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Women have led ground-breaking research in public health and here at UHBW there is no exception. It is more important that ever to recognise women’s contributions in science, smash stereotypes, defeat discrimination and celebrate how far we have already come.
Meet Donna, who is currently working in our haematology department contributing to the daily running of our laboratories here at UHBW.
What is your Name and Job Title?Donna Connolly Senior Biomedical Scientist and Training Manager What does your day-to-day work look like? I help oversee the running of the haematology laboratory, setting up and performing a number of investigations on samples from patients within and outside of the hospital. This typically involves: performing maintenance, quality procedures and troubleshooting technical errors with equipment Reviewing results to identify abnormalities that may contribute to a patient diagnosis Communicating with a range of healthcare professionals, answering questions about investigations, relaying abnormal results and ensuring that we receive the appropriate samples for processing Reviewing and developing documents that support up-to-date lab practices and develop the knowledge and skills of staff Review and investigate incidents and communicate compliments to the team Within the training part of my role I ensure that staff are well trained to perform their roles and support the development of staff and trainees through a variety of training programs. I communicate with local universities, regional networks and professional bodies to help ensure that we are providing a supportive training environment for our staff and that we can continue to provide a high quality service through highly experienced and qualified members of staff. Could you tell me about your career history? Whilst at university I undertook a placement year within the haematology department at the Bristol Royal Infirmary. The laboratory was an excellent learning environment and the team were incredibly friendly. I was fortunate enough to be offered a job within the laboratory after completing my degree and continued to develop my expertise within the department by working within different departments, completing specialist testing, working out of hours and undertaking a masters degree to support my development into a senior biomedical scientist. Throughout this period I was assisting in the delivery and oversight of training until 2017 when I took up the post of training manager and now oversee the delivery and approval of training programs and CPD for staff development and ensure compliance with trust and international standards for training and staff development. I have recently taken up a training qualification, which I am currently undertaking to support my role within the department and identify further opportunities for improving our training processes. What made you want to pursue a career in Healthcare Science? Even at a young age I always wanted to complete a career-based degree and was really interested in the biological sciences at school. I have always been a person who asks lots of questions about things and likes to get into the finer details so a career in science where evidence-based practice encourages us to question the way we do things and identify opportunities to improve practice is perfect! I’m passionate about my job so the training role was a natural progression to promoting the work performed by myself and my colleagues. I appreciate the efforts of those that have taught me and developed my knowledge and really enjoy helping others achieve their potential. Why do you love working for UHBW? I am very fortunate to work with an incredible team who are very skilled in their roles and alongside many other departments within the trust have continued to deliver excellent service throughout Covid, with additional tests being implemented, new protocols to follow and fluctuations in staffing due to isolation. These changes have brought different pressures into the department but my colleagues have been great at supporting each other and continuing to work hard to ensure that our patients come first. During part of the last year I was on maternity leave and so I can appreciate the great many efforts of the hospital workforce during the pandemic from a patient and a scientist’s perspective.
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