Nadia, Biomedical Scientist, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Nadia started her job as a trainee biomedical scientist in 2005 in microbiology at the Western Infirmary Glasgow, after completing a 4-year degree with honours in biomedical science.

How did you find out about the healthcare science opportunity?

I first found out about healthcare sciences when I was in 6th year at school, when I was looking through different university courses.

Where did your NHS journey start?

After completing my degree in biomedical science, it allowed me to look for a trainee biomedical science degree in a healthcare setting. I wanted to use the knowledge of science I had gained to help save lives and improve patient care. My NHS journey started in 2005 in microbiology at the Western Infirmary Glasgow. 

Describe a typical day in your role

A typical day in microbiology includes:

  • analysing cultures grown from various specimens, such as blood, urine, skin swabs and tissues
  • analysing specimens directly through microscopy
  • setting up various antibiotic tests to determine the most suitable antibiotic treatment for the patient

What are the most important skills for you to do your job well?

In order to do my job well, I need to:

  • have attention to detail to produce highly accurate work
  • have good communication skills to be able to liaise with the healthcare team
  • be able to work as part of a team

What are the main responsibilities in your role?

The main responsibilities in my role include:

  • identifying micro-organism isolated from culture plates, which were grown from various specimens, using different scientific techniques
  • preparing, examining and reporting on microscopic preparations of specimens (phoning and liaising with medical staff when required)
  • performing antibiotic sensitivity tests and reporting appropriate drug therapy
  • using the Laboratory Information System (LIMS) to input, authorise and release reports

Did you know a lot about healthcare science before you started?

I had learnt about working in healthcare settings through careers days at university.

What do you like most about your job?

I enjoy working with a range of difference specimens, using my own intellect and the knowledge I have gained to make decisions on identification of organisms and suitable antibiotic therapy.

Most importantly, I like knowing I am making a difference towards patient care.

What advice would you give to others thinking about applying for a role in healthcare science with the NHS?

Working as a healthcare scientist in the NHS, there is opportunity for growth and specialisation, the work is never boring and there is a satisfaction in helping people to get better.

Is there anything you think would surprise people about your role?

Biomedical scientists provide the ‘engine room’ of modern medicine. The majority of diagnoses in the NHS are based on results provided by the laboratory.