One of the things Beth loves most about her job is the opportunity to work independently in a lab environment.
Monday to Sunday morning shifts and Saturday and Sunday evening shifts are lone shifts. The morning shifts start at 7am where you are required to open the lab, set all the machines up to run and set everything up in the safety cabinet ready to start sample processing. The main job role for the morning shift is to process PCR tests for RSV, Influenza A&B, and now also SARS-Cov-2. The different mornings of the week also have different tasks that need to be carried out alongside sample processing e.g. Internal Quality Testing (IQAs), anemometer readings and ordering and distributing various different tests to wards.
Monday to Friday evening shifts have the same requirement for sample processing done in the mornings, but the shift ends with our laboratory close-down routine. However, there are two associate practitioners in for the afternoon shifts - one doing sample processing and laboratory maintenance in the main lab, and one doing telephoning for urgent blood test results in our other lab.
For telephoning, we are required to look at patient blood test results and identify anything that is out of range in the metabolic panel. If anything is identified to be severely out of range or above normal levels, we make calls to the corresponding wards to provide them with the results so they can treat the patient accordingly.