Coventry University sets up mock clinical lab bringing biomedical science to life

HORIBA UK haematology and clinical chemistry analysers enhance future employability of students

HORIBA UK’s medical division has announced that Coventry University’s Department of Biomolecular and Sports Science has recently installed new HORIBA haematology and clinical chemistry analysers to enhance the future employability of its students.

In recognition of NHS requirements, Coventry can now offer its Biomedical Science degree students practical experience of real-life clinical instrumentation and applications. Consequently, this enables these future biomedical scientists to become truly enthusiastic about subjects that may otherwise seem dry theoretically.

Employers from NHS laboratories have highlighted the importance of students gaining hands-on experience and having familiarity with automated equipment so it is not totally new to them when on work placement or in graduate employment.

“We see it as vital that our students build on their laboratory skills learnt at the bench, starting with manual techniques and learning the principle behind the tests before moving to securing practical experience in using real clinical instrumentation,” said Yvonne Elliot, practitioner and senior lecturer in biomedical science at Coventry University.

Bringing Biomedical Science to life for its students, Coventry University has created a mock clinical laboratory setting by installing a HORIBA ABX Pentra 120 high-throughput haematology analyser and ABX Pentra 400 chemistry analyser. All staff and students are able to use these new instruments following training from qualified technical and biomedical staff.

Using real clinical instrumentation within the university also enables students to become fully aware of the critical importance of calibration, quality control and how it is linked to Clinical Pathology Accreditation. This is also key for working within NHS laboratories.

For example, within first-year tutorial sessions, Biomedical Science students can use the ABX 400 Chemistry analyser to learn more on calibration curves, Beer-Lambert Law, accuracy and precision. Students are able to use the instrument’s precision check function to statistically cross check results attained using manual spectroscopic methods.

“In response to requests from employers, we are able to ensure that our students are fully grounded in quality control issues and measures, such as Levey-Jennings Charts and Westgard rules,” said Elliot.

HORIBA’s ABX Pentra 120 haematology analyser can be used in a similar way to actively demonstrate the principles of impedance counting and flow cytometry, further adding to Coventry students’ knowledge and awareness.

Elliot said: “Using the instruments on a biomedical degree course provides our students with added enthusiasm to subjects that might seem dry theoretically and adds a dimension of reality to it which must enhance their employability in the longrun.”

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