Saskatchewan Polytechnic is doubling the number of seats in its Combined Laboratory and X-Ray Technologists (CLXT) program to address a shortage in the province.
The Saskatchewan government said it is part of its strategy to employ more technologists in the province and improve rural health care delivery.
“Ensuring we have the increased training capacity to meet labour market needs is a growth plan priority for our government,” Advanced Education Minister Tina Beaudry-Mellor said Tuesday in a statement.
“Graduates of the Combined Laboratory and X-Ray Technologists program are in high demand in rural hospitals and health centres where they play an integral role on health care teams.”
Sask. Polytech president and CEO Larry Rosia said they are one of only two centres in Canada to offer the CLXT diploma program.
“We look forward to doubling the number of seats we can offer starting in January 2021 and meeting this health care need,” Rosia said.
The two-year program is only offered at the Saskatoon campus and students are trained in medical laboratory, X-ray procedures and electrocardiography.
They also complete three clinical practicum placements at approved sites in the province, including rural regions.
“Combined Laboratory and X-Ray Technologists provide key medical diagnostic services including medical laboratory and x-ray procedures, and are an integral part of a health care team,” said Warren Kaeding, Saskatchewan’s rural and remote health minister.
“They are especially important in the rural areas where they can use their full scope of skills in providing x-ray and laboratory services.”
The announcement comes days after Sask PolyTech unveiled its new five-year strategic plan, Leading the Rise: Bringing polytechnic education to new heights.
“Sask Polytech’s new strategic plan is built on a commitment to ensure our learners receive the education and hands-on learning opportunities they require to succeed in their careers, in their communities and in their lives,” Rosia said on Aug. 26.
“As we look forward to the next five years, applied education has never been more critical to our collective success, at home and around the world.”
Saskatchewan Polytechnic has campuses in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina and Saskatoon, along with distance education opportunities.