Cherie Beckett, acting senior biomedical scientist
The work of a biomedical scientist really underpins the PAHT values; especially patient at heart. As a biomedical scientist, I seldom get to meet the patients that I care for, but they are always at the heart of all that I do and every single sample represents a patient.
I love my job because every day is different and I get such satisfaction from feeling that I can really make a difference. Whether that be on Christmas Day, out-of-hours on-call, or simply in my day-to-day work in the laboratory. A biomedical scientist may often be one of the first people in the patient pathway to assist in the laboratory diagnosis of sepsis, meningitis, urinary tract infection or viral infection - as just a few examples - and this provides great job satisfaction in the profound impact that the profession makes.
Life at PAHT began for me 12 years ago and since then, it's been a whirlwind of opportunities. At PAHT, I've been able to progress from medical laboratory assistant to senior biomedical scientist, and have been incredibly fortunate to have been fully supported studying for a BSc in Biomedical Science alongside the work that I do in the laboratory, to complement the theoretical knowledge required with the practical skills of a biomedical scientist. I was also able to publish my dissertation on a particular type of antibiotic resistance through the work that I undertook at PAHT.
One of my most memorable experiences at PAHT has to be my involvement in ‘Harvey's Gang’. Harvey's Gang is a charity initiative whereby young people with chronic conditions that involve a large number of pathology investigations are invited into the laboratory setting to demystify the science behind the testing. The particular patient that I was involved in showing around the serology laboratory was distraught at the thought of another blood test. However, with some careful skilled play with pipettes and water, and a little gentle conversation, I managed to reassure the patient that we would only require a little amount of blood and explained how we would be performing the testing using machines. I really felt I made a difference to that patient, not only in that moment as their tears turned to laughter, but hopefully moving forward in their perception of pathology.
What stands out for me at PAHT, is the sense of community. Throughout the pandemic especially - and now as we move forward - I've always felt part of a wider team. A simple smile and "hello" as I walk down the corridor, or a check-in from someone as they drop off samples to pathology. In the restaurant, the lovely front-of-house team provide a warm welcome and light conversation when picking up lunch, and the weekly This is us briefing on Microsoft Teams is an excellent way to engage with others and members of the executive team, demonstrating openness and an easy way to keep up to date with key themes at PAHT (including shouting about successes!). Outside of the PAHT sites, there is also a great PAHT network on social media and this is an excellent way to link in with others.
If you are thinking about applying to work at PAHT, go for it! If you can, do arrange to pop down prior to application or interview to see where you are applying for.
The Alex Lounge is a fantastic place to relax and the Learning and Education Centre is a great place to study. When applying for roles, the person specification and job description really provide an ideal starting block when considering which role might be right for you, but do link in with the named people on the application for an informal chat beforehand if you have questions.