By London YPAG,
My name is Hannah and I’ve been a Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) YPAG member for a year and a half now. My involvement so far has all been virtual until this summer when myself and another GOSH YPAG member had the opportunity to go on three days of work experience in a research laboratory at the GOSH Institute of Child Health (ICH). It was great to finally meet another GOSH YPAG member in person and share this experience!
So, what did we get up to over the course of the three days? We observed experiments used to analyse patient samples including cell flow cytometry and using the sterile fume cupboard for tissue cultures. We also got to do some hands-on work in the lab, such as pipetting and DNA electrophoresis. It was fascinating to learn about the current research and science behind the experiments. It was great to also meet lots of different members of the research team, finding out about the broad range of roles required for paediatric research.
This work experience has provided me with a very useful insight into careers in research and medicine, and alongside meeting current doctors and medical students has given me more confidence for applying to university.
Being able to see the laboratories and speak to staff in person gave me a unique opportunity to see how the workplace operated. We both kept a journal on what we learnt and observed and importantly any questions we wanted to follow up on or areas we wanted to explore after our three days.
My advice to future work experience students would be to take notes about your observations and reflections as you go through the work experience, and don’t be afraid to ask questions- this is your chance to learn as much as you can!