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Degree instrumental in medical lab career success

29 Jul 2021

A USC Medical Laboratory Science graduate has been promoted from technician to scientist at Gold Coast University Hospital (GCUH) within months of gaining both her associate degree and a Bachelor of Biomedical Science.

“I’ve just received an offer to join the GCUH haematology/transfusion department as a scientist,” said a delighted Chelsea Gillett, 24, formerly of Buderim.

Chelsea, who attended her USC Sunshine Coast graduation ceremony for both degrees in April, has been working at the hospital since January, when she was selected for one of 12 positions with the Pathology Queensland graduate program.

Three other positions in the statewide Pathology Queensland program for 2021 went to graduates of the two-year USC Associate Degree in Medical Laboratory Science, designed to fast-track students into careers as technicians.

Christy Scott, 24, of Gympie, is currently working at The Prince Charles Hospital. Larissa Hatt, 32, of Narangba, went to Sunshine Coast University Hospital. And Kiaya Ballard, 28, of Coopers Plains, went to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

Chelsea said the opportunity to learn from industry professionals across the major departments at GCUH was fantastic.

“Everyone in the lab is very helpful in answering my questions and this has encouraged me to further my experience in new situations,” she said.

“I’ve trained in haematology, transfusion science, microbiology (specifically microscopy and blood cultures), and chemistry.

“It’s nice to see familiar faces, too – two previous USC graduates have achieved positions as scientists here.”

Chelsea, who also did training at Robina Hospital, received Academic Commendations in the two degrees she completed simultaneously at USC.

“My studies at USC and the experience I gained through my student placements assisted in my development of not only various scientific processes, but also in problem-solving skills and attention to detail.

“The academics helped me become the scientist I am today, encouraging my involvement in conferences and professional bodies.”

Associate Professor Lin Fung and Senior Lecturer Dr Rebecca Donkin said the Pathology Queensland positions were highly competitive and open to university graduates across the state.

“We are proud of the success of Chelsea, Christy, Larissa and Kiaya,” said Associate Professor Fung.

“It was noted that USC students had very strong applications with excellent academic knowledge and experience in pathology laboratories through completing work-integrated learning placements.”

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