Non-urgent advice: Profile
Healthcare Science Specialism
We are based in a hospital laboratory. Our job involves several elements including overseeing and developing virology diagnostic tests. We also advise clinicians on appropriate tests to order, infection control and viral infection management strategies.
Clinical scientists in our laboratory rapidly designed a new PCR test that was able to diagnose SARS-CoV-2 infection. As the pandemic progressed alongside diagnostics, testing platforms became automated. We are now in a position where we are able to process approximately 2000 SARS-CoV-2 samples a day.
Personally our clinical role has evolved too, from providing advice on what tests to request in the early days, to surveillance and keeping up with variants more recently. From an infection control perspective, changes in personal protective equipment have required updating and we also play a role in developing guidance/management algorithms that are used to manage COVID-19 on the wards.
Virology has always been at the forefront of molecular diagnostics, allowing identification and monitoring of a wide range viral pathogens within a rapid timeframe. This has been more than evident in the current climate, where virology services have diversified and continually adapted to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are a number of other things I love about my job, such as the deployments I have been on to Sierra Leone and the diverse, multidisciplinary team I am a part of. This team comprises clinicians and scientists, plus the invaluable working relationships with infectious diseases, infection control, regional and national health protection teams.