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Karolina Plocienniczak

Specialist Biomedical Scientist

NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

Karolina was in born in Gdansk, a place called “the city of freedom and solidarity” due to the Solidarity movement which contributed to geopolitical changes in 1989.

Born in the ’80s, Karolina grew up in a post-communistic era where western lifestyle and raise of music pop bands were mixed with remains of an ideology of the communistic regime with its emphasis on learning science and engineering subjects.

From an early age, Karolina was fascinated with the natural world and was interested in medicine and pharmacy and ended up studying for a Chemistry degree at the University of Gdansk, strangely intending to persuade career in the petrochemical industry. However, she decided to do a little bit of travelling and ended up in Scotland where she has made it her second home. Karolina couldn’t resist the beauty of the countryside, good music and whiskey.

Karolina worked in several places such as SSPCA, local veterinary practice and local pharmacies including the Pharmacy department in Yorkhill hospital in Glasgow, trying to decide where to pursue her career. As a result, she choose to study Biomedical Sciences at Glasgow Caledonian University as the course covered all her interests from pharmacology and chemistry to microbiology and the human biology. The course came with the bonus, as it is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science and HCPC regulator, which allow establishing a career in the healthcare sector within NHS and work in diagnostics laboratories.

Karolina obtained, successfully, the 2.1 Honours degree and started to work as a Medical Laboratory Assistant in the Southern General Hospital in Blood Science laboratories. While working full-time, she accomplished the Competency Portfolio so could become HPCA registered Biomedical Scientist and start her career in NHS Scotland. Karolina undertook the trainee BMS post in Royal Infirmary Edinburgh in Chemistry and Haematology Laboratories and moved back to Glasgow to work as the Specialist BMS in QEUH Biochemistry diagnostic laboratory, where she completed the discipline-specific specialist portfolio.

Currently, Karolina is about to finish the Master course in Biomedical Science and working on the project which touches on an important issue of drugs misuse and will elaborate on this topic during the presentation at the COSLA event.

The method Karolina is trying to develop and validate will allow drug detection in patients samples and confirmation of the presence of amphetamines in urine specimens by GC-MS analysis intending to improve turn-around time as well as save the cost of sending away samples to an external laboratory.

Once the MSc course is finalised, Karolina is planning to complete the Higher Specialist Diploma in Clinical Chemistry to give her an in-depth knowledge of Biochemistry and the online Quality Management course as this will aid her job in future senior BMS posts.

In the meantime, if not busy studying or working, Karolina supports local schools or STEM events as she is a STEM ambassador as she likes to share her knowledge and experience with youngsters who may feel inspired to follow their dreams and ambitions.

Karolina enjoys cycling and travelling to explore different places and cultures, but also enjoys quality time with her family, gardening and relaxing with a good book and a glass of wine.

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