Jason Kasraie is a Consultant Clinical Embryologist (Clinical Scientist) and one of two Organisational Lead Scientists at SaTH who led the team that introduced IVF treatment to Shropshire. He is based at the Shropshire and Mid Wales Fertility Centre at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.
He said: “I decided on a career in reproductive science after securing a ‘gap year’ undergraduate placement. I have worked at the Trust for over 20 years and began my career here as a trainee clinical scientist in Reproductive Science (Embryology and Andrology).
“Having completed my initial training I had the exciting and character building opportunity of leading the team that introduced IVF to Shropshire over 15 years ago. My role as a Consultant Healthcare Scientist is varied and rewarding.
“In addition to heading up a team of eight scientists and dealing with my own clinical caseload I have extensive management, training and research and innovation responsibilities. The most rewarding aspect of my job remains the ‘hands-on’ patient facing role of a clinical scientist, helping couples to fulfil their dream of starting a family whilst working to develop improved treatment pathways, technologies and algorithms.
“I also share the role of Organisational lead scientist for the Trust, with broad reaching responsibilities for Healthcare Science and scientists in the organisation.
“My clinical role has afforded me the opportunity to obtain a broader perspective of the field as a scientific inspector and advisor to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, who govern all assisted conception activities in the UK.
“I am very much involved in my profession and have had the opportunity to sit on the Association of Clinical Embryologists (ACE) training committee, the National School of Healthcare Science (NSHCS) Themed board and the Academy of Healthcare Science professional board to name a few.
“Growing with my profession and field has enabled me to be involved in the development of the Scientific Training Programme (STP) for reproductive scientists at the NSHCS as lead examiner and the development of the Higher Specialist Training programme in Reproductive Science with the Royal College of Pathologists. My career thus far has culminated in my recent appointment as Chair of my professional body (ACE).”
Dr Yasar Hussain helps to tackle superbugs in Shropshire. Yasar is a Higher Specialist Clinical Scientist in Medical Microbiology at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, who also provides high level advice and guidance on treatments and the use of antibiotics.
He said: “After graduating with a BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences degree I started my first job as a Biomedical Scientist in Microbiology at Burton Hospital. I spent one year as a trainee before I was registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC).
“The job in Microbiology involved investigating patient samples for pathogenic (disease causing) bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses. Antibiotic sensitivity testing was also done to determine whether a particular antibiotic was suitable or not. The job also required evaluation of new laboratory tests that could potentially replace existing ones especially if they proved superior.
“After spending two years as a Biomedical Scientist I was fortunate to be able to undertake a part-time MSc Biomedical Science. On successful completion I applied for a senior/supervisor Biomedical Scientist job in Microbiology.
“As well as undertaking routine Microbiology I was also the Laboratory Technical Supervisor, produced laboratory rotas, undertook teaching post-graduate and undergraduate students, reviewed standard operating procedures based on national guidance and undertook regular audits. During this period I was also part of the team involved with establishing extended working days in Microbiology. Before this time the laboratory was open between 8 am and 5pm five days a week and 8-12 on Saturday and Sundays. The rest of the period was covered by a member of the on-call team. The change was brought about at the request of service users.
“After several years working as a Senior Biomedical Scientist I applied and successfully secured what was then a four year Clinical Scientist training programme at the Leeds teaching Hospitals. As well as developing my laboratory skills in Virology and Molecular Biology I also began to develop basic clinical skills. The training incorporated a structured programme that covered all areas of Microbiology from routine diagnostic work through to research, public health and reference laboratory work. The clinical work was supervised by the Consultant Clinical Scientist and the Medical Microbiologists. Training included laboratory results authorisation, including advice on appropriate antibiotic treatment, taking telephone calls from GPs and hospital doctors wanting advice on appropriate antibiotic and treatment. I had to complete another MSc in Clinical Microbiology. On successful completion of my training I sat and passed Part 1 of the Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists Microbiology examination. This is the same examination that medically qualified consultant Microbiologists sit initially.
“I am currently working as a Higher Specialist Clinical Scientist in Microbiology (HSST). The 5 year training programme has three components Leadership and Management, Clinical, and Research. Completion of all three elements enables the trainee to be awarded a professional Doctorate (similar to a PhD – both awards allow you to use the title Dr). The professional doctorate is a combination of taught elements and research whilst the PhD is 90% research with a small amount of classroom teaching. A PhD is generally completed for academic careers.
“I am currently heavily involved in clinical work where I authorise clinically significant laboratory results with advice on treatment and duration of antibiotics. I regularly attend ward, Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU) and Haematology Ward rounds and Clostridium difficile ward rounds with the Consultant Microbiologist. Towards the completion of my training I expect to sit the Part 2 FRCPath examination. Successful completion of the HSST and the FRCPath Part 2 examination will enable me to apply for Consultant Clinical Scientist posts in Microbiology.”
Marion Tench, 56, is a Medical Device Training Officer, with 17 years of experience at SaTH and a further seven years with Greater Glasgow Heath Board.
She said: “My role is to train all staff members on how to operate and troubleshoot the medical devices they use on patients
“During my training as a Medical Engineer, many of the faults that I dealt with were categorised as ‘user error’. Not only is this frustrating for the user of the equipment but this could also result in delay of a diagnosis or the type of treatment the patient may require. My goal, through training, is not only to reduce this frustration for the staff and any delay that the misuse of medical equipment can create but to improve the safe use of the equipment for the patents.
“I take great satisfaction in taking a group of staff member who do not feel completely confident in using or troubleshooting the equipment that they use at the beginning of a training session to a group of staff member to being more aware of how to use the equipment not only confidently but safely for their patient and themselves.
“If staff feel confident in the equipment used on the patients, the results obtained from the equipment will be meaningful and therefore this information could lead to a safe and speedy recovery for the patient.”