Essential Worker

Medical Laboratory Technologist MLT, Lab worker, & Educator, exhausted Training MLA Medical Lab Assistants

From Ottawa, ON

Fri May 07 2021


I work full time days teaching a new crop of Med Lab assistants, I have also taken a position doing covid PCR on evenings and weekends. I had an exposure at school and had to isolate but navigating through the Ottawa Health unit and my provincial employer, they have different rules based on the exposure. Ottawa said stay home, Ont said, your exposure was less than 15 min go to work. It is ironic that my exposure was from someone taking my temperature and when I actually do the PCR testing I can’t get one. I was sent away 3 times from a testing site because it was too soon after the exposure .

My students are training partially from home but we must bring them in to do hands on training, but have to split them up to keep numbers down, so do everything twice. Did I mention that I am exhausted. The lab industry needs these new employees but in order to graduate them I need placements , but many placement sites are closed.

I teach 8:30-3:30 go to lab 4-11... and every weekend at the lab. There is a critical shortage of MLT’s and we have been screaming to train more but there is no facility in Ottawa to train, closest is Kingston, and very difficult to get in. So many MLTs are my age and ready to retire, this has pushed us to our limit. I am 58 years old.

Why am I working 2 jobs? I worked in virology during the H1N1 and I guessed what may happen. I knew about the MLT shortages. The province recruited me, and I wanted to help.

I hope this gets under control soon, it will be with us for the long term but hopefully under control.

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