Photo:

Samantha Weaver

One of my wishes came true - today it stopped raining and the sun came out!

Favourite Thing: Working out what is wrong with someone and telling the doctors what it is :)

My CV

Education:

Radyr Comprehensive School 1992-1999, Anglia Polytechnic University 1999-2002, University of Wales Institute Cardiff 2003-2008

Qualifications:

10 GCSEs, 4 A-Levels, BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science with Forensic Science, MSc Biomedical Science (Medical Biochemistry)

Work History:

Department of Medical Biochemistry & Immunology, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff

Current Job:

Specialist Biomedical Scientist – Medical Biochemistry & Immunology

Employer:

NHS

Me and my work

I’m a Biomedical Scientist which means I do tests on samples from people and animals (blood, urine, poo, saliva, CSF, body parts!) to tell doctors/vets what is wrong with their patient and to help check the treatment is working.

The Medical Biochemistry and Immunology Department provides a wide range of clinical biochemistry, toxicology and immunology services from its laboratories at the University Hospital of Wales, University Hospital Llandough and Velindre Hospital.

The department currently handles in excess of 2500 samples each day, produces over 5 million analytical results each year and is fully accredited by Clinical Pathology UK Ltd.

The Department provides a service to primary and secondary care in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan as well as supporting tertiary clinical services in Cardiff. These specialist laboratory services, including Supra Regional Assay services, are provided to other laboratories across Wales and the UK. These include peptide and steroid hormones, porphyrins and special immunology tests.
Other national services include Downs and Neonatal Screening for Wales, regional trace metal and paediatric metabolic services.
You can see the website here: http://www.cardiffandvaleuhb.wales.nhs.uk/medical-biochemistry-immunology

My Typical Day

I’m currently on maternity leave so a typical day includes taking my 2 children to baby massage, swimming, gymnastics, playgroup, the zoo, the park, drawing, painting, making dens, and lots more! Last week we bought 3 chickens so everyday I collect their eggs and look after them too! However, when I am in work a typical day (or night) is spent in the laboratory.

Every day has the potential to be very different in my job, depending when and where I am working.  I work shifts so sometimes have to stay up all night from 7.30pm to 8am running urgent samples on patients who are very ill.  If I am working a ‘normal’ day I start at 8.45am and finish at 5.15pm. First thing in the morning I set up the analysers (machines) that I will be using and check that they are working properly.  Then the samples are loaded on and then I check all the results and phone the doctors to tell them about any really abnormal results which they need to deal with or else the patient might die.

Sometimes I have to visit the intensive care, maternity wards, theatres and casualty to look after their blood gas analysers which measure how much oxygen and carbon dioxide is in a patient’s blood and also what pH it is.

I have also performed ‘sweat tests’ on babies in Children’s Outpatients to diagnose Cystic Fibrosis.

What I'd do with the money

I would like to set up a science club at the school which my 2 children attend.

I would use the money to buy resources such as books and science based toys for use in the school which my 2 young children attend. I would also arrange to visit regularly (once a month) to do science experiments and role-play with the children and arrange visits from other scientists – for example vets, doctors/nurses,  zoo workers and Zoolab to show the children what exciting things grown-ups do while they are at work!

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Young, Fun, Friendly

Who is your favourite singer or band?

I don’t have a favourite – I like pretty much everything :)

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Gone on safari in Africa

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

That my children have happy, healthy lives, for it to stop raining and have some sunshine and to win the Lottery!

What did you want to be after you left school?

While I was in school I wanted to be a veterinary surgeon, then after school I wanted to be a scene of crime officer.

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

Of course!

What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

Taken part in I’m a Scientist Get Me Out of Here!

Tell us a joke.

Pupil: Sir,would you punish someone for something they didn’t do? Teacher: Of course not. Pupil: Oh good, because I didn’t do my homework.

Other stuff

Work photos:

myimage1

This is me in the lab 🙂

myimage3

This is my little boy – he’s 6 months old 🙂

myimage2

This is my daughter, aged 3, looking after the chickens!

Here are the chickens:

myimage4