Test Assistant at Campus Shield, University of Liverpool
Posted on: 7 January 2021 by Phoebe Malin, 3rd year Biomedical Sciences in Case studies
"When I saw this job advert for a COVID-19 test assistant, I was initially interested as this is relevant experience that will allow me to develop skills to help me in the future."
I am a third-year biomedical sciences student and due to the current pandemic situation I have missed out on a lot of valuable, relevant experience. During the summer, I was due to take part in the life sciences work placement module, however due the COVID-19 pandemic this was cancelled. I attempted to gain a placement in biomedical labs and patient facing hospital experience, but they were all cancelled. Understandably, I was concerned about the lack of relevant work experience I was gaining and how this would affect my ability to obtain a graduate job in the future. When I saw this job advert for a COVID-19 test assistant, I was initially interested as this is relevant experience that will allow me to develop skills to help me in the future. This job not only gives me experience in testing samples as I would have been in a biomedical lab but also allows me to deal with patients as I would in a hospital role.
As a test assistant at Campus Shield I am responsible for analysing asymptomatic samples using Lateral Flow Tests for COVID-19. Before I started this job, I had to complete three online training modules on the NHS website for the Lateral Flow test process and infection control. This is a self-test, so this role involves guiding and supporting the patient through the process of taking the test. Once they have returned the swab sample, I have to mix the sample with extraction fluid and then apply the sample to the Lateral Flow Test cartridge. The test will then show whether the patient is positive or negative for COVID-19. At the same time, it is important to be aware of infection control and wear the correct PPE at all times.
This job has enhanced my communication skills and confidence through having to explain a detailed process to the patient clearly. I have also had to work under pressure as the results given out to the patient are very important and ultimately determine whether they must isolate or not. When applying the sample to the cartridge and when interpreting a test result, I must be extremely accurate. This job has also developed my ability to work within a team with a new group of people to enable an efficient testing process.
I would definitely advise someone to apply for this role as it has allowed me to develop a wide range of skills. In this role I am developing scientific sample testing skills as well as transferable skills such as communication and teamwork. After I graduate, I am hoping to gain a place on the NHS Scientist Training Programme. My test assistant role would aid this application as it displays my ability to deal with patients as well as the scientific element of testing samples accurately. Working as a Test Assistant has also enabled me to gain a new and exciting role working as a Medical Laboratory Assistant with Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which I am very excited to get started with.
Keywords: Case studies.