MLT left Alberta for new adventure in BC

Karen Hung was not really thinking about moving to BC when she attended a career fair in Calgary. After emigrating from Mauritius seven years ago, she had already lived in Montreal and was studying in Calgary. Even so, she decided to leave her resume with the consultants at the Health Match BC and Fraser Health booths.

When her graduation from the two-year Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) diploma program at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary coincided with a hiring freeze, Karen and her husband Steve started looking at other options. “When Fraser Health called about a job, it seemed like a good opportunity to discover another Canadian province,” said Karen. “So, we set out on a new adventure.”

Enjoying the outdoors
Change came quickly for the couple. They relocated to Vancouver in the fall of 2010, and both of them are now employed by Fraser Health. Steve works as a senior operations engineer and Karen is based at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster.

“We thought we would like living in Vancouver, but now that we are here we really love it,” said Karen. “We can go walking and jogging outside, even in the winter. And we don’t have to drive far at all to go hiking and skiing.” So far the couple has enjoyed skiing at Mount Seymour, but they are hoping to try a few more hills before the end of their first ski season in Vancouver.

Steep learning curve
Not only is Karen in a new city, but she is also starting on a new career: “I worked as a microbiology technician before, in a food-testing facility. Working as a laboratory technologist in a hospital is totally different. It’s a steep learning curve. There is more pressure working in a hospital setting. The workload is more significant due to various units needing testing from us.”

Karen did not have to recertify to practise in this province. “I took the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science national exam when I graduated, in order to be able to practise,” she said. “And that qualified me to work in BC.”

Looking back over the many changes in her life since moving to BC, Karen concluded: “It was a lot of change all at once. But we are slowly getting used to things. It took a few months, but we are getting settled in now.”

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