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Joanne Cook

Biomedical Science student Joanne Cook is among the many students who are volunteering during the fight against the coronavirus (Covid-19). She is currently volunteering at a hospital pathology laboratory.

Joanne Cook
  • Age: 48
  • Where are you from? Darlington

As I wanted to get some experience of volunteering in a hospital, I jumped at the chance. I started volunteering on the wards, but due to the coronavirus crisis I moved into the pathology labs to assist with sample processing.

Which course are you studying?

BSc Biomedical Science, currently in the second year.

What volunteering have you been involved in?

I have been volunteering in the pathology labs at James Cook University Hospital. I am currently working in the biochemistry department processing incoming samples.

How did it come about?

The university advertised a volunteering information session held by the hospital therapeutic care team last year. As I wanted to get some experience of volunteering in a hospital, I jumped at the chance. I started volunteering on the wards, but due to the coronavirus crisis I moved into the pathology labs to assist with sample processing.

Have you been able to draw from your studies?

Yes, my studies have provided me with a background to some of the tests carried out and equipment used, for example, the Human Metabolism and Clinical Biochemistry module last semester which covered blood biomarkers.

What motivated you to volunteer?

I have gained invaluable insight and degree-related experience of working in a hospital laboratory, but mostly I've gained huge satisfaction in knowing I am doing something positive during this demanding time for the NHS.

What has been your experience of volunteering?

I'm happy to continue volunteering for as long as required, even after the coronavirus crisis has passed. I'm really grateful that I have been given the opportunity to contribute during this difficult time.

What brought you to Teesside University?

I previously did care work, but have always been really interested in biology and wanted to learn much more about the subject. It's been hard work but very rewarding, and the modules have been so interesting. The lecturers are fantastic and also very helpful. I'm not currently 100 percent sure what I want to do following graduation, but I'm seriously considering postgraduate study.