Examples of experiences during COVID from healthcare science trainees

We asked our trainees to tell us about some of their experiences during the pandemic and how life changed for them as a trainee.

COVID vaccine/testing
  • I worked in the dispensary at a vaccination hub during weekends.
  • More opportunities to gain experience of verifying new laboratory tests.
  • Supporting vaccine roll out and regional lighthouse covid testing laboratories.
  • Vaccination hub training for aseptic technique.
  • Worked on the vaccine hub manipulating and drawing up doses.
  • Adhering to infection control protocols. Leadership qualities helping the department adapt to an unprecedented scenario.
  • Analysis of some changes made in hospital due to Covid restrictions.
  • As a trainee cohort, we organised and rostered ourselves to cover several clinical shifts.
  • Covid required me to adapt to a new training plan and gain experience through other means. However, this disruption was accounted for well by individuals responsible for training at my Trust.
  • Dedicated structured study time away from the workplace. Video call software was used to facilitate tutorials/supervisions.
  • Fit testing.
  • Helped on the phones in ICU, was able to use my experience of talking to patients.
  • I became more involved in routine service work.
  • I helped run the whole service during the first lockdown, then management realised I might need to be retained and made any excuse available to remove me from the timetable and remove any business case.
  • I was redeployed to the wards for a few weeks during the 2nd wave.
  • I was working on the wards helping with COVID.
  • ICU redeployment.
  • Many small projects, and leadership opportunities in Point of Care Testing.
  • More acute, ward.
  • Our department went to reduced rotas with small teams. I was able to take on more responsibility, covering sections and delegating tasks.
  • Partake in DB shifts, assisted in laboratory when they were short staffed.
  • Performed clinical tasks at a greater rate to allow flexibility in the rota.
  • Redeployment to ICU.
  • Spent more time on clinical work than required of direct entry trainees.
  • Training as back up cover in the laboratory.
  • Where appropriate, I was able to fill in for technical roles that I had previously acquired.
  • Worked with bronze command for a day to cover staff.
Life Sciences
  • Clinical assay evaluation, verification and validation.
  • Completed a point of care placement providing new test devices to frontline staff.
  • I assisted with microarray analysis within the Genomics department.
  • Telephone counselling.
  • I had the opportunity to get in depth knowledge of point of care and was able to apply the skills I had learnt to train others.
  • I set up COVID antibodies testing and POCT COVID PCR testing.
  • I validated the covid antibody assay and participated in the collection of data for transfusion audits.
  • I was able to actively contribute to the laboratory because of the shortage of staff.
  • I was able to lead on verifying a new assay to detect SARS.
  • I was authorising haemostasis results on COVID patients during the pandemic at its peak. My research project also included COVID patients.
  • I was involved in developing new assays to detect SARS.
  • Involved in SARS.
  • Molecular practice.
  • Setting up an antibody assay.
  • Verification of antibody assays.
  • Was able to get extra experience in the flow cytometry laboratory.
Nightingale redeployment
  • Nightingale experience, SOPs, training, leadership etc.
  • I got to run clinics on my own whilst my colleagues were redeployed in the third lockdown. I got to work in an enormous field hospital (the Nightingale) in the first lockdown.
  • I had an opportunity to train in using ventilators for the nightingale in the Excel. This was available to healthcare science students.
  • I was redeployed temporarily to the Nightingale Hospital in London. I trained there and remained on standby for a number of weeks. (I was never called in due to lower than anticipated numbers of patients).
  • I was redeployed to the Nightingale hospital in a clinical and technical role, managing patients on ventilators in conjunction with th the intensive care doctors and nurses. I was also redeployed within my trust in a leadership role during the second surge. Both of these experiences were instrumental in my development.
  • POCT coordinator at London Nightingale.
Physical Sciences
  • I worked with the team of clinical scientists at the London Nightingale to manage vents and solve problems on the wards I was team lead across the ICUs at GSTT.
  • Opportunity to work on 3D printing of PPE.
  • Was redeployed to ITU where I did QA and other things on equipment.
Physiological Sciences
  • Helped in ECG which I was signed off for.
  • More chance for portable scans and running of lists on my own for inpatients.
  • Worked on the Vascular Access team in ITU.

Last updated on 15th February 2024