Band 6 Biomedical Scientist

Biomedical Scientists support the blood transfusion services of the UK, and hospital blood banks. They prepare blood transfusions and plasma to administer to patients and are responsible for ensuring that the blood groups of donors and patients are compatible.

See below for an insight in to the role of a Band 6 BMS working in transfusion in an NHS hospital:

“I am a Specialist Biomedical Scientist working in a busy NHS Blood Transfusion Laboratory. I have been qualified for nearly 5 years and became a Specialist BMS following completion of my IBMS specialist portfolio in 2011.

I began by studying BSc Applied Biomedical Science. The degree took 4 years, 3 taught and one on placement. During the placement I gained a lot of lab experience and was also able to complete my IBMS pre-registration portfolio. This meant that when I graduated I was able to register with the HCPC and apply for BMS jobs straight away.

Becoming a Specialist BMS involved completing the IBMS specialist portfolio which involved collecting evidence, answering questions and having a final assessment by an external examiner.

Working as a BMS in blood transfusion is fast paced, sometimes a bit chaotic, but overall an enjoyable and rewarding role. A typical shift, both day and night, consists of testing patient blood samples to find out blood groups, identify any abnormal antibodies that may be present and provide suitable blood products for patients as they need it. The blood and other products we supply are needed in lots of different situations. These vary from patients who have illnesses that make them transfusion dependant, such as sickle cell anaemia and thalassaemia, to life threatening situations such as major trauma, surgical blood loss or post-partum haemorrhage.

Dealing with instances where patients are bleeding can sometimes be hectic but very satisfying as the job you are doing could mean the difference between a good or bad outcome for the patient.  

Although we are often unknown by other hospital staff Biomedical Scientists do play a very important (if not the most important!) role in blood transfusion. Even though we may never get to meet the person on the other end of the blood sample, knowing that we have contributed to their care makes the occasional crazy night shift worthwhile!”