Biology, ecology and biomedical science at Brighton

University of Brighton biosciences blog

Nadine outdoors

Portfolio training on placement

Nadine is studying on our Biomedical Science BSc(Hons) and is currently on placement. We caught up with her to find out more about it…

How did you hear about and apply for your placement?
I contacted many different hospitals asking if they did Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) portfolio training as many do not advertise placements outside of their partnered university. Then spoke further will the hospitals which replied and were in areas within moving distance.

Where are you doing your placement and what is your role?
I am doing my placement at Great Western Hospital (Swindon). I started in July as a band 2 biomedical support worker in blood science lab on general pathology reception. Now I’m a band 3 medical lab assistant, MLA, in the microbiology lab as part of the covid front support team.

Tell us about the variety of work you are doing on placement.
I process specimens of diverse types and entrances to the laboratory, emptying the tillies from GP surgeries and in-house wards, signing in histology/cytology specimens, collecting samples from the phlebotomy lift, and filling the microbiology trolley.
I also book in specimens correctly, labelling samples and inputting them on the system.
I use operating equipment like centrifuges and a panther analyser, and completing time critical tasks like processing urgent samples which have a quick turnaround time.
I also assist practitioners and patients with their queries and needs, transfer callers from specimen reception to the required area and send results to correct GPs by email or over the phone.

How do you feel your placement will give you an edge when applying for jobs in future?
The experience I have gained from my year in industry, working in a professional laboratory alongside graduates and senior members of staff, I would be able to provide a higher work standard as I have already been able to experience the stress and expectancy of a full-time laboratory technician.

What are the most valuable things you’ve learned from your placement so far?
The way in which a hospital runs. Learning how the communication between medical staff and laboratory technicians is conveyed.

Are you putting what you learned in lectures into practice during your placement?
I can use the knowledge learnt in lectures and adapt it into a practical skill during laboratory tasks. As well as using the specific scientific language that is needed to explain an outcome of laboratory tests.

What made you choose Brighton and this course?
Being in Brighton itself just felt right after visiting for open day and just walking around the city. Talking to Dr Peter Bush on open day was a helpful factor in deciding to pick Brighton. Biomedical science for me was the right balance between medicine and general biology, I didn’t want to learn about plant and animal biology while also not wanting to be a doctor.

How do you plan to use your course in the future?
I will use my course to complete my IBMS training portfolio to become a registered biomedical scientist through the HCPC council after graduating. Therefore continuing to work in the NHS.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of applying for Biomedical Science at Brighton?
The course offers a wide range of knowledge and can help improve understanding of all areas of the medical background. Biomed can help boost the interest and knowledge of immunological research and the physiological body. It also offers the opportunity to learn more about the medical world before diving into a medical degree and helps build pathways to other medical careers.

Stephanie Thomson • September 22, 2021


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