLA regulation, Christine had no firm stance, but instead established the facts. How in Canada, MLAs are not officially regulated; how Alberta, Ontario, Newfoundland, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba have all requested MLA regulation, but have been denied, and; how British Columbia and Prince Edward Island are pursuing regulation that would cover both MLTs and MLAs.
Who has the Crystal Ball? was an accurate title for the talk, and Christine made it clear she didn’t have all the answers. So if you think you have insights into the crystal ball, or if you just have opinions on the lunch and learn, or the future of the laboratory profession – share it the comments section!
For more information on the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science, visist: www.csmls.org