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Jared McCann - Laboratory Technician Level 3

Jared started working for the NHS as a Covid lab support worker during the pandemic. He found it interesting and rewarding so decided to build upon this experience and pursue a career in pathology.

Jared explored ways he could retrain in science and felt an apprenticeship was the best route to be able to study towards a qualification alongside continuing to work.

As Addenbrooke's is a renowned teaching hospital and centre for healthcare science, he thought applying to CUH was a great opportunity to be able to gain the skills for a career working in the NHS. Since starting his apprenticeship, he has been promoted to an Associate Practitioner in the Point of Care Testing Team.

Jared McCan in a lab with PPE on, filling a test tube

What does a typical day look like in your role?

The Point of Care Testing (POCT) Team manages a diverse range of testing, which means I work both in and outside of a laboratory setting. We have two small labs running Covid and respiratory tests, as well as a lab based in the Emergency Department which analyses routine blood tests.

Most shifts I am lab-based and will be receiving patient samples, running the tests on the analysers as well as completing daily tasks such as analysing quality controls and maintenance of the lab equipment. At other times I help with maintenance of POCT devices such as gas machines around different wards and areas of the hospital, including calibration, stock checks, and changing cartridges.

What do you enjoy about your role?

I enjoy the variety of the testing we perform in the team. I’m often learning about new devices and processes. I like knowing we are contributing to improving patient care by delivering rapid test results.

What sorts of things do you do for the off-the-job learning aspect of your apprenticeship and does this involve attending college, or is it all completed at work?

My off-the-job learning can involve shadowing a colleague, attending a training session, or working on college assignments. I attend a college session once a week.

What are your future intentions?

My plan is to progress onto the Healthcare Science Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship, with the hope of qualifying as a Biomedical Scientist in the future.

What advice would you give to others who may be looking to take on an apprenticeship?

If you are wanting to retrain or change careers, don’t worry about not having much experience in the field. Because of the practical experience you get in an apprenticeship, you will pick things up quickly on the job and will be really well supported by colleagues who will share their knowledge and experience with you.

The main theme of this year’s National Apprenticeship Week is 'skills for life'. What are the most important skills for life that you have developed in your role?

I have developed more confidence in myself to be able to find solutions to problems, make decisions, and contribute suggestions to the team.