Non-urgent advice: Profile
Trainee clinical scientist
Healthcare science specialism
As a trainee, my job is to learn everything there is to know about immunology! I spend time in the laboratory learning about the tests we do and why we perform them, attend multidisciplinary team meetings where I learn about the clinical presentations of immune disorders, attend conferences and training days to keep up-to-date with the latest advancements, and as part of my training in the scientist training programme I’m also completing an MSc in clinical science specialising in blood sciences.
Alongside maintaining the routine diagnostic service, we introduced a novel SARS-CoV-2 serology assay to aid in determination of antibody responses, which was used to screen staff for presence of CoVID-19 antibodies over the summer. The ongoing pandemic has demonstrated the need for qualified immunologists to investigate how the immune system responds to new pathogenic threats and the impact of the antibody response following vaccination.
Every day is so different and there is so much to learn! I could spend one day loading samples onto analysers, another studying electrophoresis patterns, investigating interesting case studies, or doing online lectures or seminars.
Every sample we analyse in the laboratory belongs to a patient that is undergoing some sort of investigation – it can be heart-breaking when you see a patient newly presenting with myeloma, but knowing we’re aiding in the care of so many patients makes being a healthcare scientist worth it. The NHS Scientist Training Programme is an excellent way of becoming a qualified clinical scientist and I wholly recommend it for those interested in the role!