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“I love that there is room for development in my role.”

“I love that there is room for development and lots of opportunities to learn new skills in my role.”

Joanne Castelhano – Quality Assistant in Pathology

Joanne Castelhano Joanne’s journey to be part of the Pathology department at Sheffield Children’s began 17 years ago when she started as a temporary Data Entry Clerk in the Clinical Chemistry department at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals (STH).

She said: “That was where I first became interested in Pathology. The work of the department I’m in now underpins every aspect of patient care, from diagnostic testing and treatment advice to using cutting-edge genetic technologies and preventing disease.”

What is Pathology?

Joanne explains: “Pathology is the study of disease and is the bridge between science and medicine. Doctors, nurses, surgeons and other medical staff look to our pathologists and consultant clinical scientists for advice on the nature and seriousness of a patient’s illness, making sure they get the most appropriate treatment.”

The team is made up of staff from a variety of roles, including pathologists, biomedical scientists and support staff – such as Quality Assistants.

As Joanne worked through different roles across different Trusts and took time out to return to her studies – graduating from Sheffield Hallam University with a BSc in Human Biology in 2013 – she developed a number of skills and gained experience in a variety of areas.

Joanne said: “My role as a Quality Assistant is to provide administrative, record keeping, data collection and audit support to help make sure Sheffield Children’s retain our UKAS accreditation. This is really important because it provides assurance to our patients that their test results are accurate and reliable.

“The thing that attracted me to the position is that I can combine my previous administration experience and laboratory knowledge into one. I also love that there is room for development and lots of opportunities to learn new skills in my role.”

Joanne’s drive to continue to learn and develop is clear. After just six months at Sheffield Children’s she enrolled on the Business Administration Apprenticeship, which is run in partnership with Sheffield College.

“My course has helped me to learn more about importance of my role and how my contribution has a positive impact on the patient experience and the care that they receive.

“I have a very supportive manager who helps me with any queries I may have and ensures that I get the off-the-job learning time that is needed.”

Joanne works in a brilliant team here at Sheffield Children’s, and you can find out more about their work on the Pathology webpage. The team includes Professor Marta Cohen, Head of the Department of Histopathology and Clinical Director of Pharmacy, Pathology, and Genetics. In 2020 Marta was awarded an OBE for her groundbreaking services to the treatment of Sudden Death Syndrome – we’re really proud to have such fantastic colleagues!

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