Membership Renewal Time!

It's that time again. Time to think about renewing your BCSLS membership.

Our new membership year begins on May 1st, but please take the time to renew early. Your support is important. Without it we can't keep your professional interests before government, employers, educators and the general public.

Our current priorities for action include:

  • self-regulation
  • quality assurance
  • shortages of qualified staff
  • professional development
  • access to scientific and career information

It's easier than ever to renew. You can do it online or download a form to send to us.

A reminder letter and renewal form will be in the mail by the end of the February.

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'Each One - Reach One' Campaign

We estimate that 50% or more of those working in public and private medical laboratories throughout the province are not yet BCSLS members. We need you to help build our membership to remain a strong voice for Medical Laboratory Technologists and Assistants in BC.

New Member Incentives

For a limited period new members (including those who have not renewed since December 31, 2004) can join at reduced rates for 2006/07. The rates are:

Medical Laboratory Technologists: $65.00 (normally $96.30) Save $31.30!

Medical Laboratory Assistants: $45.50 (normally $58.85) Save $13.35!

Each new member’s name will be placed in a prize draw, worth at least $250 (the winner will be announced at the fall AGM in Cranbrook).

Members' Rewards

We haven’t forgotten our ongoing members! If you are fully paid up for 2005/06, and you have or will be renewing for 2006/07, we want to reward you for building the membership. For each new recruit you sign up, your name will be entered into a draw worth at least $500. Also, you will receive a $10 credit for each new member toward our courses, lectures, or seminars. Or you can apply these credits toward your 2007/08 membership fees.

What To Do Next

Just sign up new members using the New Member Discount Offer form. Send in the completed forms with cheques made out to BCSLS. Enclose your contact information form to receive the credits and to be entered in the prize draw (to take place at our AGM).

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Health Council Calls for Quality

On February 7th the Health Council of Canada released its second annual report titled Health Care Renewal in Canada: Clearing the Road to Quality (Executive Summary). It states that health care quality is as important as service availability.

"The discussion about health care has focused overwhelmingly on wait times and access to care. Access is important, but it’s time to balance the discussion and devote equal attention to the quality of care we receive," said Council Chair Michael Decter.

Decter cited shortages in health care professionals, adverse patient events and regional disparities in care as examples of quality issues that can and must be resolved. Quality and access are linked. The landmark Baker-Norton study found that adverse events tack on an estimated 1.1 million additional hospital days. "Doing things right the first time reduces wait times," Decter said.

The report also said there has been unsatisfactory progress in getting different health professionals to work together. Current training programs, and even planning models, are not geared to teamwork. The report also pointed to unsolved scope of practice issues saying governments “must take the lead in bringing together the necessary players to assess how scopes of practice align, complement or even duplicate each other, and to clearly articulate who is capable of providing different types of patient care.”

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Internet Site: WebPath

Reviewed by Erica Meredith

WebPath: The Internet Pathology Laboratory for Medical Education web-site from the Florida State University College of Medicine is an interesting site for students or for those wanting a quick review of a few laboratory fundamentals.

There is a lot of information here. Most of it is geared towards medical students (especially the examinations and the Case of the Week), but the tutorials on phlebotomy, urinalysis, histotechniques and special stains would be just as helpful to medical laboratory science students.

For those who are keen to know more about disease processes, the General Pathology and Systemic Pathology sections have hundreds of images (gross and microscopic) accompanied by clearly written descriptions. There is also a large Forensic Pathology sub-section for the armchair CSI.

Highlights of this web-site also include images from “The Visible Human Project”, sponsored by the (American) National Library of Medicine, and a finale of landscape images from around Florida. Although you will see some Americanisms (reference ranges, statistics, a lot of information on firearms), I found it to be an engrossing and informative web-site.

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TeleHealth Seminars for 2006

Our new schedule of TeleHealth Seminars has been set for 2006. All broadcasts will be held on Thursdays from 6:00PM-8:00PM (PST). We are in the process of confirming site locations with our volunteer lab coordinators. If you want your site to be added to the list of those receiving these broadcasts contact BCSLS to get started.

Current Seminar Topics

March 23: Use of Chemistry Tests in Kidney Disease by Dr. J. Heathcote (BC Biomedical)

April 27: Antibiotic Resistant Organisms by Dr. Diane Roscoe, MD, Clinical Professor, Division Head Medical Microbiology and Infection Control in the Department of Pathology & Lab Medicine, UBC/VHHSC.

May 25: Cardiac Markers: Troponin I & T, BNP, Homocistine, and other cardiac risk indicators by Dr. J Heathcote (BC Biomedical)

October 19: Iron Haemochromotosis by Dr. Gillian Lockitch, Director of the Department of Pathology & Lab Medicine, UBC/Children's & Women's Health Centre of BC.

TeleHealth Fees

Early Bird Rate: $25 BCSLS Members/$50 Non-Members. These rates usually end about two weeks before each broadcast.

Late Registration: $35 BCSLS Members/$65 Non-Members. These rates apply after the Early Bird rates expire.

Online Registration will be established for each event and forms can be obtained from our Live Events page on our website.

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CSMLS Liability Policy Changes

Professional liability insurance (PLI) provides coverage for civil litigation arising from malpractice in your role as a laboratory professional. CSMLS has announced changes to its coverage of which all members should be aware.

Please note: BCSLS and OSMT jointly provide for separate PLI coverage for their MLA members, while MLTs obtain their coverage solely through CSMLS.

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MLA Education Day Registration Available

Our annual one-day education event for Medical Laboratory Assistants will take place on May 13th at Douglas College in New Westminster. This year it is call "Your Profession, Your Skills".


The Future for MLAs by Rene Maier, MLA MDS Metro, Camoson College and BCSLS PD Director.

Paediatric Blood Collection by Brett Maletic, MLA Children & Women's Heath Centre.

Advanced ECGs for MLAs by Cathie Cousins, RN BsN Certified Cardiovascular Nurse in Canada - CCN(C) and educator.

MLA Legal Liability Issues by Joan Mitchell, PhD and Adjunct Professor, University of Victoria.

Lunch is provided and there will be door prizes. Paid up registrants will be provided with a free 30 day subscription to our webcast Making ECGs Easy by Cathy Dockx, ARCT MDS Metro. Register early in order to view the webcast in advance of the live event.

Time: 10:00AM-4:00PM (on-site registration starts at 9:00am)

Early Bird Rate: $99 (BCSLS Members)/$145 (Non-Members), ends May 1, 2006.

Late Registration: $145 (BCSLS Members/$165 (Non-Members), after May 1st.

Online registration is now available.

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Society Announcements

A few late-breaking items include:

  • Congress 2007 will be held in Merritt. Shelley Sanders has agreed to be Congress Chair and has begun organising her team.
  • Barry McTavish, BCIT student was awarded the BCSLS Scholarship for Clinical Genetics Technology on February 16th.
  • The BCSLS Board of Directors will meet next on March 17/18 in Vancouver.

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Objective Contributions Welcome!

Do you want to review a website, book, article or other source of medical laboratory information? Or how about a story from your laboratory or a commentary on a relevant health care issue?

If so, just email it to us in WORD format. Make sure it is under two hundred words, and includes all referenced internet links and/or publisher information. We will also need your name, occupational title, and location.

All articles will be attributed to their authors. BCSLS reserves the right to edit for length and content and to refuse articles.

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