The placement was a great insight of how the pathology laboratory operates, including the automated machinery. At university you learn the underlying techniques, however, the placement puts the knowledge into use and gives you more confidence in your understanding.
Everyone was welcoming and friendly. After being trained up the staff treated me as one of their own, where I would help with daily tasks ensuring work continuity.
I was given a training officer who would help me through each stage of the registration portfolio i completed while undertaking the placement. They would be quick on replying to emails and giving me feedback on each piece of evidence. They would always help if you needed it.
The laboratory receives thousands of samples a day and so as the day goes on the work load becomes busier. Sometimes staff would expect me to help with the movement of samples so it was at times difficult to work on my portfolio, however, they did give me one afternoon a week in the library to work peacefully on my evidences.
I was given a lot of responsibility once trained with associate practitioner role, however, because I hadn't actually obtained my registration yet, I was not able to carry out the job as a biomedical scientist, i was only allowed to observe and learn the daily tasks without authorising results.
All of the skills i have gained will help me in my degree as i was positioned in the haematology department which i have not yet studied at university, giving me an insight prior to my final year. Also gaining the knowledge will help when i apply for the biomedical scientist role as i already have one years experience that employers like.
The atmosphere was up beat and always busy so there was never a dull moment. It isn't your typical office job as there is always a task to be carried out. At times individuals can get overwhelmed with the amount of samples being received within the day, you just have to remember to keep working through it and it will all eventually get completed with team work.
All parts of the placement was already organised, being given a training officer and having meetings to discuss progress. My training officer kept track of what pieces of work i had completed ensuring i stayed on task and maintained a good work effort.
They liked the idea of training an individual who lived close to the site and so invested in me greatly. I could tell they wanted me to develop my skills as they were always willing to help if i had any questions.
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
I can see myself working within the laboratory in the future as i worked well with the staff. I was not too keen on the 24 hour shift pattern of day shifts/ late shifts/ night shifts, however, i think while starting my career it would be good to have familiar faces and then perhaps move to a different department that does day shifts only.
I was the only placement student there for a year and so was difficult to socialise, however, there were some trainees. We all got along fine but the shifts meant it was difficult to arrange an event that everyone could make.
I lived from home, norwich is an affordable area for students as there is a university close to the hospital. The are bus linked to and from the hospital from the city centre that are not too expensive, making it easier to socialise.
Norwich is a good town for nightlife but you are likely to need a taxi to and from the club/bar which may be expensive.
There are not many club and societies, it is mainly just friends hanging outside of work.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
East of England
26th December 2018