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National Biomedical Science Day - Meet Abbi

Pictured: Abbi Jablonski-Davies, Associate Practitioner in Microbiology and Virology

"I'm an Associate Practitioner currently working in Microbiology and Virology. I graduated last year from Staffordshire University with a degree in Applied Biomedical Science. During the summer break in my second year, I undertook a 14-week clinical placement at Royal Stoke University Hospital. I rotated around the departments in Pathology to gain experience that allowed me to successfully complete the IBMS registration portfolio. During my time on placement, I was given the opportunity to choose a department to gain further experience, and naturally I felt drawn towards Microbiology. Microbiology largely relies on the manual processing of samples and it was this that really appealed to me; the staff were really friendly and accommodating and I could see myself building a career here. I continued to work in Microbiology while finishing my final year at university, so I could underpin the skills and knowledge that I had developed while on the applied route. I graduated in July 2019 and I soon became a full-time member of staff in Microbiology.

"My job roll focuses on the processing of a variety of different samples to identify organisms responsible for causing infection and disease - samples include urine, faeces and tissue and blood, to name but a few. Once a "causative organism of infection" is identified, further tests are carried out to see how the organism will respond to a range of antibiotics. Our department works closely with Consultant Microbiologists to decide the best course of treatment or if current treatment needs to be modified.

"When the COVID-19 crisis began, I was given the opportunity to work within Virology to support with COVI-19 testing. The opportunity to work closely with an unfamiliar strain of virus was incredibly daunting, yet fascinating. COVID-19 required me and my fellow colleges to adapt swiftly to the rapidly developing pandemic so that we could do our bit to help keep the nation safe. We quickly adapted our working patterns and the layout of the lab to comply with social distancing rules. A number of staff also took on new roles in both Virology and Microbiology to ensure we could continue to provide a safe and effective service to meet the new demands needed from our department.

"The ability to work so closely with infectious diseases is one of my favourite aspects of the job. There are always new and exciting opportunities which ensure continual professional development. In addition, biomedical science can play such a big part in the patient pathway and it is really rewarding to be part of this. Biomedical science is a career where you can make a real difference!"