RegisteredBMS
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A little background about myself!

I'm a Biomedical Scientist specialising in Microbiology. This essentially means I find bacteria that are growing in various samples such as urine, sputum, faeces, swabs and fluids such as joint fluids, cerebrospinal fluids and more.

I have a small amount of experience in most disciplines of pathology that I gained during my training as well as several months working in Biochemistry. I have worked in Microbiology for 2 years.

I am happy to answer anything about the job but I would like to keep the laboratory I work at private.
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artful_lounger
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How do the scopes of the different specialisms compare? Is the kind of work broadly similar, but looking for/at different things, or does it vary quite a lot depending what area you eventually end up in?
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RegisteredBMS
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They do differ quite significantly. Microbiology is quite manual albeit with some automated aspects. It will always require the manual reading of agar plates, observing what has grown and then confirming your presumptive identification via further testing. The underlying aspect is you're almost always providing a result in regards to whether an infection is present.

In Biochemistry, for example, the tests can have varying implications. The most important test is a heart attack indicator, Troponin.

Biochemistry involves a lot of maintaining analysers, quality control and loading bulk samples onto machines. Results that come out of the machines are run against rules and some will hit an authorisation queue where a Biomedical Scientist (or higher if required) will double check the result.

It's definitely a very different job between the disciplines. Haematology does have automated aspects which makes it more related to Biochemistry and they're often grouped together but there are more manual aspects. The Blood Transfusion aspect can be very interesting albeit a frightening prospect for the inexperienced who've yet to do a night on their own in BT!

People tend to stick to their discipline once they're in it despite them being free to move. There is a lot of friendly banter, especially between Microbiology and the button pushers over at Biochemistry
(Original post by artful_lounger)
How do the scopes of the different specialisms compare? Is the kind of work broadly similar, but looking for/at different things, or does it vary quite a lot depending what area you eventually end up in?
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keptinside
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What do you do after finding bacteria?
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RegisteredBMS
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We take a bit of the bacteria and place it into saline. We then dip a swab in saline and cover a agar plate with it.

We place discs on the plate that contain antibiotics. If the bacteria grows right up to the disc then that antibiotic is useless. There are strict guidelines about how big the zone of no growth must be to state that the antibiotic will work (otherwise known as being sensitive to that antibiotic). It's governed by EUCAST. European Committee for Antimicrobial Testing.

I've attached a picture of what sensitivity testing looks like.

(Original post by keptinside)
What do you do after finding bacteria?
Last edited by RegisteredBMS; 2 months ago
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shadowdweller
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RegisteredBMS what's the most challenging aspect of your job? What's the most rewarding?
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artful_lounger
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What do the haematology specialists do on the blood banking/transfusion side; does it involve patient contact or is it more "behind the scenes"?

Is the cellular sciences route sort of histology type work, or something else?
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RegisteredBMS
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The most challenging is probably the speed that we're required to work at. The most rewarding is probably the few occasions we find out about patient outcomes as a result of our work.
(Original post by shadowdweller)
RegisteredBMS what's the most challenging aspect of your job? What's the most rewarding?
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RegisteredBMS
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BT is behind the scenes but requires a much faster turnaround time.

Cellular Science is histology and cytology (cervical screening)
(Original post by artful_lounger)
What do the haematology specialists do on the blood banking/transfusion side; does it involve patient contact or is it more "behind the scenes"?

Is the cellular sciences route sort of histology type work, or something else?
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anosmianAcrimony
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I'm NOT a registered biomedical scientist because I studied biochemistry instead and it wasn't accredited even though I seemed to study 80% of the same material >.>
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RegisteredBMS
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Do you think your degree makes you suitable to work as a Biomedical Scientist in Microbiology or Histology?
(Original post by anosmianAcrimony)
I'm NOT a registered biomedical scientist because I studied biochemistry instead and it wasn't accredited even though I seemed to study 80% of the same material >.>
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shadowdweller
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(Original post by RegisteredBMS)
The most challenging is probably the speed that we're required to work at. The most rewarding is probably the few occasions we find out about patient outcomes as a result of our work.
Could you give a bit more info on what you mean around the speed you have to work at? Is it a very high pressured role?
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RegisteredBMS
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More to do with local issues. Low staffing levels etc.
(Original post by shadowdweller)
Could you give a bit more info on what you mean around the speed you have to work at? Is it a very high pressured role?
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tamil fever
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If you could have another job what would it be and why?
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RegisteredBMS
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I've always seen an attraction to many jobs. I wouldn't describe myself as excellent at the job I do, I'm a bit of a jack of all trades master of none in my opinion. I choose Science based A Level's so that put me down that route but I always felt I could have more than coped in fields such as IT, Engineering etc. Police, paramedic, I see an appeal to many jobs and would have probably been happy doing them all!
(Original post by tamil fever)
If you could have another job what would it be and why?
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tamil fever
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(Original post by RegisteredBMS)
I've always seen an attraction to many jobs. I wouldn't describe myself as excellent at the job I do, I'm a bit of a jack of all trades master of none in my opinion. I choose Science based A Level's so that put me down that route but I always felt I could have more than coped in fields such as IT, Engineering etc. Police, paramedic, I see an appeal to many jobs and would have probably been happy doing them all!
How did you know this is what you wanted to do though?
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RegisteredBMS
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I'd decided early on that I wanted to work in a career where I had some kind of impact on lives. I had a common experience that many do when they're good at science. "Oh, go do medicine". So I was pushed in that direction and did science A Levels. Quickly decided I really did not want to do medicine. I didn't feel it suited me as a person nor did I really want to study for that long. I read around a bit and quite liked the idea of working in hospital laboratories. Originally I didn't really know the specialism until I began my placements at University. I enjoyed the hands on nature of Microbiology during my placement. It was less watching more doing.
(Original post by tamil fever)
How did you know this is what you wanted to do though?
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letsgetintouni
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what is the best way to find a BMS job, I am newly registered BMS in Micrbiology having trouble finding work.
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RegisteredBMS
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(Original post by letsgetintouni)
what is the best way to find a BMS job, I am newly registered BMS in Micrbiology having trouble finding work.
Microbiology is competitive. Just keep applying, you'll get to know the common questions and it'll come.
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Random_Student
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(Original post by RegisteredBMS)
A little background about myself!

I'm a Biomedical Scientist specialising in Microbiology. This essentially means I find bacteria that are growing in various samples such as urine, sputum, faeces, swabs and fluids such as joint fluids, cerebrospinal fluids and more.

I have a small amount of experience in most disciplines of pathology that I gained during my training as well as several months working in Biochemistry. I have worked in Microbiology for 2 years.

I am happy to answer anything about the job but I would like to keep the laboratory I work at private.
How do you go from graduating with an IBMS accredited degree to working towards being a Biomedical scientist? What are the steps and are there anyways you can fast track that aka by finding
work in a lab in your third year? (which is harddd!)
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