Biomedical scientist Hannah Cross says she loves her job in pathology because it takes her behind the scenes.
Hannah, who started in the Black Country Pathology Services (BCPS) in 2018 as a trainee biomedical scientist, has been at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust for two months and relishes her role analysing samples.
“My day to day responsibilities are often very varied,” said Hannah. “I’m responsible for ensuring patient samples are analysed within a quick turnaround to meet the service’s demands.
“The job also involves using various types of analysers, from automated machines to manual tests.
“I’m also responsible for ensuring the analysers are maintained and are performing as they should be.
“This means a big part of my role is performing maintenance and quality control checks.
“I love my job because it gives me an opportunity to see what happens behind the scenes that many people forget about.”
Hannah is proud to make a difference to the patients she serves and believes her role gives her the chance to diversify in future.
“I’m able to contribute towards patient care,” she added. “The job itself has various aspects and so allows me to continually further my knowledge, whether that is in healthcare or technology.”
A foundation module in biomedical science proved the trigger that saw Hannah decide to pursue pathology as a career.
“I found that module very interesting and decided to take it as my degree,” Hannah recalled. “I was fortunate enough to complete a placement year in biochemistry and decided this was the career I wanted to pursue.
“Each day can be very varied and there’s always a new challenge and something to learn.”
Hannah reckons anyone looking to embark on a career in pathology should try to get any experience they can and recommends volunteering as a good start.
“I would tell anyone who wants to work as a biomedical scientist to complete their Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) registration portfolio by completing a placement,” she said.
“Volunteering within the laboratory is a good way to build up experience and find which areas of pathology you enjoy.”
The theme of National Pathology Week is All Together Now – which seems apt, as the BCPS is a collaboration of four NHS trusts – Walsall, The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals Trust and The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust.
Hannah believes the joint venture has been beneficial for her career and been better for the service as a whole.
“I am proud to work for the BCPS as there are always opportunities,” she said. “I have been fortunate enough to work at two BCPS sites and believe this has given me the best start to my career.
“The collaboration of the BCPS has allowed various laboratories at different hospital sites to work more closely together.
“This means all sites operate the same and share ideas with each other. It has allowed us to learn from each other and provide a better service.”