Rachel gains an insight into work in a hospital environment

Rachel gains an insight into work in a hospital environment

Rachel Piddock, a student at UEA, hoped to gain an insight into the procedures involved in the running of a hospital department, with a focus on medical testing and auditing. A PIPS internship within the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) Pathology Department provided an opportunity to do this.

Rachel undertook her internship from January to April 2016. The Pathology department had identified a need for assistance in maintaining and developing their quality management system. The main objective of the placement was to aid the change of laboratory accreditation to the ISO 15189 standard by implementing audits and changes in procedure and other documentation. This involved the collation of data, auditing the various laboratory departments and updating the documentation using the Q-Pulse system. There will be an assessment by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) in September, and Rachel hopes that her input will aid the department’s quest for accreditation.

As a result of her internship, Rachel gained an insight into what it would be like working in a hospital environment and gained knowledge about the various computer systems that they use. She was tasked with the streamlining of procedures across several hospital sites, which helped her develop her problem solving skills. Other skills developed during the internship were time management and communication skills. Rachel also spent a short amount of time within the toxicology lab and learnt about the tests that they do there.

Rachel believes the main benefit resulting from her internship was to develop contacts within the NNUH that may be useful in a future career in clinical base research. The placement also provided her with a better understanding of clinical research governance and quality assurance that she can highlight on her CV.

David Stokely, the Quality Manager within the Pathology department was extremely pleased with Rachel’s input during the internship. “This was a very positive experience for us and the level of commitment and awareness of a PhD student is such that they can really contribute to the laboratory’s work”, he reflects.

Rachel advises students who are still considering what to do for their placement to be sure to pick an internship that is looking to utilize your skills in a way that aids your development.