Medical Laboratory Assistant

by NHS


  • The Role
  • The Company
  • The Culture

    The Role

  • 1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
  • I completed the placement alongside my masters in biomedical science. I greatly enjoyed the experience to work in an NHS lab as this allowed me to gain an insight into what is expected to work as a biomedical scientist and the structure of how to train and develop the position within the NHS.


  • 2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
  • 3/5

  • 3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
  • In the initial first weeks, I was given extensive training with the senior management team. Unfortunately, due to a few staff shortages, I was limited in the departments that I could receive training/work in. The original structure, was to have me work a few weeks in one department than move to microbiology and then haematology. However, due to the limitations I only worked within one department. I was fully explained the situation, and received few shadowing days in the other departments to at least give me an insight to how they work


  • 4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
  • As histology deals with the majority of humans samples except for bloody fluids, it was constantly busy on a daily basis. There is a night team that prepares samples for the morning so they can plan for the days work, meaning we had work to process on arrival. As the hospital as to comply with specific standards, the lab had to be checked on a daily basis including equipment maintenance, sample logs and disposal and stock rotation


  • 5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
  • Due to the nature of working with human samples and the process involving diagnostics, I was limited in the responsibilities that I could do. My main job roles included the preparation of samples prior to analysis by the consultants and to ensure maintenance of the lab through stock checks and cleaning.


  • 6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
  • The opportunity to work in an NHS lab provided an excellent platform during my studies, and one I would recommend to anybody seeking a career in the health profession as a BMS. Although, I would have liked to received more training in other departments, it was insightful to see the processes that occur within a lab to aid in the diagnose of a patient. Despite me now moving into research, I feel this experience has also improved my understanding as it allows me to visualise research methodology


    The Company

  • 7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
  • Overall the atmosphere was really positive, with a great sense of team unity with the laboratory staff, consultants and management. On the majority of my working days, there was a daily team meeting, this gave everybody the opportunity to bring forward any concerns with protocols, equipment etc, and was also used to praise any outstanding work. I could sense from working there that most staff where comfortable and had the confidence they could speak to their senior staff with any concerns


  • 8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
  • 3/5

  • 9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
  • 3/5

  • 10. What were the perks on your work placement?
  • 3/5

  • 11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
  • The placement give me a great insight into the prospects of working on the NHS and what was required to progress in the field of BMS. After my placement, I was placed on bank staff for a few months so manged to gain a wage up until I decided to progress on to the PhD. I strongly considered working as a BMS, the position does require a lot of personal development but is well worth it if you are determined to succeed. It was very clear that the hospital would support me to achieve this if this was my chosen career path


    The Culture

  • 12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
  • I was 1 of 3 students on placement at the hospital. Although, we was all placed in different areas of the lab, we managed to socialise at the local coffee shops or cafes on our diner breaks almost on a daily basis. Although, I have experience many new universities, jobs by myself in the past; I did feel it greatly helped to have somebody who I knew when arriving at my new post, making then settling in period much less daunting


  • 13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
  • I lived in St Helens during my placement which has very affordable housing in the town centre (around £450 inc. bills). Although, the hospital is around an hours work from where I stayed, there is close by trains and buses that frequently to the hospital so travel was no issue. The town centre itself is very run down with the majority of shops on retail parks just outside the town. However, there was 2 large supermarkets within 10 mins walk. In addition, if you are into rugby league, the Saints home ground is just a few mins a way. There is plenty of places to eat and bars in the town centre at relatively low prices


  • 14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
  • This is highly dependent on what you want on a night out. If you want a chilled relaxing night out with decent pub/bistro food, then there are number of places a short taxi ride away, mainly towards Eccleston area. The town centre has a Cineworld and bowling alley with plenty fast food places like pizza hut for a decent fun night. However, the bars are very small and run down and not worth a night out. If it is night of drinking and nightclubs you are after, then Liverpool city centre is around 15 mins away on the train


  • 15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
  • There have vast amounts of charity/volunteer work to get involved at the hospital and with the NHS in general. During my time of my placement, I also gained training with palatable care within the dementia ward. I decided to take this training as my aim in research is to focus on nutrition in healthcare, and used this as opportunity to visualise how the disease actually effects the patient rather than just reading it in journal articles and text books. In addition, I have been a long-time distance runner and have completed one marathon to raise money for the hospital


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Internship (1-4 Months)

North West

September 2019

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