International Pathology Day is on 8 November 2023. To celebrate, we’ve given some budding young scientists access to one of our newest laboratories to find out what happens behind the lab doors!
International Pathology Day is all about celebrating the importance of pathology in our healthcare system.
Pathology plays an invaluable role in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. As Australia’s largest public pathology provider, we’re proud that our network of over 60 laboratories and 150+ collection centres is keeping our community safe and healthy.
This year, we’ve opened our doors to some future scientists – Spencer and Emilia (both aged 7) – to tour our Nepean laboratory which was officially opened in August and interview some of the staff who work there.
Catherine Janto is Spencer’s aunt and is the A/Senior Hospital Scientist in Charge of Microbiology at the Nepean laboratory.
She began working in microbiology 13 years ago and says she loves that the job is all about helping patients.
“We play a big role in diagnosing infections. We grow bacteria, detect viruses, parasites and fungi to work out why someone is sick, and what kind of infection they may have,” she explained.
“In the lab we don’t see patients face-to-face, we are focused on our agar plates and PCR amplification curves, so it’s good to remind ourselves there are patients who we’re helping behind every result.
“It’s a rewarding feeling to be able to work in this brand-new laboratory that we designed and got up and running, essentially for the future of Nepean Hospital and surrounding community.”
Michelle Basnett, Emilia’s aunt, is a technical officer in the lab and told her niece that even though her job involves studying poo – she loves working in pathology!
“We receive all sorts of samples here at the lab, like urine, we look at stools or poo, tissue or flesh from the body, swabs, we also look at blood and other fluid coming from the body,” she said.
“I chose to work in pathology because I really liked science at school and I was interested in how the body works.
“It’s very hands on and I’m a very visual person, so I like to use my observational skills, for example using the microscope to look for organisms, I find it all quite interesting.”
Thanks Spencer and Emilia for checking out the lab and we hope to see you back in front of a microscope again one day!