Published: 17 December 2020
St George’s Clinical Pharmacology BSc students have been assisting in the University’s asymptomatic testing centre set up in advance of the student travel window. The centre has been created to provide Coronavirus tests for students who may be asymptomatic carriers of Covid-19 to allow them to self-isolate, if necessary, before the festive break.
To see all this so close to home really makes you realise that you are going into a life changing field. Without the work that the scientists and doctors have done this year, this country would have been in a very difficult position.
- Second year Clinical Pharmacology student, Jade Vince -
Professor Emma Baker, Course Director for the BSc in Clinical Pharmacology, explains “A key aim of our course is to produce graduates ready for work or further study in drug development and research. We were originally intending for our students to have work experience in May but, with the pandemic, a lot of providers have moved online and we were worried that our students wouldn’t get hands-on experience.
“We polled the staff and students about working in St George’s testing centre and the overwhelming majority said ‘yes, we want to do this’. So, as a course, we offered to assist with the testing centre as an innovative way to give our students meaningful work experience.
“Students have been delivering the sample processing and results recording parts of the project. Our students were already trained to do some of this as they have been using laboratory skills, as well as working with data and statistics, throughout the course. Staff have also been working in the centre every day to help the students make the most of the opportunity.
“It’s been a brilliant opportunity, and we were keen to make it accessible to everyone. Some students can’t come on site at the moment because of the pandemic so they have formed an off-site team who have been organising the working of the centre which is also vitally important. They have organised training, rotas, timesheets and management of the onsite teams as well as revamping the course social media accounts and managing data and quality improvement. All second year students on the course have had the opportunity to do real work as part of this project.
“As well as the tangible skills, work experience has taught our students softer skills, such as project management, time management and taking responsibility in the workplace, which are important to employers. The next step is for them to showcase this on their CVs to help get that first job or next course after graduation.”
Second year Clinical Pharmacology student, Jade Vince, who has been working in the centre added, “To see all this so close to home really makes you realise that you are going into a life changing field. Without the work that the scientists and doctors have done this year, this country would have been in a very difficult position.
"If anything, it's made me want to strive harder to get into this field in order to have that kind of impact. I think everyone across the country has seen how inspiring the people in the NHS are. And in the lab everyone from the receptionist to the cleaner, it's just showing the importance of every single person in that organisation, in order for us to get back to day to day living."