Meet Chris Charlton, Senior Biomedical Scientist

Chris stood in the laboratory Explain what your job entails?

I am a senior biomedical scientist in Clinical Chemistry, this department performs tests on blood and other types of samples for the different biochemical components in the samples, like sodium and glucose, and for medications like paracetamol and immunosuppressants to help clinical staff diagnose, treat and care for patients. My day-to-day job is set-up the machines we use for most of the tests, making sure they are clean and working properly and that the results they produce are correct, some tests have to be done manually. I also make sure that results are correct and that they are telephoned to the wards when they are very abnormal. I am also one of the managers in my department so have extra tasks and responsibilities.

Why did you choose your career?

I was always interested in science at school and wanted to do a science based job that helped people. The Biomedical Science degree looked really interesting. I did my training placement at BCH and came back after I was qualified.

What do you love about your job?

My job helps people. We turn blood into numbers that can be used to make people better when they unwell. We also make sure that illnesses are picked-up on before they have any affect on the patient. Generally every day is different. Sometimes there are problems that have to be solved, machines that need to be fixed or results that lead me to learn something new. All of this helps me to be better at what I do and it’s a very rewarding job. You also realise the amount of things that your body does in the background without you having to think about it or do anything.

Let us know something that a lot of people don’t know about your job?

Almost everyone will have had between 2 and 11 tests performed by a BMS on a sample of their blood by the time they are 1 week old. If you were born in the West Midlands, it is likely that these tests were done in the Foetal Anomaly and Newborn Screening labs based on the BWH and BCH sites.