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Medical lab assistant Erin Accadia inspects a tissue specimen for patient identification accuracy and specimen suitability before assigning a case/specimen number.
July 27, 2023

Craving variety? Lab work is “never boring”

Hamilton Regional Laboratory Medicine Program

Some of the most familiar faces to patients are their Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) doctors and nurses.

But behind the scenes, thousands of other HHS health-care professionals play vital roles in patient care including lab staff, whose work touches nearly every patient at HHS as well as other patients across the region and even provincially.

Lab staff are part of the Hamilton Regional Laboratory Medicine Program (HRLMP), a partnership between HHS and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. The HRLMP is one of the largest such lab service programs in the country consisting of 30 labs across both hospitals with over 700 team members.

From early childhood educator to HHS lab assistant

Erin Accadia was an early childhood educator when she decided to switch career paths and pursue work in health care.

“I wanted a career in health care but I didn’t want to be a nurse,” says Accadia, a Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) medical laboratory assistant who has worked with the Hamilton Regional Laboratory Medicine Program (HRLMP) since 2015.

“Every day there’s something new to see and learn.”

Erin Accadia, HHS medical lab assistant

“In high school I really enjoyed chemistry and I was good at math, so that tied in well with a health-care pathway,” says Accadia, who knew that switching careers would mean returning to college or university for training. Accadia researched her options and enrolled in a college program to qualify as a medical lab assistant.

After graduating, Accadia spent 12 years working with Canadian Blood Services before joining HHS, spending two years in a core lab before joining the pathology lab team at HHS Hamilton General Hospital.  A pathology lab analyses tissue specimens to examine and diagnose disease.

Accadia’s work includes assigning case numbers to specimens and supporting the technologists performing the testing. “Every day there’s something new to see and learn,” says Accadia. “That’s a huge part of why I like this job. It’s never boring.”

Lab work a career with many options

There’s something for everyone interested in lab work, under the HRLMP umbrella, adds Accadia. “There are so many options where lab staff can work, including specialty departments like microbiology, pathology, malignant hematology and cytology.”

And there’s no need to commit to one department for life. “Staff here have opportunities to work in different departments to see what they like, so lab work is definitely a career with a lot of options.”

Accadia also enjoys the supportive environment. “I’m surrounded by a really amazing team of professional staff. We’re all here to provide excellent service which is integral in patient diagnosis and treatment.”

For more information about HHS careers, including job listings, please visit the careers page.