From needing transfusions herself to becoming an integral part of the blood management process, Healthcare Technical Officer, Katie Bruce tells her story.
After needing transfusions myself in the past, I really wanted to give something back. I came to NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) for work experience both at school and college. I loved working here. When I finished my college course in Health and Social Care, I applied and got accepted for a job as a Healthcare Technical Officer. I started in September 2015.
When blood donations are received we need to batch them ready for processing. There is blood from 96 donations in one batch. 12 units at a time go into a centrifuge, which spins for 15 minutes to separate the plasma and red cells. The different blood products are produced from the separated blood.
"Healthcare Technical Officers produce and manage blood and blood products. We hear patients’ stories each month and this definitely motivates you."
I have been given lots of training to make sure I have the right knowledge and skills. My college course taught me biology but there wasn’t a lab environment so I’ve learnt the practical side of it on the job. Having had transfusions myself, I know full well just how important our work is and why it’s crucial to get it right.
My advice to anyone considering a career here is to not focus on qualifications, as NHSBT will train you if you’re right for the job. Concentrate on what you put in your application and how you come across in your interview. Do lots of research, and show that you’re interested in science and love to help others.