Date of release: 6 November 2020
Finally, we round off National Pathology Week with a look at Immunology. Today we’re grateful for the thoughts of Stephanie Cooper, Immunology Team Manager, Black Country Pathology Services, on her chosen field.
What makes your specialism important?
“In the Immunology department we primarily work to identify conditions caused by breakdown in the normal immune function leading to auto-immune disease,” said Stephanie.
Some well-known auto-immune conditions include those such as rheumatoid arthritis, coeliac disease and of course, allergy.
“We also perform tests to assess a person’s ability to mount an effective immune response.
“The whole Immunology team are passionate about what we do on a daily basis as it is both fascinating to try to understand how the body’s immune system can ‘turn on itself’ to create disease states.
“But at the same time we are aware that the work we do provides clinicians with essential information to diagnose and manage their patients.
“We might be dealing with tubes of blood but we are always aware there is a patient directly linked to each sample.”
Why did you opt to follow a path in Immunology?
“I chose to follow a path in Immunology as there is still such a lot we have to learn about how control mechanisms in the immune system can break down and affect an individual’s health and wellbeing,” enthused Stephanie.
“I also enjoy knowing the work we do on a daily basis can directly impact a patient’s care and management and that we can provide results to help with the diagnosis of auto-immune conditions.”
Why is National Pathology Week important?
“National Pathology Week is important to highlight the work that goes on ‘behind the scenes’,”
added Stephanie. “Blood sciences laboratories are not an area that staff or patients tend to come across in hospital, like they would a ward or outpatient clinic, for example.
“National Pathology Week is an opportunity to showcase the hard work – often on a 24-7 basis – that goes on in laboratories to provide urgent blood/test results to enable clinicians to make decisions regarding patient care.”