Kelvin is an Advanced Biomedical Support Worker in Point of Care Testing (POCT), based at Croydon Hospital. He has been at Croydon Hospital for over three years, and before that he was based at St George’s Hospital as a Biomedical Support Worker in Specimen Reception.
Before starting his career in biomedical science, Kelvin worked at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital as a Healthcare Assistant, and as a Production Editor in Scientific Publishing. However, having completed a degree in biomedical science, Kelvin was always keen to work in a hospital laboratory environment.
What does an average day look like for you?
The first thing Kelvin does when he starts his day is go around all of the ward areas where blood gas analysers are located to give them the once over. This includes checking whether there are enough consumables, checking any errors or problems and providing basic maintenance.
While he is doing this, he will be getting calls and bleeps from device users from across the hospital, calling about the glucometers or the blood gas machines. They are usually either reporting an issue or asking for access to a device. Once he has finished his morning round, Kelvin sorts out access for new users and, where appropriate, schedules training. He also provides training to new users on both the glucometers and blood gas analysers.
What is your favourite thing about the job?
Kelvin really enjoys the problem-solving aspect of his job. He likes being able to assess a problem and work out what it is, and then work out a solution and implement it.
He also really enjoys the interaction he has with a wide range of staff from across the hospital, particularly when he is carrying out training. He sees that as an added bonus to his job!
Is there a moment you will always remember?
A part of running POCT devices is carrying out external quality assurance (EQA) tests. The manufacturer provides the team with samples to test on all the devices to ensure that they are running as they should. The team at Croydon had been struggling to cover 100% of the devices when doing EQA tests, as some devices could be broken or they could not find them on the wards. However, in June the team was able to reach 100% for the first time and Kelvin was a key part in achieving this. He reflects that it was difficult, but it was worth it to get it done. Also, going forward they now know that they can achieve 100%.
Kelvin also remembers his first time working on a device on A&E and being blown away by what the staff there have to face on a daily basis. It gave him new respect for the teams in A&E, as they had to deal with all kinds of situations and people from all walks of life.
How did you get into Biomedical Science?
Kelvin always enjoyed science at school and did sciences at GSE and A Level. He then went on to study biomedical science at the University of Westminster. After completing his degree, it took him a little while to be able to get lab experience, but then he secured the position at St George’s Hospital to get the experience he needed. He is now working on his IBMS Portfolio, which he hopes to finish this year.